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best grease?

Discussion in 'Lubrication' started by Canadian_digger, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Thixo

    Thixo Member

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    deerefan - ASTM has testing protocols for all useful characteristics of a grease. "pound out" would be a standard test if it had any value.
     
  2. deerefan

    deerefan Well-Known Member

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    Kinda wondering how it doesent have value, every time a hoe bucket applies force in any direction that force is a pplied on the pin therefore on the grease, trying to force it out aka "pound out". Most ppl have seen the famous shaeffers ad with the hammers witch is strictly focussed on pound out.
     
  3. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I have so many stories about grease over the years that if I posted them all here it would probably double the size of this thread .......... :eek:

    I'm not going to read the whole thread again so my apologies in advance if some points have already been made. Here's my thoughts. I'll say here and now it is awfully hard to select one grease that will fill all your needs, unless you're lubricating just a couple of machines. In my present job we use 4 different greases for different applications but then again we are looking after about 100 pieces of equipment on one job site.

    1. What is the application..?
    Slow moving, heavily loaded pins & bushes that don't rotate 360 degrees (Loader pins, ripper pins, etc) are better lubricated with a moly-based grease. 3% moly as a minimum, 5% is even better.
    Low speed rolling element bearings would be better using an EP lithium complex grease.
    High speed rolling element bearings (such as fan drives) are better using a specific high-speed bearing grease. These greases are often (but not always) synthetics.

    2. How is the grease applied..? Hand grease gun..? Power grease gun..? Automatic lube system..?

    Each of these forms of applications needs potentially a different fluidity of grease - the NLGI Number, so that you can pump it into the bearing and for it to stay there until the next time you grease. NLGI 000 would be for super Arctic temperatures up to a NLGI 3 for desert application around 50 DegC. A hand-applied grease would normally be an NLGI #2, an autolube would often be a #0 or a #1, but it's very much dependent on ambient temperature. Of course if you hand apply the grease it needs to be less fluid (more "sticky" or "tacky") because it might be 4-8 hours before you grease again, where an autolube system might be greasing every 15 minutes.
    As a comment here a lot of people find it totally amazing that a manufacturer can produce 6 different grease viscosities from NLGI 00 to NLGI #3 all using the exact same ISO VG 220 base stock. The difference in fluidity all comes from the additive package.

    3. Mineral-oil based grease versus synthetic..?
    The high quality mineral oil based greases I've worked with from companies like Exxon-Mobil & Shell are every bit as good performance-wise as synthetics such as Molub-Alloy in my opinion, and usually 30-50% cheaper. I went away from synthetic grease a number of years ago except for some very specific applications (fan bearings are one) and am more than happy with the results.

    4. Water wash-out and corrosion resistance. If you're in an area where there is a lot of rain or your equipment works in lots of mud you need to consider the resistance of the grease to being washed out of the joint, and also the resistance to corrosion.

    5. Heavily-loaded pins. These would be pins on machines like large front-end loaders, big excavators, shovels, etc. A high-performance grease is essential for these pin/bush joints. A lot of my experience is on Cat 994's and similar wheel loaders. We found early on that 5% moly grease wasn't cutting it on its own. We soon came to the conclusion that what was required was a grease that could maintain a lubricant film under extreme loads in 24/7 operating conditions. Here's where the "4-ball weld & scar test" comes in. I won't bore you with how it's done. See ... http://www.luboron.com/pdf/4BallTestDescription.pdf if you want details. Basically the test gives a result in kilogrammes, the higher the number the better the grease film will resist shearing in the joint and keep the pin and the bush apart, even if it's only by a couple of thousandths of an inch. The length of the scar before the balls weld themselves togehter is also a sign of how well the grease keeps the metal surfaces apart.
    Now most typical NLGI # multi-purposes greases will have a 4-ball test load of around 315kg. High performance greases will often give 5-600kg, extra-high-performance greases will be around 800kg.
    We found that greases with 5-600kg 4-ball numbers were not doing the job on big loaders and went to an 800kg 4-ball grease. When you might be talking of $3-5000 per pin, plus bushes, plus downtime, plus machining, etc, you can't afford to make mistakes with grease.

    The relevant numbers for everything listed above should be on the spec sheet for the grease. If I couldn't find ALL of them I wouldn't even consider buying that particular grease.

