When moving metal parts make contact, friction and wear occur. As components grind against each and become heated, damage is caused, and performance is negatively impacted. To avoid harm to equipment, effective lubrication is vital.
Advantages of lithium grease
A white lubricant, lithium grease is considered an all-purpose lubrication solution. It can be used to lubricate in applications involving metal-on-metal, or even metal-on-plastic. It effectively helps reduce unwanted friction and encourages components to move far more smoothly. It also provides excellent protection against rust. A heavy-duty lubricant, lithium grease works effectively in both high-heat and high-moisture areas.
In terms of lubrication, once lithium grease is applied, it will work by coating mechanical components. This creates a smooth glide and far smoother mechanical movement. The effect of this is that friction heat is greatly reduced.
Lithium grease offers longevity due to its durable nature. This means that the lubricant will last for extended periods of time. This not only reduces the maintenance time, but makes repeated application unnecessary, leading to cost savings.
Lithium grease also has a thicker viscosity. This helps it to adhere to surfaces where required and gives a more reliable coat of grease.
Different kinds of lithium grease
There are three types of lithium grease: general purpose, marine grade and speciality grease.
General-purpose grease is effective for a diverse range of applications. It is not formulated to work only with a particular type of component, application or vehicle. This grease typically has a generalised range of temperatures that it will efficiently work in. However, it won’t work in the coldest or highest heat temperature applications.
Similar to many other lithium greases, marine grade is slightly more specialised and contains additives designed to make it more suited to use in marine applications. Marine-grade grease has been adapted to stay in place in saltwater and heavy water environments. For it to be effective it must be applied where the exact same grease is already working. It isn’t compatible with standard lithium-based greases, so mixing it with others can make it work ineffectively.
When purchasing a specialty grease, you must check what additives are included. This can help indicate what use the grease is intended for. Never try to use specialty grease for a purpose other than the one it was designed for. Always check with the product manufacturer to confirm its intended use prior to application.
The popular choice
While there are a wide range of metal-on-metal lubrication options to choose from, lithium grease is a versatile and popular choice of professionals. Made by world-leading manufacturers like Valvoline, it is both weather and temperature resistant, and whether it is spread on or sprayed it, stays put. While it is applied wet, it maintains its lubrication properties once dry.
Unlike oil, which will simply run off of surfaces, greases contain a thickener that allows them to stay in place, making it a long-lasting lubricant for metal-on-metal processes. Waterproof, it’s suitable for outdoor use and won’t harm other components used in mechanical equipment, like rubber and plastic.