If you need assistance with your online order, tracking a package, returns or any other information related to an order you placed on appliedthermalfluids.com, we can help. ... About My Order. +. Check Order .... As a general rule, Express orders may take 1-2 days to arrive and Expedited orders may be expected within 2-3 days.
Are my User ID or password case sensitive?
Only your password is case sensitive (e.g. password or PASSWORD). It must be entered the exact same way it was entered during registration.
If you cannot remember how you entered it, Click Forgot Your Password found under sign-in fields and provide the required information.
We will send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address stored in the Personal Information section of Your Account.
Click the link contained within the password reset e-mail and provide the required information.
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Does appliedthermalfluids.com offer guest checkout?
Yes. appliedthermalfluids.com offers Guest Checkout for select users. Keep reading to learn more about purchasing as a guest on appliedthermalfluids.com
What is Guest Checkout and how would you use it?
Guest Checkout is a feature enabling new appliedthermalfluids.com visitors to purchase products without requiring them to register first.
Can I register after placing an order as a Guest?
Yes, you will have the option to register on the order confirmation page after placing your order. You can also register by clicking the “Register” link on top of every page.
Why don’t I see the Guest Checkout option?
New customers to appliedthermalfluids.com see an option to “checkout as a guest”. When we recognize someone as a registered or returning customer, the guest checkout option will not display as there are numerous benefits to using your registered account.
- What if I am a business customer with a Applied Thermal Fluids account, have not yet registered on-line and would like to use Guest Checkout?
- If you have not registered on appliedthermalfluids.com, you could choose to checkout as a Guest to complete your purchase. By doing so you could miss out on your account benefits and will not have this transaction included in your account history. Hence, you are encouraged to register first and then complete your purchase transition.
When placing my order through Guest Checkout, what are my options for receiving products?
You can select to either have your order shipped or pick up the order at your local branch.
What payment methods are accepted through Guest Checkout?
You can place your order using a credit card or paypal .
How will I receive order status and shipping confirmation?
You will receive order and shipping confirmation emails
How Can I Order Items on Appliedthermalfluids.com?
- Add items to your cart.
- Click the “Cart” link in the upper-right side of any page. Click “Proceed to Checkout”.
- Proceed through checkout, clicking “Next” along the way to move to the next step.
- If you need to switch between Shipping & Pickup options, you can do so by either checking availability for that option from the Cart page or by clicking the “Shipping” or “Pickup” links along the way.
- Asterisks indicate required fields during checkout – be sure to fill in these required fields so that we have all the information needed to process your order.
- When you reach the Order Review page, click “Submit Order” to submit your order for processing.
- Once your order has been submitted, you’ll see an Order Confirmation page with your web order number and order details. An email order confirmation with your final availability, pricing, and order number will be sent to the email address associated with your user ID in the My Account area.
How can I view my Order Status?
To access Order Status now, log in and click Order Status in the Your Account box on the left-hand side of any page. Use Order Status to:
- Check the status of your online orders by date, PO number, online reference number or item number
- Check status of orders placed offline
- Use your PO number to check the status of orders you placed by phone
- Transfer your order information to UPS, FedEx, DHL or USPS for instant shipping information
- Track orders shipped via UPS, FedEx, DHL or USPS
Order Status Legend:
- Not Yet Shipped – The order is being prepared for shipment/pickup
- Backordered – The order cannot be filled because not all items are currently available
- Partial Order Filled – Parts of the order have been picked up or given to the carrier for shipping; there are still parts of the order left to fulfill
- Shipped/Picked Up – The order has been filled and picked up by the customer or given to the carrier for shipping
- Cancelled – The order has been cancelled by the customer
Note: Both offline and online orders containing that P.O. number will be displayed. You can also contact Customer Care toll-free at (1-386-9806) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or send us an email for more assistance.
Orders shipped UPS Ground, FedEx, DHL or USPS will be linked to the corresponding carrier’s website that provides detailed tracking and proof of delivery information.
How do I change my email address?
- Sign in at the top, left-hand side of any page.
- Click Your Account in the global navigation bar at the top, right-hand side of the screen. The Your Account section will be displayed.
- Click the Personal Info tab.
- On the Contact Information page, you can change your email address by typing over your existing email address.
- Click Update Contact Information to save your changes.
How do I change my password?
- Sign in at the top, left-hand side of any page.
- Click on Your Account.
- Select Sign In Options under Personal Information.
- Change your current Password by completing the appropriate fields and click Update My Log In to save your changes.
Note: Your new password must comply with all the password format rules, including the new password format rule, which does not permit your password to contain “appliedthermalfluids.”
How do I ensure I have all the information on my orders?
Applied Thermal Fluids has emails available to keep you updated on your order and order status. Below are just a few emails that you may be interested in receiving to keep you informed. Keep in mind that you must have a valid email address as part of your customer contact information. To ensure you receive these valuable messages, please work with one of our Applied Thermal Fluids Team Members at (1-714-386-9806).
We want you to know that we received your order; all of that information and more is included in this email.
Applied Thermal Fluids will send you an email notification when your order is ready for pick up. When placing an order, please be sure to validate your email address.
Date Change Notification
Applied Thermal Fluids is capable of sending you automated email notifications when delivery dates change on your order. When placing an order, please be sure to validate your email address. This feature will be available beginning February 16, 2015.
How do I update my address-account information?
- Sign In at the top, right-hand side of any page or on the the main menu bar.
- Click My Account in the global/main navigation bar at the very top, right-hand side of the screen.
- The Your Account section will be displayed. Select one of the gray tabs to update your online account information.
- Click Personal Info to update your email address, personal contact information, shipping.