    I will tell one story here. I visited a mine site where they were having lots of pin troubles on big wheel loaders. They looked well-greased on the face of it, plenty of fresh grease visible, and all the diagnostics on the autolube systems showed that the pumps and injectors were all performing as they should. Head scratching time .......
    I asked them " What grease are you using"
    "A special grease from Mobil" was the answer
    It turned out that the grease they were using was one called "Mobilgrease Special" (well it was special, it said so right there on the barrel...!)
    When I looked at the tech spec for it. NO moly additive and a 4-ball weld load of 315kg ....!! Reading the spec sheet it was designed for automotive lubrication on things like a pickup truck. In fact that's how Mobil marketed it but because the customer had gone out to tender for greases accountants not maintenance pros had made the decision what lubricants to buy. :eek:
    At least we found what was wrong and why they were having so many pin problems. It must have cost them close to $100,000 in parts alone before the problem was sorted.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  4. Greasypin

    Greasypin Member

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    hi new to the site i love it so far, i worked for a golf maintenance company we had shopped around in the grease area for the best the rollers that hold the height of cut run constantly in the morning dew anybody that said there was better and resisting water we tried finally found that chemsearch made a lithuim that held up little pricey last year we had a schaffers salesman stop and get us moved to there 238 ultra duty way better than anything we ever tried best part had to be couple weeks ago a new chemsearch sales man stopped thought he would prove the 238 mixed with water, mixing in his palm the water and grease five mins go by and hes wondering how to get it off his hands, later he returned with a sales manager that was on a ride along that day wanted to do the same test the salesman looked at his manager and says "you really don't want to do that " the manager had the most confused look on his face
     
  5. Thixo

    Thixo Member

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    When the ASTM comes out with a "pound out" test then that will indicate they, and the rest of the grease lubricant industry, see any relevancy in this property for a grease. It seems only 1 or 2 companies try and sell their grease based solely on "pound out". How does "pound out" relate to the lubricitating properties of a grease?
     
  6. Thixo

    Thixo Member

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    If you are still interested in a superior grease for your application just let me know and we can discuss the details.
     
  7. Thixo

    Thixo Member

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    Greasypin - If you are still interested in a superior grease for all your golf maintenance applications just let me know and we can discuss in more detail.
     
  8. Greasypin

    Greasypin Member

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    where pretty happy with what we have now for the course equipment, but im personally looking for something to grease my buddys harvesting equipment with that a little less in price for him
     
  9. blitz138

    blitz138 Senior Member

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    If its for harvesting does it need to be non tox?
     
  10. Thixo

    Thixo Member

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    Does your buddy rely on his harvesting equipment for his living? If so, then the price difference between a proven, high perfomance grease and a grease with lesser perfomance will soon be forgotten when he has his first avoidable breakdown.
     
  11. thabull

    thabull Well-Known Member

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    superlube it has PTFE which is teflon slickest thing known to man!
     
  12. fitzoi

    fitzoi New Member

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    It really is worth spending on a quality grease in my opinion. Personally I have had excellent results with Omega 77 bearing grease. Although for a cheaper alternative I do think that some Mobil products are good.
     
  13. thabull

    thabull Well-Known Member

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    The PTFE (teflon) / encyclopedia said slickest thing known to man. The superlube brand grease w/ptfe in it done their test with 40 brands of grease and the superlube grease/with teflon.They some how put a bolt with a nut on it in a vice and put 4000 lbs of pressure on it ,they turned the nut and bolt 1000 times and stoped the test cause it never galded, The best grease w/ out PTFE in it only,they turned the nut and bolt 8 turns then it galded, Another thing I noticed when SLICK 50 had Ptfe in it I changed the oil on my diesel truck and put slick 50 in it and it ideled up 200 rpms higher ! Im sold on teflon(ptf
     
  14. NFDDJS

    NFDDJS Active Member

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    I use AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Truck, Chassis & Equipment Grease in the summer on both my trucks and backhoe and in the winter I use AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease 5% Moly.... Works great just the AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease (GPOR2) (NLGI #2 - 5% Moly)
     
  15. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    While everyone's raving about reducing friction using PTFE, Teflon, and all sorts of other weird & wonderful additives, think about this. What is the purpose of a grease (or any other lubricant for that matter) ..?

    If you answered "reducing friction" in my opinion you would only be partially correct.
    A lubricant also needs the capacity to maintain a film in between two metal parts to keep them from contact and thus producing galling. Metal-to-metal contact is what kills your pin/bearing setup. So you need a grease that will hang in there under extreme conditions. So in reality you need a grease that will not be squeezed out from the joint under the load of normal (or maybe abnormal depending on how good your operator is) operation.

