Grease Selection Made Simple

Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email

First question- what is grease?

Grease is simply a semi-fluid product that’s made up of an oil (70-90%) combined with a “thickener” (5-15%). Added to the mix are a few special additives (3-10%) to make some specific improvements and you have GREASE!

 Now we get a little more technical

  1. There are two main types of grease –
    1. ‘Metal Soap’ Thickener grease (Aluminum, Barium, Lithium, Sodium, Calcium, etc.)
    2. ‘Non-Soap Thickener grease (Polyurea, Clay, Silica)
  2. Grease is named after its thickener type –
    1. Example – Aluminum Complex, Lithium Complex, Polyurea and many others are classified and known by their thickener type
  3. More info about 2 of the most popular grease types –
    1. Lithium Complex Grease
      • General purpose
      • Good anti-wear and extreme pressure properties
      • Good water resistance
      • Good heat resistance
      • Good in low temperature applications
      • Good for roller and spherical bearings
      • Accounts for more than 50% of all grease usage
    1. Polyurea Grease
      • Used mainly in ball bearing applications – electric motors
      • Excellent low temperature pump-ability
      • Water resistance is satisfactory to excellent
      • Excellent heat resistance
      • Not good in slow-moving applications
      • Polyurea does not work well in roller and spherical bearings
  1. If a compromise is a must for motor bearings, use Lithium Complex

  2. Grease can be a very complex subject but 99% of the typical applications found in the industry can be satisfied with a minimum number of greases such as those above. However, special applications may require further investigation for the proper grease.
  3. A few tips  –
    1. Do not mix grease types! Compatibility is an issue with many grease types.
    2. Use the same grease in a bearing for the life of the bearing.
    3. Send a tube of the grease you are using in your motors with the motor when it goes off to the repair shop.
    4. Use button-head grease fittings on your motors instead of regular zerts

At IDCON, we understand the pressure you face trying to build a reliable plant.
We provide side-by-side reliability and maintenance consulting and training designed to keep your equipment running.

For over 45 years, we’ve partnered with 100s of manufacturing plants around the world to eliminate the costs and the pressure caused by unreliable equipment. And we’d love to do the same for you.

Contact us today to see how we can help you keep your plant running.

Related Articles

Smart Methods in Maintenance: Part 2

Most maintenance problems are the result of neglecting the very basics of essential component care and inspections, including improper lubrication, poor operating practices, faulty alignment and balancing, and lack of

Read More »
Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor

Want weekly Reliability & Maintenance Tips?

Best practices. Common sense. Pratical tips.
All designed to help you and your team keep your plant running

IDCON © 2020 All rights reserved

8-step-checklist-preventive-maintenance-program-download
Free Download & Video

8 Steps to Successfully Implement Preventive Maintenance

Reduce your costs with an effective PM program