- Click My Account > login (if you are a Full Rights user) to modify contact information for an existing user.
- You can also update billing and shipping addresses
How do my delivery options affect my delivery dates?
Ship all items as they become available.
Applied Thermal Fluid’s network is designed to ship your orders to you in the most cost-effective way, which means as few boxes from as few locations as possible. If you choose this option, we will do our best to ship to you in a consolidated manner, but if that is not possible, you could receive multiple shipments to get your products to your facility faster.
Ship in as few shipments as possible.
This option will ensure that all items are consolidated and shipped to you from one of Applied Thermal Fluid’s facilities. This shipping method may cause delays in your product delivery to allow us time to consolidate your order to ship from one location (if possible) to meet your needs.
Please remember that these delivery options are available on an order-by-order basis, but you can also set your customer account settings for your preferred method as well. Any customer setting will override your order selection. To learn more about your settings and to make changes to your customer account settings, please call one of our Applied Thermal Fluids Team Members at 1-386-9806.
If you need to have one invoice for your order, but not have all products delivered together, Applied Thermal Fluids can do that as well. Please call your Applied Thermal Fluids Rep or 1-714-386-9806 to discuss our “One Invoice” functionality.
How does Applied Thermal Fluids calculate freight charges?
Applied Thermal Fluids uses a weight-based matrix to calculate freight charges. The freight charged is dependent on the weight of the product and the level of service chosen.
There are two instances where the ground shipping rates would be waived:
- The total order value is $1500 or more.
- Pre-paid freight was negotiated into the customer’s contract with Applied Thermal Fluids.
How is my delivery date calculated?
Delivery time estimates are based on real-time product availability and standard ground shipping unless you have indicated another delivery method.
Shipping from Applied Thermal Fluids
Products that are shipping from a Applied Thermal Fluids facility to your facility will be provided a delivery date. E.g. Expected to arrive on Wednesday, October 29th.
Shipping from a Third Party Vendor
Products that are shipping from a Applied Thermal Fluids vendor to your facility will be provided a delivery date range. Your delivery date takes into account any needed processing time at the vendor. E.g. Expected to arrive on or before Wednesday, October 29th.
We do not currently estimate delivery dates for orders that are shipping outside of the U.S. Orders that are shipped internationally are subject to delays outside of our control. If you are interested in talking with a Applied Thermal Fluids Team Member about your international delivery, please call 1-714-9806.
What are the expedited shipping options?
|Shipping Method||U.S. Address|
|2-Day Express||Orders placed by noon CST will be delivered in 2 business days.|
|Next Day Air||Orders placed by noon CST will be delivered by the end of the following business day.|
What do the statuses on my order really mean (shipping and pick up)?
Not Yet Shipped
Our team members are working hard to find your item(s) and get them ready for shipping.
Some of your items have been shipped to you. The balance of the requested quantity will be shipped when the balance of the order becomes available.
Your order has shipped. Please look for tracking and additional information on the delivery of your products in your order history.
Your order has delivered to your facility.
Some of the items you ordered are backordered and will ship as they become available. Be sure to review the line level status to see what items are available and what will be shipped when it becomes available.
The item(s) you ordered are on backorder and will ship as they become available.
Not Ready for Pick Up
Our team members are working hard to find your item(s) and get them ready for pick up.
Partially Ready for Pick Up
Some of your items are ready to be picked up. The balance of the requested quantity can be picked up when the balance of the order becomes available.
Ready for Pick Up
Your order is ready for pick up.
You have picked up all items on your order.
Some of the items you ordered are on backorder and will be ready for pick up as they become available. We will notify you once the remaining items become available for pick up.
The item(s) you ordered are on backorder. We will notify you when these items become available and are ready for pick up.
What is my password?
If you have forgotten your password you can create a new password by resetting it on your own. Here’s how:
- Go to the Forgot Your Password page. Provide the required information.
- We will send instructions on how to reset your password to the e-mail address stored in the Personal Information section of Your Account.
- Click the link contained within the password reset email and provide the required information.
Note: The information you enter must be identical to the information submitted on your registration. If it is not identical, you will be asked to contact Customer Care.
To contact Customer Care, call toll-free at (1-714-386-9806) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or send us an email. Support@appliedthermalfluids.com
What is my User ID?
If you have forgotten your user ID you can request to have it emailed to you. Here’s how:
- Click Sign In in the top right corner of www.appliedthermalfluids.com
- Click Forgot Your User ID under sign-in fields. Provide the required information.
- We will send your user ID to the email address stored in the Personal Information section of Your Account.
Note: The information you enter must be identical to the information submitted on your registration. If it is not identical, you will be asked to contact Customer Care.
To contact Customer Care, call toll-free at (1-714-386-9806) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or send us an e-mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
When is my order confirmed?
Applied Thermal Fluids does not see your order until you Submit Your Cart. Please know that delivery dates will change as inventory is available, so if you have an urgent need, don’t wait to Submit Your Cart!
Where do I find tracking information on my order once it ships?
Whenever possible, shipping notifications will be sent with tracking information as soon as your order leaves a Applied Thermal Fluids facility or a third party supplier’s facility. To ensure you receive these emails, please make sure Applied Thermal Fluids has your correct email address on file.
We also share tracking information that we have on your order through your Online Order History on www.appliedthermalfluids.com. This information is available for all orders, whether you placed the order online or on the phone, you can always check your order history for updates.
If you don’t have tracking information in your order history, please reach out to a Applied Thermal Fluids Team Member at 1-386-9806 or contact us to get additional information.
Why can’t I sign in?
Please follow these steps to ensure that you are logging in with the correct information:
- Are you registered on our Web site? If not, register.
