Are there new technologies and applications for lubricating greases?
Yes, concern for the environment, energy efficiency, and new applications are motivating the development of new grease technologies.
In the environmental arena, there are new regulations for lubricants used aboard ships. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires lubricant manufacturers to assure that Vessel General Permit (VGP)-compliant lubricants meet EPA EAL (Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant) specifications.
There is widespread interest in reducing electricity consumption in manufacturing plants. Energy efficient lubricants are formulated for this purpose. These formulations are based on certain synthetic fluids and additives that reduce friction. A manufacturing plant may have hundreds of electric motors in service; a small reduction in energy demand per motor can translate into significant energy and cost savings.
The deployment of wind turbines has encouraged the development of specialized greases for bearings. These greases are designed to perform under the challenging conditions of wind turbines, which include low speeds, high loads, both high and low temperatures, and oscillating conditions. These greases are used in both on-shore and off-shore wind turbines in a wide variety of weather conditions.