Grease is a general term and covers a vast area of what could best be described as semisolid lubricants. Focusing on lubricating grease the majority of the composition is base fluid, often mineral oil which can vary in viscosity to attend desired properties from the grease. Synthetic and natural oils can also be used as the base fluid. The main differential between a standard lubricant oil and a lubricating grease is the thickener. Metallic hydroxides dominate this area, with Lithium being first in class for global consumption, generally combined with hydroxystearic acid to generate a metallic soap, which thickens the base oil.
Conventional greases are thickened via metallic soaps as mentioned above, whereas complex greases, undergo a similar process with base oil and metallic hydroxide with a mixture of acids. A common combination frequently used in Lithium complexes in the primitive days was a combination of 12-hydroxystearic acid and Azelaic acid. In today’s market a wide range of organic and inorganic acids are used.
Just like liquid lubrication, performance properties of a grease can also be enhanced with the inclusion of additives. The Ketjenlube Polymeric series have proven synergistic properties when combined with extreme pressure and anti-wear additives, with minimal impact on grease structure. For high temperature and high pressure applications the use of Melagard MC can increase performance of the grease.
For this specific application area Italmatch continue to successfully market the Ketjenlube, Dapralube, Dapraphos and Melagard product series.