A good manufacturing grease, like the ones made by Fuchs and Mobil, is worth its weight in gold because it is absolutely vital that machinery is sufficiently lubricated if it is to perform at its peak and avoid breaking down too often.
Sometimes, when choosing a grease, too many people pay too much mind to the colour of the grease and not enough mind to its consistency, which is unfortunate because you really can’t tell too much about the quality of a grease by its colour, but its levels of viscosity, thickness and consistency could be vital.
The consistency of grease is dependent on the type and volume of thickener used, as well as the viscosity of the base oil. The unit we use to measure consistency is called penetration, and this is dependent on whether or not the consistency of a grease has been altered in either handling or working.
In order to measure penetration, a cone of a certain weight is let sink into the grease for only five seconds and at a temperature of twenty-five degrees Celsius, The depth to which the cone sinks, measured in tenths of a millimetre, is the grease’s penetration.
A penetration of 100 would be the norm for a solid grease, whilst a penetration of about 450 would equate to a semifluid grease. These figures were established by the National Lubricating Grease Institute, which has graded oils from 000 to 6 based on this test.
The categories of penetration
Here are the five categories of penetration you will need to distinguish between:
This is a grease that has not been removed from its original container.
Grease that has only been minimally disturbed is known as unworked.
This is a grease that has been subjected to only 60 double strokes in a standard grease worker.
This is a grease that has been worked to over 60 strokes, brought back to 77 degrees Fahrenheit and then subjected to a further 60 double strokes.
This is a grease that is solid enough to hold its shape without the need of a container.
Certain conditions will require a specific consistency of grease, as will the speed and load of an application, so it is always useful to check which kind of grease you will require before making a purchase.