Types of Bearing Grease

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If you need to do some repairs on your vehicle, there’s a good chance that you’ll be needing some grease. However, if you’re not careful about which one to use when it comes time for the repair, you could end up making things worse rather than better. 

Whether you’re in the market for bearing grease or just looking to learn more about it, this post is an excellent way to dive deeper into this topic. We’ll cover everything from what bearing grease is and how it’s used, all the way through some of the most common types available on the market today. 

With so many different types of lubricants out there, knowing which one your machine requires can be a daunting task. Luckily, we have extensive knowledge of this area and are ready to share with you all that we know! Let’s get started by taking a look at what exactly bearing grease is made up of. Here are seven types of bearing grease and what they’re used for: 

What is a Bearing Grease?

Bearing grease is a lubricant that has been specially formulated to be used on bearings under pressure. This type of grease acts as a seal, protecting the parts within the bearing from damage caused by water and other contaminants. As an added layer of protection, this kind of grease helps to keep out dirt and debris particles so they can remain intact for longer periods.

Bearing grease is also commonly used for automotive purposes. These greases are made up of different types of oils, plastics, and other chemical compounds that can be beneficial to your vehicle. The purpose of bearing grease is to protect against the formation of rust by forming a barrier between metal components as well as preventing water from penetrating through the cracks or pores in those components.

As you might imagine, bearing grease is a very versatile and multi-purpose lubricant. The best part about this particular product is that it won’t break the bank. Bearing greases can be found for sale online or in stores at affordable costs so you don’t have to worry about breaking your budget when making an investment. It’s also important to remember that bearing grease isn’t just used for cars and bike parts, there are several other amazing things these greases can do around your home!

Different Types of Grease and Their Uses

Source: Valvoline

As previously mentioned, bearing grease is a type of lubricant that has been designed to be used on bearings under pressure. While this might seem like information you already knew, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many different types of greases out there with diverse purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types available to you:

1. Calcium Grease

One of the oldest greases available. Because they are inexpensive, they are still used today.

Key Features: Great water resistance, good corrosion protection, and great mechanical stability. This type is best used at low temperatures, as higher temperatures may alter its structure.

Uses: Calcium grease and calcium complex grease can be seen in an application for agricultural industries marine, and automotive sector.

2. Lithium Grease

Grease with a buttery texture, typically connected with the name Multi-Purpose Grease in a single item, and commonly distributed in many products. This sort of grease accounts for almost 60% of the overall grease market.

Key features: Excellent lubrication, good water resistance, the ability to withstand high pressure and shock loads. The dropping point is above 350°F and can be used with occasional temperatures up to 300°F

Uses: It’s versatile, suitable for a wide range of uses, including automobiles, gardening, industrial manufacturing, household usage, and hard metal-to-metal applications.

3. Aluminum Complex Grease

This type of grease is frequently used in lubricating food machinery.

Key features: Highly waterproof, stops rust, corrosion, oxidation, and has good shear stability. Able to operate in extremely high temperatures.

Uses: Aluminum complex greases are best used in the food industry but are also known to offer excellent results when used in the automotive, steel milling, construction, and farming industry.  

4. Barium Complex Grease

A type of grease that can be used for a wide range of applications.

Key features: Good water resistance, high-pressure tolerance, and is also able to resist severe abrasion. This type can provide excellent greasing benefiting from a drop point above 220°C

Uses: For serious, heavy-load tasks like industrial, aeronautical, marine, and manufacturing.

5. Bentone (Clay) Grease

Bentonite clay was combined with Bentone grease to create a clay-based lubricant. Forms a solid film that is resistant to water, oil, and gas. Also provides an extraordinary ability to suspend contaminants in the liquid phase that allows it to achieve anti-friction properties. 

Key features: Has good water resistance, low-temperature pumpability and extremely high-temperature applications where a non-melting grease is required, can be used with extreme pressure situations because it can resist shocks and loads up to 650 kg/cm²

Uses: A type of grease used in high-tension situations. It’s frequently utilized in the steel, manufacturing, construction, mining, and ceramic industries.

