Greases have a long history, dating back to animal fat being used to lubricate Roman Chariot wheels – and its usage over the centuries has only expanded and improved with the advancement into today’s most popular grease just becoming popular in the 1980’s. With its ability to stay in place while lubricating versus draining away, sealing bearings to help keep moisture and contaminants out, minimizing vibrations and noise, and last while reducing wear – greases play a vital role. To better understand several characteristics of the grease you use and for comparative purposes, the following gives some key explanations to what’s in a grease and what Conklin has to offer.
Typical Composition of Grease
85 – 95% Base Oils 5 – 15% Thickeners 1 – 5% Additive
The types of thickeners used in the formulation of greases include Aluminum Complex, Barium, Barium Complex, Calcium, Calcium 12-Hydroxysterate, Calcium Complex, Clay, Lithium (Used by Conklin), Lithium 12-Hydroxysterate, Lithium Complex (Used by Conklin), Polyurea Conventional, Polyurea Shear Stable, and Sodium. Lithium and Lithium Complex greases are the most commonly used in the automotive market and represent roughly 68% of the grease market with a growth trend bolstering the amount of Lithium Complex greases being used. While the thickener plays a vital roll its use should also be minimized as the higher the inclusion rate of a thickener, the lower the ability of the greases reversibility (the ability of the thickener/grease to recapture the oil when cooling after reaching high temperatures). Some care should be taken when choosing a grease to use due to compatibility. Please consult a compatibility chart or contact a Conklin representative with questions.
While #2 greases will typically have an operating temperature range either skewed toward the top end and capped in the 225°F to 350°F range or skewed towards the bottom end with a floor between -10°F to 40°F; the use of higher quality base oils as well as the thickener selected allows some greases to better handle lower temperatures or higher temperatures; other formulations like Conklin’s Rhino® Grease, with specific base oils and thickeners can offer improved performance at high and low temperatures.
Resistance to Water Wash Out
Many bearings requiring greasing live a life in moist environments. Whether moisture makes its way into a bearing by humidity, submersion, or spray/splatter – unless the grease has at least a 10% resistance to water washout per the ASTM D-1264 standardized test – it will likely fall victim to softening due to the emulsification of moisture. This further leads to corrosion, oxidation, and in time, increased wear and grease consumption.
The Dropping Point of a grease is a value used to better determine a greases ability to resist the over thinning of a grease due to heat. Specifically, the Dropping Point is the temperature in a standardized test at which the grease turn into a liquid (enough of a liquid to drip) and is no longer a semi-solid (such as a #2 grease).
Extreme Pressure (EP)
Since a grease will regularly see low speed high pressure conditions and high shock loads under normal conditions as well as overheating, the ability to handle extreme pressures and help prevent wear are key to bearing life. Additional additives like Molybdenum disulfide can further protect against wear, bolstering extreme pressure capabilities and temperature protection.
Although the thickener is key to the usage and abilities of a grease, the majority of grease is made up by its base oils. Higher grades of conventional base oils and the inclusion of synthetic base oils improve a greases stability and ability to resist oxidation, volatilizing, caking and broadens the operating temperature range the grease is recommended for use in.
NLGI Grease Consistency Classifications / Grades
#000 Semi-fluid grease
#00 Semi-fluid grease
#1 Low temp grease
#2 Most common grade (Conklin)
#3 High speed applications
#4 High speed applications
#5 High speed applications
#6 Solid type grease
NLGI Auto Service Classification / Uses
“GA”, “GB”, “GC” – Wheel bearing grease
“LA”, “LB” – Chassis lubrication
“GC-LB” – Wheel bearing & chassis grease (Rhino #2 Grease)
Go the distance for less and make friction fiction with Conklin Greases. Conklin’s greases are designed for long-term, superior lubrication and wear protection for vehicles and equipment – so you stay on the road and in the field with fewer expenses and worries.
Rhino is an parasynthetic extreme pressure lithium complex grease compounded with both highly refined conventional and synthetic base oils. Molybdenum disulfide provides extra protection in heavy shock load conditions. Rhino’s 3% Molybdenum provides a barrier that prevents metal to metal contact under periods of high heat and the absence of oil due to pressure or shock loads. This provides additional anti-wear properties. Rhino’s high dropping point makes it extremely stable and durable at high temperatures. It performs superbly in a multitude of applications and conditions.
Typical Operating Temperature Range / +30°F – +450°F
Rhino meets or exceeds requirements for wheel bearings and chassis lube “GC-LB” in cars, trucks, farm equipment and off-road equipment.
# 47456 single tube (14 oz.)
# 47480 10 tube/cs.
# 47472 40 tube/cs.
# 47423 35 lbs.
# 47431 120 lbs.
# 47449 400 lbs.
Rite-On is an extreme pressure lithium grease compounded with conventional base oils. It is a versatile grease providing excellent lubrication in nearly any application. Rite-On resists structural and consistency changes, even under periods of high temperature and pressure.Typical Operating Temperature Range / +10°F – +250°F
#40857 single tube (14 oz.)
#40881 10 tube/cs.
#40873 40 tube/cs.
#40832 120 lbs.