- Enter your user ID in the User ID field and your password in the Password field. Both fields can be found in the Sign In box on every page of the site. Click Go.
- Check your user ID and password. They must be entered exactly the same way as they were during registration.
Note: Your password is case sensitive (e.g. password or PASSWORD).
If you cannot remember your login information, go to Forgot your User ID? or Forgot Your Password? and provide the required information. We will send an email with your User ID to the email address stored in Your Profile, and a separate email with instructions on how to reset your password.
If you are still having problems signing in, contact us toll-free at 1-714-386-9806) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or send an email.
Why didn’t I receive my Order Confirmation Email?
- Check your “junk mail” folder or “spam” folder in your email inbox to make sure that the Applied Thermal Fluids order confirmation is not located in these folders.
- To ensure that future Applied Thermal Fluids order confirmations will be delivered to your email inbox, add the email address email@example.com to your address book. Many anti-spam systems check your email address book to know which senders are allowed to send you email messages.
- If you are still not receiving order confirmations, be sure to verify your email address on the Contact Information page on appliedthermalfluids.com.
- Contact Customer Care toll-free at (1-386-9806) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, send us an email or check order status on appliedthermalfluids.com® (see next question for instructions).
Krytox is the brand name for a range of clean, specialty synthetic lubricating materials available in numerous grades for a wide range of applications. Krytox lubricants have become the product of choice where extremely high or low temperature performance, non-flammability, longevity, oxygen compatibility and resistance to aggressive chemicals are required.
Can I mix Krytox grease with other greases?
The performance benefits of Krytox grease will not be realized if Krytox™ is mixed with a non-perfluoropolyether (non-PFPE) grease. The performance of the grease mixture will be limited by the properties of the non-PFPE grease in the mixture. Krytox grease will not react with the other grease or cause decomposition or any hazardous reactions. The mixing tests initally performed by DuPont have shown that the mixture sometimes softens up by about one penetration grade when it is heated up. This normally will not be enough change to cause any significant problems.
The Krytox grease will not stop the other lubricant from breaking down from heat and oxidation. It is likely that the additives in the hydrocarbon grease have coated the bearing surfaces and the Krytox grease will not be able to adhere to the bearing, so most of it might get thrown out of the bearing.
Do I need to do anything special before using Krytox in bearings?
Before adding Krytox grease to a bearing, the bearing should be cleaned of all existing greases, oils, or preservative oils used during storage. If hydrocarbon oils are left in a bearing, the oils can form carbon deposits at high temperatures, which may accelerate bearing failure. Please request K-22116, “New Bearing Preparation with Krytox Performance Lubricants” for the
recommended cleaning and re-packing procedure, as well as guidance on how much grease to use and speed considerations.
How stable is Krytox when exposed to chemicals?
Krytox perfluoropolyether (PFPE) oils and greases thickened with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) exhibit exceptional chemical stability. Krytox oils and greases will not react with most chemicals (with the exception of Lewis acids and alkali metals) and other lubricants, nor cause them to degrade.
Krytox Performance Lubricants are not only resistant to oxygen and reactive gases, they are inert to virtually all chemicals commonly used in most industries. For further information, please request K-20564, “Krytox Lubricants: Chemical Stability.”
Is ongoing lubrication required once we’ve begun using Krytox?
Re-lubrication of bearings may be required, typically every 1 to 3 months for corrugators, depending on the equipment operating temperature. For other applications, re-lubrication intervals can be from months to years—or potentially never, in the case of sealed systems.
What approvals and certifications do Krytox Lubricants have?
Krytox lubricants have the following certifications:
- ISO 9001 Certified Quality Management System
- ISO 14001 Certified Environmental Management System
In addition, certain grades have the following approvals:
- MIL-Spec PRF-27617 approved grades for aerospace and aviation use
- NSF H1-certified lubricants approved for incidental food contact
- Independently tested and confirmed for LOX and GOX use by major oxygen manufacturers and certification authorities
What are the different grades of Krytox GPL lubricants and
their typical applications?
- The Krytox GPL 10X oil /20X grease series contains no additives and can be used on components that come in contact with most chemicals typically used in industry. Typical
applications include valves or bearings, seal barrier fluids,
instruments, and oxygen systems.
- The Krytox GPL 21X series contains molybdenum disulfide for extreme pressure (EP) conditions and should be used for slow speed or extremely heavily loaded applications.
- The Krytox GPL 22X series contains sodium nitrite corrosion/anti-wear inhibitor; it also improves load-carrying performance and is ideal for corrosive environments. Typical
applications are automotive bearings, sealed pump bearings, electric motor bearings and general-purpose bearings.
- The Krytox GPL 29X greases have extreme pressure (EP) and anticorrosion additives and have been formulated for applications that need both high load-carrying capacity and
- The Krytox GPL 2EX lubricants are formulated using new anti-rust additives. This grease is similar to the GPL 22X series greases but contains a non-nitrite anticorrosion
What are the primary differences in Krytox oils?
- Krytox XHT oils have additional treatment to make them more thermally stable at temperatures over 300 °C (572 °F) and have very high viscosity to withstand such temperatures and provide adequate lubrication.
- Krytox aerospace oils have more strict volatility specifications and are a narrower distillation than GPL oils.
- Krytox vacuum pump fluids are distilled to give an excellent vapor pressure and are designed for specific OEM pumps.
- Krytox linear oils have a better viscosity index and operate over a wider temperature range compared to conventional lubricants.
- Krytox GPL oils are formulated to provide a cost-effective base oil for industrial applications.
To learn more, please request H-58505, “Krytox Performance Lubricants Product Overview.”
What is Krytox Lubricants?
Krytox is the brand name for a range of clean, specialty synthetic lubricating materials available in numerous grades for a wide range of applications.
