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Lubricating greases are solid to semi-solid materials consisting of a lubricating fluid, a thickener and additives. Their main advantage lies in their permanence at the lubrication point while maintaining their properties. They are classified according to the types of thickeners and base oil. There are lubricating greases with thickening soaps and with non-soapy thickeners.
The fluid behaviour of greases depends on the base oil, the thickening effect of the additive and its relationship with temperature, pressure, gradient and duration of shear. The consistency of a fat increases proportionally with the amount of thickener, and it must be taken into account when selecting as a starting point that for a low-viscosity oil we will need a greater amount of thickener than for a higher-viscosity oil since its main mission is to release the oil. These conclusions are important to assess, for example, whether fat:
-Can be used in a centralized lubrication system (NLGI = 000 to 2).
-Because of its ability to flow, it can be used in gears with sputtering greasing (NLGI = 000 to 1. In the case of greater rigidity, the grease does not flow and the so-called tunnelling occurs).
-It has enough resistance to be used in bearings (NLGI = 1 to 3), it is thick enough to act as an insulator in joints, guides, etc. (NLGI = 4 to 6).
This exposition indicates the rules to be followed for the possible use of grease, taking consistency as an evaluation criterion. Due to the multiple areas of application, it is an incomplete exposition. The specifications regarding worked and unworked penetration indicate if the grease can be applied for insulation purposes in joints, seals or slides (not worked penetration), or for its application in dynamic conditions (worked penetration), for example; on bearings, gears or drive cables.
The greases can be shaped as an adherent lubricant for special areas of application. These have a high adhesion capacity on the surface once they have been introduced into the lubrication site.
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