Lithium soap based grease is a versatile and highly effective grease with excellent water resistance, mechanical properties and shear stability. It is an excellent choice for a variety of applications including heavy-duty bearings, gears and rotating parts.
Generally, lithium grease is a thicker grease than those made using sodium or calcium soap thickeners. This can make it more expensive than other types of grease, but the extra cost is easily recouped by the improved performance it provides.
Thickener type and base oil compatibility are important to understand because they affect the lubricating ability, storage stability and resistance to extreme pressures and loads. Depending on the combination of these two factors, different types of grease can be made, and additives can be added to improve the performance capabilities of the finished product.
In general, it is best to choose a grease with a good range of characteristics for each application. Grease should have a high load-ability, excellent shear stability and good temperature tolerance.
It should also be resistant to corrosion and water washout. This is especially true for bicycle bearings where dirt can cause premature wear and damage.
Most greases can be improved by adding additional additives, but only those that are designed for the specific application will benefit from this feature. These can be zinc oxide, glycerol, copper, ceramic powder and other compounds that help the grease operate at higher or lower temperatures or prevent metal damage.
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