Krytox lubricants have become the product of choice where extremely high or low temperature performance, non-flammability, longevity, oxygen compatibility and resistance to aggressive chemicals are required.
What is Krytox made of?
Krytox fluorinated oils are a series of low molecular weight, fluorine end-capped, homopolymers of hexafluoropropylene epoxide with the following chemical structure:
| where n=10 to 60
The polymer chain is completely saturated and contains only the elements carbon, oxygen, and fluorine; hydrogen is not present. On a weight basis, typical Krytox oil contains 21.6% carbon,
9.4% oxygen, and 69.0% fluorine.
What is the NLGI consistency of Krytox grease grades?
Greases are formed by mixing the base oil with a thickener to form a grease. Krytox greases use a special high-thickening efficiency, low molecular weight polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) with very small particle sizes as their thickener. This is one of the most thermally stable thickeners for high-temperature, long-term greases. The higher thickening efficiency of the special PTFE thickener allows Chemours to formulate grease to maximize oil content for improved grease performance.
Greases can be formulated with different viscosity oils to handle different temperatures and load conditions. High-viscosity oils can be used in greases for high temperatures or heavy loads or low-speed applications. Low-viscosity oils can be used in greases where low-temperature properties are important or speeds are higher. Lower amounts of thickener form softer or more fluid-like
greases. Higher solid levels form harder, stiffer greases.
Additives are often added to the grease to enhance anticorrosion protection, raise load-carrying ability or help reduce wear. Our standard grease grade is NLGI Grade 2; however, upon request we produce NLGI Grades 000 through 6. For more information on NLGI grade options, please request H-58505, “Krytox Performance Lubricants Product Overview.”
Where can Krytox lubricants be used?
Krytox lubricants can be used in applications where non-flammability, oxygen compatibility, materials compatibility, high-temperature stability, and resistance to aggressive chemicals are requirements. Some examples include:
- Automotive: wheel bearing grease, CV joint grease, universal joint grease, fan clutch bearing grease, emission air pump grease, spark plug boot lubricant, weather stripping lubricant, sunroof seal lubricant, clutch throw-out bearing grease, ABS system grease, paint plant conveyor bearings, paint spray system valve lubrication, gasoline pump bearings, windshield wiper motors, oil pressure sensors, truck window lift mechanisms, sintered bearings in motors, leather seats, consoles and trim, flocked and unflocked window seals and channels, door handles, switches, air vents, controls
- Aviation: fuel-resistant grease, oxygen-compatible grease, ventilation fan bearing grease, cruise missile rear main bearing lubricant, starter bearing grease, emergency generator
bearing grease, missile launch platform gear lubricant, space shuttle lubricant, sealant
- Pumps: vacuum pump fluid for corrosive and hazardous service, bearing grease for chemical pumps, O-ring lubricant, barrier fluid between double mechanical seals
- Industrial: corrugator and paper machine bearings, aluminum can manufacturing bearings, vacuum sputtering machines, welding machines, gear oil, linear bearing lubricant,
high-temperature fans, cleanrooms, chlorine service, textile equipment, tenter frames, high-speed motors, instrument bearings, sealed-for-life motors, conveyor systems in glass and aluminum plants, textile calender roll bearings, brick kiln car bearings, film blowing machines
- Nuclear: submerged sump pump bearings, containment cooling fans, snubbers, control rod drive mechanism fan motors
- Valves: lubricant for valve stem packing, relief valve lubricant, O-ring lubricant, steam turbine control valves, low emissions valve stem packing lubricant
- Miscellaneous: anti-seize lubricant, bolt thread lubricant, water purifier lubricant, self-contained breathing apparatus lubricant, cryogenic lubricant, vacuum system sealant, drive chains, hydraulic fluids, instrument barrier fluids, heat transfer fluids, geothermal system grease, mold-release agent, fishing reel grease, industrial toast making oven conveyor bearings, windmill gearboxes, glove curing conveyor
To learn more, please request H-58505, “Krytox Performance Lubricants Product Overview” and/or K-22119, “Krytox Lubricants Product Selection Guide.”
Lubricating grease is a mixture of three main components: lubricating fluid, performance enhancing additives, and thickener. The lubricating fluid can be petroleum-derived lubricating oil, any of various synthetic lubricating fluids, or vegetable-based oil.
Are base fluid viscosity and grease consistency related?
In general, for most soap thickened greases, the answer is no. Base fluid viscosity and grease consistency are independent properties of a lubricating grease. The viscosity of the base fluid is determined by the viscosity of the fluids used, as well as the effect of some additives. The consistency of a grease is determined by the type and concentration of the thickener in the product.
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.
I have small amounts of two different lubricating greases. Can they be mixed in my application?
It is best practice to never mix different lubricating greases. Greases should not be mixed because the thickeners, the lubricating fluids, and the additives in different greases may be incompatible. Some grease suppliers publish compatibility charts; those charts are at best a rough guide. If greases must be mixed, as during a product change-over in industrial equipment, compatibility testing, as described in ASTM D6185, should be carried out to determine to what degree the products may be compatible.
Can lubricating grease improve the performance of elastomeric seals?
Lubricating grease typically has natural sealing properties. The solid thickener component of grease can form a barrier at the edge of a seal that helps to limit or prevent leakage of fluid through the seal. Many seals are designed to be used with grease for this reason. Elastomers can be formulated to slightly swell and soften when in contact with lubricants for use in seals. This behavior generally improves their sealing capability.
Can the grease in my boat trailer wheel bearings contaminate the water?
