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The Science of Slick

Lithium Complex vs Calcium Sulfonate: Which high-performance multi-purpose greases will perform best on your equipment?

Lubricant science has continued to advance in pace with the evolution of modern machinery. Today’s machines are subject to more extreme conditions than ever including higher temperatures, more severe pressures, increased demand for productivity and low tolerance for downtime.

Lithium-complex greases became popular as a high-performance grease as a result of its stability, high-temperature performance and water-resistance. However, advanced lubricants based on calcium-sulfonate, such as LUBE-A-BOOM® lubricants,have shown superior mechanical and shear stability, which is demonstrated inthe field by less leakage and run-out. Its dropping point and high-temperature also make LUBE-A-BOOM® greases more effective at higher temperatures.

In addition, calcium-sulfonate gives the LUBE-A-BOOM® Family of Products inherently better properties than lithium products, without additives, for:

  • Performance under extreme pressures
  • Improved wear resistance
  • Built-in rust prevention
Stability Mechanical Stability +30 +30 <20 A lower number is better
Roll Stability 8-10% 8-10% <5% A lower number is better
High Temperature Drop Point ~350º F ~500º F +550º F Higher drop point, better high-temperature properties
High-Temperature Life ~80-90 hours ~80-100 hours >120 hours A higher number is better
Water Resistance Water Washout (175º F,
1 hour, % weight loss)
5-10 5-10 <5% A lower number is better
Water Spray Off
(% grease washed off)
>50% 20-60% <30% A lower number is better
Roll Stability in Presence of Water (2 hours, 10% water) >10% >10% <10% A lower number is better
Extreme Pressure Weld Load (kgs) 250-400 250-500 >500 A higher number is better
Timken (lbs) 40-45 40-80 >60 A higher number is better
Wear Scar Diameter (mm) 0.5-0.6 0.5-0.6 <0.5 A lower number is better
Compatibility with Lithium Greases Very Good Good Easy for changeover

Chart reproduced from Machinery Lubrication Magazine October 2017 issue.

What About PTFE?

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) has one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any solid material. It makes the slick properties of LUBE-A-BOOM® lubricants even slicker!
With a melting point of 600°F, PTFE continues to deliver its superior lubrication properties in high temperature applications, with excellent staying power. It’s also chemically inert, providing high resistance to aggressive chemicals and corrosive environments.