High Temperature Grease

How to Choose a High Temperature Grease

If you have machinery that requires high temperature grease, there are several different considerations in deciding on which product to choose.  You need to decide whether the primary oil used is appropriate for your machinery, whether the thickening element matches your needs, and whether the supplementary chemicals in the grease solution will have an effect on the performance of your machines.

Primary Oils

Greases all begin with a primary type of oil.  Although there are some grease solutions that use synthetic oil, the vast majority of oils are of the usual mineral variety.  Before mineral oils become a part of high temperature grease, they go through multiple phases of refining to purify and stabilize the oils.  One of the focuses of these processes is to ferret out and remove what are known as heterocyclic molecules that make other kinds of oils highly unstable and explosive.  This necessary process helps to avoid the volatility that can lead to the kind of industrial accidents that characterized earlier phases of industrialization.

In some rare cases, machinery will require synthetic oils.  You should check the machinery specs in order to determine whether this higher cost option is what your operations require.

Thickening Elements

Grease producers will always add a thickening element to their high temperature grease products.  This thickening element may also have an effect on the performance of your machinery both in terms of the life of your machinery and the day-to-day effectiveness of them.  There are a number of different kinds of thickening agents ranging from soap to clay to living organic materials.  The thickening element will make a huge difference when it comes to the usefulness of the high temperature grease for the industrial process.  Some thickeners will protect the grease from burning off at very high temperatures.  Some will burn off with the grease.  Then there are some who will remain after the grease has burned off.  If your machinery is not capable of dealing with such residue, another type of grease may be necessary.

Organic thickening solutions are smart choices for those that want to extend the life span of their machinery.  They tend to burn off with the oil and to keep machinery from breaking down.  Organic thickening solutions tend to be more complicated to make, and pose health problem for manufacturers because they require the use of unhealthy chemicals in when fixing the grease.  A further problem is that although these organic thickening solutions tend to operate well at high temperatures, they tend not to have a long work life, burning off sooner than other kinds of greases.

Cleansing thickening solutions (industrially processed soaps) are a slightly more cost effective alternative to organic thickening solutions.  They sometimes have misleading maximum temperatures—often performing no better than organic solutions in terms of life span.  They tend not to have the same anti-wear properties as organic solutions too.

Supplemental Chemicals

Supplemental chemical additives must also be considered, both because of the additional qualities they bring to the industrial process and because such additives can also have negative side effects.  Thus, you might find inorganic high temperature grease solutions with anti-corrosive additives that help extend machinery life, but that reduce the effectiveness or lifespan of such greases at the very highest temperatures.  Furthermore, some of these chemical supplements may protect machinery from chemical stresses that add extra strain to machines but may leave residue that clogs machinery and leads to extra maintenance costs.

Before making wholesale changes to the factory floor, factory managers should be sure to consult other costumers who have employed such high temperature greases and to assign an independent researcher to do a cost benefit analysis on changing to a new high temperature grease.