In some locations, there are strict regulations to protect water from contamination. For those cases, there are specialty lubricants formulated with biodegradable base fluids and environmentally friendly additives. In other cases, greases that are designed for wheel bearing lubrication have been found to be suitable. Those products have reasonably good resistance to water, and typically do not readily dissolve in water.
Elastomeric seals are used in many types of equipment. Does lubricating grease affect seals?
It is important that any seal in contact with a lubricant is compatible with that lubricant. The base oil in a grease may soften, harden, shrink, or swell elastomers used to make seals. It is advisable to check the compatibility of the lubricant with the seal material before putting a grease in service. Many grease manufacturers and seal suppliers have data for compatibility of standard elastomers with common greases, oils, and other fluids. In some cases, it is preferred to run compatibility tests between the grease and the seal or seal material at the operating conditions.
Does lubricating grease burn? Is it a risk for fire?
Most greases will burn, but they are generally not considered to be fire hazards. Most lubricating greases contain petroleum-derived mineral oil or hydrocarbon-based synthetic fluid as the lubricating fluid. Those materials are generally considered to be combustible (flash point at or above 38 °C (100 °F). In very few cases, the lubricating fluid in a grease would be considered to be flammable (flash point below 38 °C (100 °F). Consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for firefighting information for any specific product.
Does lubricating grease “go bad” if it is stored for too long? How long can unused grease be stored?
Unused lubricating grease can “go bad” if it is stored for an excessively long period of time, or under poor storage conditions. Most manufacturers place a date of manufacture on their product labels and publish shelf-life information for their products. The grease manufacturer’s shelf life guidelines should be followed. Grease can have a shorter than stated shelf life if it is stored improperly. Grease containers that are stored outside can accumulate dirt, dust, and water on the lid, which can enter the container during the natural “breathing” that the container does upon heating and cooling. In addition, as oil tends to separate from grease over time, it can separate excessively if stored for a long time, to the point that the oil cannot be remixed into the grease. Solid additives can also separate from grease, resulting in a grease that is not suitable for use. Both the oil and solids separation phenomena can be aggravated by the improper storage of the grease container in direct sunlight or near a heat source.
Does the color of lubricating grease have any significance?
The color of unused lubricating grease can be natural (light tan to black, depending on the formulation), or colored with a dye. Black greases typically contain molybdenum disulfide or graphite, both of which impart a dark gray to black color to the grease. The natural color of most greases is light tan to medium brown. Manufacturers add dyes to some greases to give them distinctive colors, either for marketing purposes or to make them easy to distinguish for maintenance personnel.
If I drive through deep water (as during a flood), does that affect the lubricating grease in my car’s wheel bearings?
Driving through water that is deep enough to cover a car’s wheel bearings can cause contamination of the grease with water, or even wash the grease out of bearings. After driving through deep water, the vehicle should be checked by a mechanic, and the wheel bearings should be relubricated if necessary.
What does “EP” (Extreme pressure) mean in the name of a lubricating grease?
The term “EP” refers to extreme pressure, which means the grease is formulated with additives that increase its load carrying capacity. EP greases are capable of withstanding conditions under which ordinary grease may not provide sufficient performance: heavy applied loads, shock loads, high loads coupled with higher speeds, and vibration. EP grease is needed for many applications of heavy-duty construction equipment, automotive wheel bearings, mining machines, industrial machines operating under high loads, etc.
How do I collect a sample of in-service lubricating grease from a bearing for CBM?
The key to successful CBM for any in-service lubricant is to obtain a representative sample of the lubricant for analysis. In the case of in-service lubricating grease, it is imperative to obtain a sample of grease that has been in the contact zone of the bearing, not just in the grease cavity.
There are two general cases:
- When possible, collect a sample of in-service grease from the contact zone in a bearing, gear, etc.
- When bearings are totally enclosed (electric motors, etc.), collect in-service grease during relubrication as the old grease is purged from the bearing.
In either case, collect grease in a clean container to prevent contamination. The sample container must be impervious to the grease and not absorb oil from the grease.
How do I get a sample of in-service lubricating grease analyzed?
Certain commercial laboratories specialize in the testing of in-service lubricants. Several of these laboratories analyze in-service lubricating grease. These labs can be found through on-line searching. Samples can be shipped via US Mail or other delivery services if packaged properly, or may even be delivered in person. Contact a commercial lubricant testing laboratory for more information.
How is lubricating grease made?
Lubricating grease is made by dispersing the thickener (solid phase) into the lubricating fluid (liquid phase) to form a stable product. In most cases, the thickener is the reaction product of carboxylic acid(s) and alkaline earth metal hydroxide(s), forming an organic salt, commonly referred to as a soap. In those cases, specialized reaction vessels or processes are required to effectively carry out the reaction and produce a grease with the desired properties. In other cases, the thickener is a mineral such as clay or a pre-reacted material that requires only dispersion to produce the grease. Grease can be produced by both batch and continuous processes.
How should I dispose of used lubricating grease?
Used lubricating grease should be disposed of in accordance with all federal, state and local environmental regulations. In some cases, used oil recyclers will accept used grease. Some municipalities or industries hold household chemical disposal drives at which grease may be accepted. Depending on the service the grease has been in and contaminants to which it may have been exposed, used grease may be contaminated and considered to be a hazardous waste and may require special handling for disposal. Used grease should not be re-used.
How should I dispose of unused lubricating grease that I no longer need?
Unused lubricating grease should be disposed of in accordance with all federal, state and local environmental regulations. In some cases, used oil recyclers will accept unused grease. Some municipalities or industries hold household chemical disposal drives at which grease may be accepted.
I need to add more grease to a bearing, but I do not know what grease is in the bearing. What should I do?
