To select the right grease, it is essential to consider the circumstances under which your equipment operates. Machine speeds, load levels and ambient temperatures all have an impact. Situations that involve extreme loads and high shear stresses, for example, can damage the thickener matrix. They therefore require products with specific performance characteristics, such as durability and stability.
When selecting a grease, match the base oil viscosity to the application. If the grease is too thin, wear will occur. If it is too thick, the lubricant will cause excessive drag, reducing equipment efficiency. Applications that involve high speed bearings, for example, would need a grease with minimal viscosity. Choosing a grease that’s too thick would generate unwelcome heat that could degrade grease performance.
It is critical to get the re-greasing frequency and quantity right as under- and over-greasing can lead to equipment problems and lubricant waste. In high speed applications, too much grease can result in overheating and reduced grease life, while under-greasing can lead to equipment wear. Always consult Original Equipment Manufacturer guidance to determine the correct re-greasing interval.
Grease compatibility cannot be predicted with certainty. Plus, unlike oils – which can be drained out – it is much harder to remove all of the old grease before applying its replacement. This risks triggering compatibility problems even when greases feature similar formulations. Be sure to test for any compatibility prior to making the switch.