Dr. Digger
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Dr. Digger

Single type of grease does not work for all applications

It may be tempting and convenient to use one type of grease for all your equipment. If you are taking care to extend the life of your equipment, you’ll need to operate with different types of grease depending on the machine and the specific jobsite conditions.

Also, different parts of a machine may require different types of grease, depending on their operating temperature.

What is NLGI

NLGI stands for the National Lubricating Grease Institute and is the institution that certifies grease. Grease can range from NLGI #000 to NLGI #6, but the most common is NLGI #2 because it can be used for a wide temperature range.

Summer

When it’s hot outside, grease tends to become thinner, so it’s important to use a thicker grease in the summer. Look for grease that has a high viscosity.

Winter

When temperatures fall below 15˚C, it is a good idea to switch to NLGI #1 grease or a synthetic grease. This will make the equipment easier to operate.

Make sure you have a good grease gun or automatic greasing system during the cold winter months to ensure that the grease reaches the fittings and flows properly through the joints.

Wet conditions

If a particular job requires that your machines are exposed to wet conditions, like rivers, heavy rain or the ocean, it is best to use a marine grease. Marine greases have lithium complex thickeners and can help prevent rust and protect against damage from salt

Base your grease choices on the equipment application

If a job requires you to apply a lot of pressure to a machine, it may be a good idea to use a grease with a molybdenum disulfide (moly). The additive helps the grease get into small machine pins and bushings. If the parts aren’t greased sufficiently enough, wear can occur.

Types of Grease and When to Use Them

All grease is made up of a fluid lubricant that is comprised of either mineral oil or synthetic oil and a thickener. Some may also include additives. Below are four main categories.

Basic Grease:

Moly grease — Inexpensive but a good quality grease. It’s good for machines with moving joints — like an excavator, loader or backhoe.

Mid-Level Grease:

Polyurea or (multipurpose) grease — This type of grease is good for parts that reach a high temperature, as this is a “high temp grease.” Machines that have spindles or rotating grooves get very hot and a polyurea grease won’t break down as quickly as other types of grease.

High-End Grease:

Synthetic grease — Though this type of grease is almost three times the cost of a basic grease, but it lasts much longer than a petroleum-based grease.

Specialty Greases

There are numerous specific greases that are made for particular gear boxes and applications. High impact greases, for example, are made for breakers (hammers), because they are formulated to withstand pounding. Make sure to read the grease tube label carefully to ensure you have the right one, as specialty greases have specific uses. They are not for general use.

Greasing Maintenance Tips:

Greasing should be carried out every eight hours of operation: However, some lubrication points have different greasing intervals, so it’s important to refer to the OMM. Make sure to cover all the grease points around the machine. If you are using a higher grade of grease, you may need to grease once in 2 days

Do not wait for signs of wear and tear to re-grease: It is important that you don’t skip greasing intervals. Skipping greasing may save you money in the short term, but grinding and friction can produce metal flakes in the bearing or bushing that can damage the machine.

Remove old grease before adding new grease: The old grease needs to be completely removed before using a new grease, because some greases are not compatible with one another due to their different thickeners.

Keep pivots clean: Dirt can get caked onto fittings that are slick with grease, so before you re-grease, make sure to clean off the pivots in order to prevent accidentally pushing dirt into the bearing. If this is ignored, the dirt build-up can result in equipment failure.

Do not overuse the grease gun on the bearings: Grease guns produce up to 15,000 psi per stroke, but a bearing lip seal can only handle up to 500 psi. If you over apply the shots of grease to a bearing, you may overfill the bearing cavity, which can then force the grease out of the seals when the equipment heats up. This can lead to contamination as well as moisture build-up and subsequent bearing / bushing failure.

Spirol MolEP HTX-2 is a specially formulated grease keeping in mind the harsh equipment usage and difficult job sites. It is designed to withstand high pressure, high temperature, dusty and wet conditions.

Lifeblood of your machine

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Sunil Newatia

Sunil Newatia

I do not have any claim to fame. I am just one amongst the billions inhabiting our great planet. I am just a spiritual being having a human experience