It is best practice not to mix different lubricating greases. Since the grease in the bearing is unknown, the bearing should be purged with the replacement product until >90% of the old product has been displaced. In addition, the bearing should be monitored for any signs of grease incompatibility (grease softening excessively, bearing running hotter than normal, etc.). It may be necessary to shorten the relubrication interval to complete the displacement of the old grease from the bearing. Update maintenance records as appropriate.
I have opened a new container of lubricating grease and used part of the product. How do I store the remaining product for future use?
The remaining unused lubricating grease can be stored for future use. The surface of the grease should be left smooth (without depressions) by smoothing it with a clean implement such as a spatula or putty knife. The container should then be gently banged on a hard surface to remove any entrained air bubbles and re-smoothed. This is to minimize the separation of oil from the grease during storage. The lid or cover should be placed on the container and secured as well as possible, and the container should be stored indoors out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources.
I have heard about CBM-What does CBM mean?
CBM stands for Condition Based Maintenance of in-service lubricants and equipment. CBM is a strategy for checking in-service lubricants and machinery in order to identify and possibly predict the likelihood of failure. CBM can reveal when a machine is operating properly, or when mechanical failure is just beginning. It is commonly used to monitor both lubricant and equipment condition.
If I open a container of unused lubricating grease and I observe dirt or water, what should I do? Can the grease still be used?
If it is a new container of the product, contact the supplier. If the package is being reopened, and a small amount of free water is present, then remove the water with a clean paper towel or similar absorbent material and dispose of it properly. Gross contamination with water may render the grease unsuitable for use. Small amounts of particulate matter (dirt/dust) can be removed from the grease surface with a clean spatula or putty knife and the removed material disposed of properly. It may be necessary to remove the entire top layer of the grease. For this reason, it is important to keep the lid securely on partially used containers of grease.
Isn’t CBM applicable only to oil-lubricated equipment, such as hydraulic systems?
CBM is useful for any lubricated system. In-service lubricant samples may be collected from any equipment and the lubricant analyzed to check its suitability for continued service. This includes grease-lubricated equipment.
Is every grease a lubricating grease?
Lubricating grease is a specific type of product designed for the lubrication of industrial, automotive, and other mechanisms. It is formulated from lubricating oil (petroleum, vegetable, or synthetic), performance additives, and a thickener. It is distinguished from other materials that are commonly called grease, such as cooking oil, animal fat, and even hair care preparations.
Is it OK to leave unused grease in a grease gun?
It is acceptable to leave unused grease in a grease gun. It is recommended to release the pressure from the grease by drawing the handle back and locking the spring in the retracted/compressed position. Otherwise, oil may separate from the grease over time in storage due to the increased pressure applied by the grease gun spring.
What lubricating grease should be used in automotive wheel bearings that are exposed to a wide range of temperature conditions?
Most lubricating greases for automotive wheel bearings must meet the NLGI GC-LB or SAE J310 requirements. Both of those specifications require that the grease must operate over a temperature range of -40 °C (-40 °F) to 160 °C (320 °F). This covers the vast majority of driving conditions.
What is the recommended way to store an unopened container of lubricating grease?
Unopened lubricating grease containers should be stored indoors, out of direct sunlight, and in an upright position. Drums, kegs, and pails should be covered, if possible, to prevent the accumulation of dust, dirt, water, etc. on the lid. The lid should be blown off with compressed air (if available) and wiped free of contaminants before being removed. Drums and kegs of grease should never be stored horizontally. Smaller containers (cans or tubs) should be stored away from heat and out of direct sunlight. Tubes of grease should be stored upright, with the removable cap at the top, away from heat or direct sunlight.
Should I keep samples of in-service lubricating grease?
Samples of in-service lubricating greases should be tested promptly to obtain current status of lubricants and machinery. If there is a delay in shipping samples, they should not be exposed to direct sunlight, elevated temperature, or moisture. Laboratories typically dispose of grease samples after they test them. If in-service grease has been collected during relubrication, but is not to be tested, then it should be disposed of promptly according to all applicable regulations.
What is the significance of a change in color of lubricating grease during service?
In-service lubricating greases can change color due to thermal degradation, oxidation, or contamination. The dyes used to color greases may lose color intensity when subjected to high temperatures. Highly oxidized greases may become very dark to black. Greases that are contaminated with water sometimes take on an emulsified or milky appearance. When different greases are mixed in service, the resulting color may be somewhere between the colors of the individual greases.
What kind of containers are suitable for the collection and shipment of samples of in-service lubricating grease?
The preferred containers are open mouth jars made of unbreakable high density polyethylene or other materials that are impervious to grease. Although glass containers are impervious to oil and grease, they may break. Some commercial testing laboratories supply sample kits that include a sample container, a label, and a pre-addressed box for shipping.
There is a burnt odor around a grease lubricated bearing. Is that a concern?
A burnt odor may indicate overheating of the bearing. A burnt odor suggests that the grease may have been oxidized or thermally degraded. It is prudent to investigate the source of a burnt odor, and to determine its cause. If the source of the odor is a grease lubricated bearing, the equipment should be shut down and the problematic bearing checked.
What are anti-seize compounds?
Anti-seize compounds are formulated to prevent mating surfaces from seizing under high loads. For example, anti-seize compounds are used on threaded connections and static joints so that they can be disconnected easily.
What are the primary tests that are run on lubricating grease?