    For that you need to look at the 4-ball weld test numbers for the grease. The ASTM D-2596 4-ball test takes 4 balls (well duh....) holds 3 of them in a fixture and rotates the 4th one while applying pressure to it. A sample of the grease is put in between the balls. The load is increased until the grease film fails and the 4 balls are welded together. The point at which this happens is the "4-Ball Weld Test Number" in kilograms for that grease. Most of your common-or-garden greases have 4-ball numbers between 250 & 350kg. What we use in large equipment has a 4-Ball number of 800kg. Notice the difference...?

    For slow-moving, heavily-loaded pins & bushes I would always use a grease containing 5% Moly disulphide.

    A few examples mentioned above:
    AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease 5% Moly - 620kg+
    AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Truck, Chassis & Equipment Grease - 620kg minimum.
    The Omega 77 bearing grease mentioned above does not even quote a 4-Ball number.

    It's also worth noting that greases designed for high-speed rolling element bearings usually do not perform well in low-speed high load applications.
     
  16. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Double post - sorry ...... :eek::eek:
     
  17. blitz138

    blitz138 Senior Member

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    Nige I agree with what you said. Im guessing you've worked in mining, 800 kg 4ball is not an unusual spec for equipment.

    I think people get the wrong idea about synthetics when it comes to lube. Synthetic greases are needed for wide temperature ranges. If you get lower then -20* then you may need to look at synthetics, on the heat side mineral grease will do just fine unless your in an oven.

    Also the tests people come up with are crap, unless its a ASTM sanctioned test. I get a kick out of companies that invent tests then compare THEIR product with a test they made up to show THEIR superiority, thats marketing not a superior product. You need to look at the full picture with grease, lubricity, EP if necessary, water wash out, copper corrosion, rust protection, what speed, what load. You can excel at any of these categories and show a test showing how awesome it is, but you need to look at the other categories as well and see if what your using is really the best thing for the job.
     
  18. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    It appears we're both thinking along the same lines. I was a big fan of synthetics many years back when it was impossible to get a mineral-based grease with 4-ball numbers of 600kg and above and for it still be pumpable in temperatures well below freezing. Bel-Ray molylube SP-4 was my favourite and it is still an excellent grease today, if a tad expensive.

    During the last decade or so there have been a major advances in high-performance mineral-oil based greases and a number of them have come on to the market that give 4-ball numbers of 800kg+ (for NLGI #0, 1, & 2) and in excess of 600kg (for NLGI (#000 & 00) and are still easily pumpable in auolube systems at temperature down to -20 DegC & below. They give just as good performance as synthetics in my opinion and at much lower cost. If there is a big swing in ambient temperature then you maybe need a different grease in winter to what you need in summer. Big deal, change over when the weather gets colder and back again in spring. Sometimes a single synthetic grease can give enough temperature flexibility to avoid the need for the changeover of greases for different seasons, but figure out what it's costing you extra to buy and suddenly it might seem a very expensive option just to avoid the need to have to change greases twice a year.

    To select a grease I basically look at the following: -

    1. What is the application. High-speed bearings, low speed bush/pin, special application.?
    2. How much load does it need to carry..?
    3. Are friction modifiers like moly disulphide desirable or not ..? (For example rolling element bearings do NOT like moly.)
    4. Is it going to work in a water-based environment - in other words does it rain a lot..?
    5. Is corrosion a factor..?
    6. How is it applied..? Manual or automatic system.

    Answers to the above will guide me to the best grease for the job. Amongst the major brands I have no prejudice towards one manufacturer over another, I'm looking for what will perform well in my application. Depending on geographical location you may find some of your "preferred" greases are unobtainable in the area where you're working. Based on past experience there are some manufacturers whose grease, while it may seem up to spec on paper, just doesn't cut in when put to the test. I try to avoid using those greases if at all possible.

    As you say there is so much bull talked about greases, especially by the smaller producers trying to make their own little niche in the market. I usually refer to them as "Moe's Bait, Gas, & Grease Shack". There may well be a place for these guys in the world of lubricants, but with all due respect to them it ain't my place ......!!!
     
  19. Garrie Denny

    Garrie Denny Senior Member

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    Garrie here from Queensland here, whats the problem shipping to Australia?
     
  20. Broken shovel

    Broken shovel Member

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    Another very good grease is the Lubriplate extreme pressure 1200-2, it seems to stay in place longer, especially in pins, bushings, turntables, and bucket pins.