6. Polyurea Grease

Because of its remarkable characteristics, polyurea grease has become quite popular and is classified as a kind of grease produced from a combination of polyurea and talc.

Key features: Outstanding resistance to water, petroleum oils, chemicals, it can even provide soluble protection against acids and bases. Although this type of grease is an electrical insulator, the melting point is at 125°C which means it’s able to handle high temperatures.

Uses: Mainly used in applications where corrosion must be limited or prevented, such as boilers that have high-pressure steam and weather stripping for doors. It can also be utilized in industrial manufacturing, household appliances, rubber manufacturing, textile machinery cleaners, automotive parts among other uses.

7. Sodium Grease

A kind of stringy, fibrous grease that was commonly used as a standard wheel bearing lubricant for many years. Very general purpose so many variations exist and cheap to purchase. 

Key features: Solid shear stability, dropping points range between 300 – 400°F, excellent rust protection, and good lubrication, but has poor water resistance and oxidation stability.

Uses: Commonly used in general machinery lubrication, and cold environments. It is also frequently applied to pulp and paper processing equipment, piston rings, food conveyor belts, axles, transmissions, etc.

Things to Consider When Choosing Grease

a) Base Oil

Greases are manufactured from a variety of base oils, which have an influence on the grease’s performance and properties. The most common types of base oil used in greases include animal fats, petroleum-based oils, vegetable oils, and synthetic polyalphaolefin (PAO) oils.

b) Additives

Different additives are added to greases depending on the specific needs of the application. These include extreme pressure (EP) agents, antioxidants, anti-corrosives, resistance to water and chemicals, dispersants, pour point depressing agents, thickeners which provide increased consistency at low temperatures.

c) Thickener

The type of thickener used can have a huge impact on the performance of grease. Some common thickeners include calcium sulfonate, fatty acid salts, polyurea clays, and metallic soaps.

d) Consistency

The consistency of the grease is determined by its NLGI grade. NLGI grades range from 000 (low consistency) to 6 (high consistency). NLGI grade 0 grease is described as very soft, NLGI 1 grease is soft, NLGI 2 grease is considered normal, NLGI 3 grease is firm, while NLGI 6 grease is defined as very hard.

e) Viscosity

The viscosity of grease determines how long it will stay in one place and protect against friction. Grease with a high viscosity is more stable when exposed to big, slow loads, while lower viscosity is preferable for fast applications.

Grease Compatibility 

Grease compatibility is an important consideration when choosing the right grease for a specific application. When two or more products are mixed, the grease’s characteristic properties can change. For example, it may become too thick for normal use or not act as a lubricant at all. Basically, compatibility is about achieving desired results while using greases that maintain their base properties of viscosity, consistency and NLGI grade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which grease is best for bearings?

This is determined by the speed of the bearings, temperature, load, and amount of splashing. The selection will depend on what environment the equipment operates in.

Is lithium grease OK for wheel bearings?

Lithium grease is a good base for wheel bearings. It works well in most climates, is inexpensive, and doesn’t contain any moisture. However, lithium-based greases are better suited to lower operating temperatures.

Can you put too much grease in a bearing?

Yes. The ideal amount of grease should be just enough to fill the space between the bearing and race. Adding too much can cause unnecessary drag, which in turn will reduce speed and efficiency.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, there are many different types of bearing greases. It is important to note which type one should choose for a specific application. There are many different types of greases for a reason and they have their own unique properties that make them suitable for certain applications. The most common types of bearing grease include lithium, white lithium, lithium-based molybdenum disulfide, calcium complex, polyurea, polyalphaolefin (PAO), and others. To choose the best grease for a specific application, it is important to consider the type consistency of the grease is or what NLGI grade it is as well as what base oil was used in its production. Having a good understanding of how these factors affect a grease’s ability to protect one’s bearings helps greatly in knowing which type will be best suited for an application.

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