Greases are exceptional. Their composition singles them out. Unlike other substances, grease can be anything from semifluid to solid. Yet, like other lubricants, a grease basestock requires the addition of other chemical components to improve its performance. Many industries rely on grease additives to accomplish this.
Five Grease Additives
Additives are available in many types. The following five are the most commonly employed in introducing/enhancing specific desirable properties in grease.
- Anti-Corrosion/Corrosion Inhibitors: These inhibit corrosion developed through metals coming in contact with lubricants
- Antioxidants: These work to impede oxidation. They lessen thickening and decrease the formation of varnish and sludge, therefore, increasing the lubricant’s performance life
- Antiwear Additives: As the name indicates, these inhibit wear of an engine/transmission and its components – usually under high speeds and low loads. They coat the metal surface with a thin film. Antiwear additives are most effective for mechanisms threatened by continuous and moderate wear.
- Extreme Pressure Additives: These are usually added to grease when the load is heavy, the speeds are low and the temperatures are high. The result is prevention/inhibition of engine seizure or failure.
- Friction Modifiers: They modify the friction that occurs between the moving components of a mechanism. They do so through surface absorption.
To enhance or improve the properties of a grease basestock, grease additives are used. Depending upon the purpose, a specific type is formulated to satisfy the intent. While the above additives are common, they are not the only ones an industry can utilize.