About lubricating grease

What is grease?

The obvious part of the answer is that grease, in general, is a paste like substance used for the purpose of lubrication. To explain further, however, this paste is an emulsification of oil in soap. The oil in grease may be either mineral oil or vegetable oil. In effect, it is the oil in the grease that functions as a lubricant, whereas the soap provides a means of retaining the lubricant.

Types of grease

  • Mineral oil mixed with solids
    This type of grease is used for heavy loads and slow speeds such as with heavy construction equipment.
  • Asphaltic oil blends
    These lubricants are generally considered grease but are actually thick oils that form a thickened protective layer of lubricant after application. These are used for open gearing components such as cable and chain.
  • EP (Extreme Pressure) grease
    These greases are designed to withstand extreme pressure, as the name would imply. Additives are used in the grease that cause a chemical reaction to occur between the surface being lubricated and the grease. This reaction results in a rugged lubricating film.
  • Mineral oil grease
    These common types of grease consist of mineral oil and soap. There are several types of soaps used: Lithium, Aluminum, Barium, Sodium and Calcium. Lithium grease is probably the most identifiable to the common consumer.
    • Sodium greases are general purpose greases for use in roller bearings subjected to heat and are good for heavy loads and low speed.
    • Barium greases are used for most bearing applications but cannot sustain extended use in high temperatures. Neither are these greases suitable for low temperature or high rpm.
    • Lithium greases can be made for either high temperature or low temperature. Lithium greases are very stable but have limited water resistance capability.
    • Calcium greases are used in general machinery applications. These grease are likely the most common in use and are inexpensive but not well suited for elevated temperatures.
    • Aluminum greases are typically very sticky. These types of grease can provide good corrosion protection for assembled parts and can withstand high temperatures.

Grease additives

There are several additives used in grease and there are many types of grease on the market today tailored to specific applications. The intent here is not to explain all of the additives used but rather to introduce the concept of grease as an engineered lubricant. A few of the additives used today are: Teflon, graphite and molybdenum disulfide.

  • Teflon
    Teflon (Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE) has one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any solid. It is non reactive and unaffected by moisture. Teflon is a brand name coined by Dupont. PTFE was discovered accidentally during the development of a new refrigerant.
  • Graphite
    Graphite, at a molecular level, has a layered construction consisting of lattice planes. Because of this structure, graphite naturally absorbs fluid from its surrounding environment which gives it lubricating properties.
  • Molybdenum disulfide
    Molybdenum disulfide is used to decrease friction, is capable of maintaining lubricity at high temperatures (up to 350 deg C) and remains stable as well. Molybdenum disulfide can provide lubrication even when oil content is low.

Selecting the right grease

When considering a grease for an application, the best advice is to consult a manufacturer's product information. Modern greases are diverse and engineered to meet specific requirements. So, the next time you shop for grease, don't just grab the one that looks good, read the product information and match your purchase to your intended use. I can say from experience, "it does matter".

PARTS AND SUPPLIES

Need parts and supplies for your dirt bike? We have you covered with all the parts and accessories you need from aftermarket to OEM.

100% waterproof, even in saltwater. Maximum lubrication and corrosion resistance.

SHOP NOW

Honda White Lithium Grease is a heavy duty general purpose lubricant. Special solvents allow deep penetration. Spray will set up quickly to become a thick coating. Protects against moisture and corrosion. Typical applications for lithium grease include: door and hood hinges, parking brake cables and lock mechanisms.

SHOP NOW

Virtually wash-out proof. Stands up to high temperatures and stays soft in very low temperatures. EP fortified and exceeds O.E.M. specifications.Lucas X-TRA Heavy Duty Grease was formulated for automotive, agricultural, heavy-duty and industrial applications. It is virtually waterproof and is more stable than all conventional lithium grease. It is fortified with an extreme pressure additive package and it exceeds O.E.M. Lube for Life specifications.Lasts four times longer than regular grease. Virtually waterproof. All-temperature stable. Exceeds Lube for Life specifications. The ultimate grease for high speed bearings.

SHOP NOW

Lucas Red 'N' Tacky Grease is a smooth, tacky, red lithium complex grease fortified with rust and oxidation inhibitors. It has good water resistance and washout properties. It has excellent mechanical stability and storage life. It is able to withstand heavy loads for extended periods of time. It can be used in many agricultural, automotive and industrial applications. Lucas Red 'N' Tacky Grease is fortified with a high degree of extreme pressure additives that give it a true Timken load much higher than other greases of this type. Its especially good for sliding surfaces and open gears.Rust and oxidation inhibitors. Water resistant. Excellent mechanical stability. Long storage life. Agricultural, automotive and industrial applications.

SHOP NOW

Fully synthetic, high-pressure-resistant lubricant with long term effect for universal application. Penetrates rapidly and protects from corrosion. Thermally stable from -30°C (-22°F) to +200°C (+392°F).Adhesive, water-resistant, silicone-free, pressure and impact resistant, colorless.Size: 500 ml aerosol spray can.

SHOP NOW

Top of line grease. Perfect for wheel bearings, steering head, swingarm and pivots. Water-resistant, withstands extreme pressure and high temperatures.Suitable for all types of machinery working under normal to severe conditions.Particularly efficient in most extreme conditions: High temperature, heavy load, humidity, vibration and / or long duration of use.Temperatures for use: from -30°C / -22°F to +150°C / +302°F in continuous use and up to +200°C / +392°F at peak.Longer life duration compared to classic lithium greases.

SHOP NOW

Perfect for extreme temperatures and pressures which occur in high performance wheel bearings, hubs, steering stem bearings and swingarm axles. Bearing life is increased from 200% - 800%, with excellent corrosion.

SHOP NOW

A high temperature, waterproof racing grease designed to meet the exacting requirements of competition use.High-stress, high-cling formula is ideal for protecting wheel bearings and other similar components.500gm tub with exclusive dispensing feature.

SHOP NOW