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03-06-2024

A Guide to Choosing the Right Grease

In today’s market, a diverse range of greases are readily available, each produced for specific needs. Understanding the fundamentals of grease and its applications is essential for making informed decisions. To start with the basics, it is important to understand what grease is.

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In today’s market, a diverse range of greases are readily available, each produced for specific needs. Understanding the fundamentals of grease and its applications is essential for making informed decisions. To start with the basics, it is important to understand what grease is. 

Grease functions like sunscreen for machines, coating them with a protective layer that traps oil and additives. Similar to how sunscreen coats and sticks to your skin, grease forms a sticky, oily film that holds onto lubricating oil and other essential additives. This helps to ensure consistent lubrication, even when temperatures change, much like how sunscreen protects your skin from the sun's rays.

But what exactly makes up a ‘grease'?

 

 

The thickener within grease, can be categorized into two types: soap thickeners and non-soap thickeners.

Rymax operates within both categories, highlighting the importance of choosing the right thickener. This choice affects factors such as operating temperature, speed, and compatibility with different materials. Just like how you choose different oils for your car's engine and gearbox, selecting the right grease thickener is crucial for optimal performance. Below is an illustration showing the different types of thickeners and how they work under various conditions.

 

When you're picking the right grease for different uses, there are a few important things to think about. Let's take a closer look at these factors to help you understand how to choose the best grease for your needs.

1. Base Oil Viscosity:

The thickness of the oil in grease, known as base oil viscosity, is crucial for how well it works. Greases with thin, low-viscosity base oils are perfect for parts that move fast, don't carry heavy loads, and operate in cold temperatures. They make sure everything moves smoothly without causing too much resistance. On the other hand, greases with thick, high-viscosity base oils are better for parts that move slowly, carry heavy loads, and work in hot conditions. They keep everything running smoothly, even when things get tough.

 

 

2. Type of Thickener and Grease Thickness:

Just like how different oils have different grades (SAE), greases are also graded according to their thickness. The NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) scale measures grease consistency, ranging from grades 000 (very thin) to 6 (very thick). Grade 2 is the most common and is recommended for many different uses because it's so versatile. In our product range, you'll find NLGI grades 00, 0, 1, and 2. These grades are important because they tell you how thick the grease is and where it's best to use it. Below is an illustration explaining the different grades within greases.

 

The type of thickener used in grease is also important, especially for different speeds and temperatures. Lithium and lithium complex greases are popular for industrial use because they work well in lots of different conditions. Other common types of grease include lithium, calcium, aluminum, calcium sulfonate, polyurea, and clay-based greases. Below is another illustration that explains the different types of greases (mentioned earlier), their key characteristics, and where they are commonly used.

 

3. Additives & Base Oil:

Additives are essential in grease formulation, addressing specific needs such as extreme pressure (EP) requirements. Rymax's product range mainly includes mineral oil-based greases, providing versatility across various applications. Synthetic base oils are primarily used in industrial or specialized applications that demand extended lubrication intervals.

 

Understanding the specific formulations of greases can help you make the right choice for your needs.

Rymax greases, for instance, incorporate Ancal—an anhydrous calcium-based thickener. This presents a cost-effective alternative to lithium greases while offering comparable performance. Whether you're operating in challenging environments or simply looking for a reliable, versatile grease without the premium pricing, Rymax’s Ancal greases are an excellent option.

The diagram below provides a clear overview of the environments where Rymax greases perform best, making it easier for you to choose the right grease for your needs.

 

 

By considering factors such as base oil viscosity, thickener type, and additives, selecting the appropriate grease becomes a much simpler process. If you need further insights into Rymax greases, feel free to reach out to our product manager!

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