Being a semi-solid material, lubricating grease has unique properties that are measured with unique tests. The two key properties are dropping point and consistency. Dropping point is the temperature at which liquid begins to separate from the grease. In some cases, the thickener melts, while in other cases liquid separates from the grease without the thickener melting. In practical applications, this is the temperature at which the grease no longer stays in place. Dropping point is measured using the laboratory apparatus and technique described in ASTM D2265 (or ISO 2176). Consistency of lubricating grease is measured by the cone penetration test, ASTM D217 (or ISO 2137). In that standard test, a cone of fixed dimensions and mass is allowed to drop into a sample of grease in a standard cup; the temperature and time period are defined in the test method. The test device measures the depth to which the cone penetrates the grease. That value is used to determine the NLGI consistency number of the grease.
What information should be included on the label of a container of in-service lubricating grease?
The following information should be included on the label of a sample of in-service lubricating grease:
- Customer or company name and contact information
- The date that the sample was collected
- The designation of the equipment from which the sample was collected
- The name of the product that was in service
- The operating duration of the lubricant (hours or miles/km in service)
- Any additional information about the conditions of service that will aid the analyst in determining the condition of the grease
What is a general purpose lubricating grease, and what types of applications could it be used in?
General purpose lubricating greases are sold in many retail outlets, such as auto parts stores, hardware stores, etc. They are typically packaged in a 14 oz. (400 g) tube for use in a grease gun or in a small re-closable container (can or tub). General purpose greases are used in household and automotive applications, such as automatic garage door opener mechanisms, farm and garden equipment, and user serviceable lubrication points on automobiles. For automotive applications, always look for the NLGI GC-LB service mark on the product label to be assured that the product is appropriate.
What is a lubricating paste?
Lubricating paste typically contains fine particles of a lubricating solid such as graphite or molybdenum disulfide and a small amount of oil. The consistency of a paste depends on the amounts of particles and oil.
I have noticed lubricant leaking from a seal. What is happening?
If the seal has been in service for an extended period of time, it may simply be worn out. Seals are sacrificial components in most machinery designs, and they are intended to be replaced periodically. If the seal is in new equipment or has been replaced recently, the seal may have been installed improperly, or there may be a compatibility issue between the seal material and the grease. For example, if lubricating fluid (oil) in grease shrinks a seal, then it may leak.
What is lubricating grease?
Lubricating grease is a mixture of three main components: lubricating fluid, performance enhancing additives, and thickener. The lubricating fluid can be petroleum-derived lubricating oil, any of various synthetic lubricating fluids, or vegetable-based oil. The lubricating fluid is usually the majority component in the grease formulation. The additives are typically present in relatively low concentrations, and are added to the grease to provide enhancement in one of multiple performance areas. The thickener is what sets grease apart from liquid lubricants. This component gives the grease the property of consistency, making the product semi-solid rather than liquid. Many different chemical compounds can be used to thicken grease. That subject is discussed separately.
What is saponification?
Saponification is the reaction of a carboxylic acid (fatty acid) or ester with an alkali or an alkaline earth metal hydroxide to form an organic salt. The product of this reaction is commonly called a soap.
What is the thickener in lubricating grease?
The thickener in a lubricating grease is the component that sets grease apart from fluid lubricants. Thickeners are molecules, polymers, or particles that are partially soluble in lubricating fluid; they arrange themselves in such a way that they impart a semi-solid consistency to the grease. Many different types of chemical compounds can be used to thicken grease.
Simple soaps are the most common grease thickeners. A simple soap is the reaction product of an organic acid (long-chain or fatty carboxylic acid) and an alkali metal to form an organic salt. Thus, simple soap is an acid-base reaction product. This reaction has a special name: saponification. Simple soaps are most commonly based on salts of lithium and calcium, and less commonly on salts of sodium, aluminum, and barium. Examples of simple soap thickeners include lithium 12-hydroxystearate and calcium stearate.
Complex soaps are also used widely as grease thickeners. The term “complex” refers to the combination of a simple soap and a complexing agent. For example, a lithium complex thickener typically contains lithium 12-hydroxystearate (simple soap) and a salt of a shorter chain difunctional carboxylic acid, boric acid, or an aromatic acid (complexing agent). Complex thickeners are usually based on lithium, calcium, or aluminum compounds. In some cases, dissimilar thickener types are combined in a grease. This type of thickener system can be referred to as a hybrid thickener or in some cases as a complex thickener.
Grease can also be thickened with non-soap materials. Common non-soap thickeners include polyurea, organophilic clay, fumed silica, fluoropolymers, and others.
Polyurea is a generic term that includes include diurea, tetraurea, urea-urethane, and many related chemistries. A typical polyurea thickener is the reaction product of a di-isocyanate with mono and/or diamines. The ratios of the ingredients determine the characteristics of the thickener. It should be noted that because polyurea thickeners do not contain any metallic elements, they are ashless and tend to be oxidatively stable.
Organophilic clay thickeners include the minerals bentonite and hectorite. These minerals are purified to remove any non-clay material, ground to the desired particle size distribution, and then chemically treated to make the particles organophilic (more compatible with organic chemicals). Clay particles are then dispersed in a fluid lubricant to form grease. Clay particles must be activated with a polar material to stabilize the thickener structure. No chemical reaction takes place in the production of clay thickened greases. Clay thickeners have no defined melting point, so they have been used historically in high-temperature greases.
Fumed silica powder is used in relatively few grease products. Like clay, silica particles are dispersed in lubricating fluid. These greases also have no defined melting point and can be used in high-temperature applications. Fumed silica is used to thicken only a limited number of specialty grease products.
Fluoropolymer powders such as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) can be used to thicken lubricating fluids to form grease. These greases are premium niche products with very good resistance to chemicals, oxygen, and water. They are formulated to withstand wide temperature ranges and often provide an extended service life in demanding applications.
What is waterproof lubricating grease?
Waterproof lubricating grease is a grease that is formulated to resist water and its effects. This type of grease repels water, forms an excellent seal against water, and provides protection against rust and corrosion.
