Why water resistance is important in greases

When choosing an industrial grease, the potential for water contamination can be an important consideration. Aside from the obvious sources of contamination, such as exposure to rain or sea or routine cleaning, some equipment may produce water as a by-product of normal operation. Few, if any, industries can ignore the potential for water contamination.

Water can have a range of negative effects on machine components. For example, it can hinder the effectiveness of lubrication, and hydrogen embrittlement and cavitation – particularly for bearings – can speed up surface fatigue. This accelerated wear then increases the chances of unscheduled downtime as failures need to be corrected.

Choosing a grease that can resist water contamination from all possible sources will help ensure that equipment runs at peak performance, but there are certain qualities to consider. A good sealing ability is most important, but the maximum potential to absorb water is also significant in preventing water from entering a machine and causing damage. Grease differs from oil in its ability to absorb water, but this is limited, and once the grease reaches its saturation point, water will emulsify or become free, which in turn presents a risk to the reliable functioning of machinery through corrosive damage and a reduced film strength from the grease.

Like with any element of lubrication, it is important to procure the right grease for your application. At TrAchem, we take pride in connecting our customers with top products at the right price, such as the water-resistant, high-performance Shell Gadus S2 V220AC 2 grease for extreme-pressure applications. Speak to us to learn more.

Industrial Lubricant
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