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What’s the difference between oil and grease for lubrication?

Mechanical equipment comprising multiple parts requires continuous lubrication to protect it against the harmful impact of friction. As machinery works, the surfaces of its individual parts meet, and friction is created, resulting in wear. The more friction between components, the slower they will be able move, which can negatively affect a machine’s efficiency. Parts that become worn will also need repair or replacement, leading to additional expenses and the cost of disruption to workflow.

A wide array of lubricants is widely available, from reputable oil manufacturers such as Aeroshell, Kluber, Fuchs and Mobil. However, since using the wrong type of lubricant can void an equipment warranty or damage machinery, it’s important to identify the best option. If you are planning to purchase lubricant, you will find both oils and greases stocked by providers and while they perform similar roles, employing each has its own advantage.

Selecting lubricating oil

Engineered using either a synthetic or mineral base oil, today’s lubricating oils will typically include specific additive packages designed to meet the demands of the equipment they are intended to serve.

Applications of oil

The oil works to make sure parts can move effectively and any heat produced by friction is transferred efficiently, and because of this, oil is often used for factory machinery, vehicle engines and hydraulic systems.

When is oil a better option than grease?

Oil can be a more suitable solution to grease in particular conditions and applications. It is not only more efficient at heat transfer, but suits systems where a centrally based oil supply serves multiple parts, lubricating them all at once. Oil is also the answer when equipment requires continuous and frequent lubrication and when parts are easy to access and move at rapid rates.

Understanding lubricating grease

Unlike oil, the most clearly defined feature of lubricating grease is that it takes a semi-solid form. Commonly, it will be crafted from a dedicated base oil, which will then be imbued with specific ingredients to equip it with the essential properties it requires to do its job. On top of these additives, a thickening agent will be included to make certain the grease can create a protective layer in between a machine’s individual working parts.

Applications of grease

Grease lubricants are commonly used with bearings, gears, and heavy-duty equipment. For enterprises whose machinery requires less frequent lubrication or is stored and needs to be lubricated so it can work when required, grease can be a go-to option. It also provides exceptional lubrication for equipment employed in extreme environmental conditions

When is grease a better option than oil?

Opting for grease as a lubricant can have multiple advantages. With low degradation, grease can conveniently keep unused equipment lubricated and in working condition without continuous applications. It can also be ideal for lubricating hard to access components that are sealed like gearboxes. Machinery that operates at low speed favours grease as a lubricant, and equipment with parts that must work at extreme pressures or temperatures will find it highly dependable.

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