The process of making a grease product includes the decision of which components to choose from. The fundamental components are three but there are further subdivisions of those three components which can alter the overall property of the grease. The main three components are the base oil, the thickener and the additional additives. The final product is created by evaluating the needs of different applications and consequently adding the prescribed quality required.
Most important consideration of any grease product or an oil-lubricated product is the base oil. There are different properties of various types of base oil available. The properties then determine which base oil is suitable for which kind of appliance in use. In general there are two types of base oil. The most popular ones are the mineral oil which is widely used all around the world for manufacturing of grease and the others belongs to the category of synthetic oils. The mineral oil is manufactured through petroleum which consists of molecules promoting oxidation and also contains other such molecules which allows the additives to dissolve properly in the final grease product. On the other hand, in some of these mineral oils processes take place in order to remove such molecules to improve the factor of stability. High heat grease is usually made by this process because it will need higher efficiency in thermal and oxidation properties. The synthetic oil bases are now used by manufacturers for new products if they think the properties are viable for their product.
The thickener ingredient in the final product decides the consistency of the lubricating grease and mostly is soaps. The properties such as water resistance, oxidation resistance, dropping point, etc are all determined the amount and type of thickener added in the process of making the grease. Since it is an important factor it also incurs the cost which increases with the type of thickener used. The type of thickener used can be organic or inorganic. Polyurea is one example of organic thickeners that carries excellent oxidation resistant property since it is non-metallic. Electric motors can use this thickener for up to 350F. Inorganic thickeners include lithium, calcium sulfonate, sodium etc. Straight lithium and lithium complex are two different kinds of thickeners each with different operating temperature. All the thickeners have their own advantages and disadvantages on the basis of which the manufacturer decided which one would be the best for the type of final product they are opting to produce.
Additives are used for varied purposes that help in improving the properties or even separately providing addition properties to the grease. They are similar to the lubricating oil when it comes to describing the properties they foster on the grease. Those include oxidation resistance, water resistance, operating temperature, corrosion resistance, etc. For example, zinc is added to grease in order to obtain the white color of it is enabling people to see the grease while the application of it on a particular product. To produce high heat grease for those products which has to withstand high temperature are produced by adding additional additives along with other considerations.
Synergy between the three:
Now although all three are different ingredients and posses different properties but the final product would be a mixture of them. Therefore, is highly essential that each product is in sync with another in order of performance. The properties must not oppose each other and work together to form a product which gives out the best properties in all. Temperature of all three is very carefully calculated and mentioned in the manual for consumers to be scrupulous when put in use.
Steve is a self motivated author who spends most of his time in writing on various lubricants, oil & gas products.