What lubricating grease should I use in my boat trailer wheel bearings? How often should they be re-lubricated?
Generally, a lubricating grease designed for automotive wheel bearings is sufficient. Look for the NLGI GC or GC-LB service mark on the product label. If the boat trailer is used in salt water, a specially formulated product with salt water corrosion protection is recommended. Such products are typically available from boating and marine specialty stores. Boat trailer wheel bearings may need more frequent relubrication due the immersion of the bearings to water. Follow the relubrication recommendations of the trailer manufacturer.
What lubricating grease should be used in automotive wheel bearings under low ambient temperature conditions?
Most lubricating greases formulated for use in automotive wheel bearings are NLGI 2 grade and are designed to operate at temperatures as low as -40 °C (-40 °F). The NLGI GC-LB or SAE J310 specifications require the grease to operate at that temperature. For continuous operation at extremely low temperatures (below -40 °C/-40 °F), a product containing a synthetic base fluid may be considered. In addition, a softer consistency grease (NLGI 1 grade) may be needed.
What tests are run on in-service lubricating grease samples?
Key tests for in-service grease samples include:
- Appearance – The appearance of in-service grease can tell much about the condition of the equipment from which it was obtained. A small amount of the grease spread thin on a white ceramic tile will allow the analyst to examine it in detail. For example, visible metallic particles or free water may indicate a problem with machine wear or contamination.
- Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Analysis – FTIR Analysis is a well-established and powerful technique for the analysis of in-service grease. It can be used to detect many conditions of in-service grease, such as contamination, oxidation, loss of base oil, etc.
- Metals – Trace amounts of metals in an in-service grease can indicate additive depletion and/or wear metal build-up. ICP, X-ray, and other instrumental techniques are used to measure traces of metals in grease.
- Crackle test for water – The crackle test is a quick and simple way to check for the presence of water in grease. Other techniques such as FTIR Analysis can detect water in grease.
Analysts often compare test data for in-service grease against baseline values for the unused grease. Trends in the test data make it possible to assess the condition of both the lubricant and the machinery being lubricated. Results for trends can be used to make an informed decision about the need for maintenance.
If I open a container of unused grease and see oil on top of the grease, what should I do? Is it OK to use the grease?
Oil naturally tends to separate from lubricating grease over time in storage. Storage conditions such as a warm environment can accelerate this separation. Some greases may have a greater tendency to separate oil that others. Contact your grease supplier for guidance on whether to mix separated oil back into grease or to pour it off the product, and if you have any questions about the suitability of a grease for service.
What type of lubricating grease should I use to lubricate my fishing reel?
There are many different types of fishing equipment for fresh and salt water fishing. Always consult the manufacturer of your equipment for their lubricant recommendation. Greases for fishing reels are specialty products, typically sold by the reel manufacturer. Those products are formulated specifically for that type of service. They are specially packaged to make application convenient. Fishing reel greases usually have very good resistance to water and protection against corrosion. Typical automotive or industrial greases are not recommended for the lubrication of fishing reels.
What types of lubricating grease are needed for the lubrication of a heavy duty (Class 8 in the US) truck?
Several types of lubricating grease are needed to properly lubricate a heavy duty (Class 8 in the US) truck:
Wheel bearing grease – Some wheel bearings are “lubed for life” while others require regular relubrication. Unless the wheel bearings are “lubed for life,” they should be relubricated at the interval recommended by the OEM. The OEM should provide guidelines for the consistency and grease thickener type that was originally installed in the bearings. The grease used for most wheel bearings should meet the NLGI GC-LB requirements or the SAE J2695 requirements. Most wheel bearings require an NLGI 2 grade grease, while some sealed hub units require an NLGI 00 grade semi-fluid product. For those cases, the NLGI GC-LB or SAE J2695 consistency requirements do not apply. Each type is unique to the bearing design, and should not be used in the other type of bearing.
Chassis and universal joint grease – The grease used for the lubrication of chassis points and universal joints is often the same as the wheel bearing grease. However, if the wheel bearings require an NLGI 00 grade semi-fluid grease, the chassis and universal joint grease will be different. It should meet the NLGI GC-LB or SAE J2695 requirements.
Fifth wheel grease – Fifth wheels require a specific grease, different from the wheel bearings or chassis points. The grease for the fifth wheel is typically a water resistant product with a relatively high concentration of solid additives, such as molybdenum disulfide or graphite. This allows the metal-to-metal sliding contact to be properly lubricated.
Why are there so many different types of lubricating grease? Why do some cost more than others?
There are many different types of lubricating grease because there are many different types of applications where grease is used. Many greases are formulated to have specific properties unique to the application for which they are intended. Electric motors take one general type of grease, while flexible couplings require a very different type, and automotive wheel bearings require yet another type of grease. For more exotic applications, such as in aerospace, Arctic conditions, or high temperature bearings in the steel industry, there are specially formulated products that provide specific levels of performance. Those products are often formulated with synthetic base fluids and contain relatively high concentrations of additives, making them somewhat more expensive than general purpose greases. On a typical passenger car there may many different greases used.
Why is lubricating grease preferred in some applications?
Lubricating grease is unique in that, in general, it stays where it is placed in the application, such as a bearing. It does not normally leak out of poorly sealed applications like liquid lubricants do. In addition, grease forms a seal to keep out contaminants like dust, dirt, water, and corrosive gases. It acts as a carrier for lubricating solids such as graphite, molybdenum disulfide, or PTFE. There is some evidence that grease provides extra film thickness in lubricated contacts beyond that which would be provided by a liquid lubricant of similar viscosity grade. Grease also provides for cost effective maintenance, since grease relubrication intervals can be quite long.