How to avoid issues caused by industrial grease incompatibility

How to avoid issues caused by industrial grease incompatibility

Mixing different types of greases, even those with the same thickening agent, can sometimes lead to an ineffective lubrication and if not fixed soon enough, this aspect can cause failures of industrial equipment, some of them that are irreparable and require a full replacement of the equipment.

These situations occur as a result of chemical or structural interaction between thickening agents or additives from various industrial greases. The symptoms of incompatibility come in many shapes, but if identified in due time can rectify the issue before it escalated to something more serious.

Please find below which are the main 3 of grease incompatibility with industrial equipment and how to avoid issues caused by this effect.

1. Changing in industrial grease consistency

The easiest symptom to identify is changing grease consistency. This tendency will be more pronounced as the operating temperature rises. Given the fact that industrial equipment is prone to working in environments with extremely high temperatures, this behavior will be easy to identify even through a small visual check of the lubricated equipment.

2. Increase in grease consumption

The appearing of uncontrolled oil leaks or premature grease ageing are direct effects of grease incompatibility. Thus, mixing two types of incompatible greases may lead to an increase in grease consumption. Thus, you will inevitably have an increase in the quantity of grease that you require, an aspect that will bring significant increase in costs with maintenance of the industrial equipment.

3. Decrease in the industrial grease’s performance

Another symptom of industrial grease incompatibility is their low performance. A high-performance grease like the Mobil branded ones, distributed in Romania through Star Lubricants, should offer performance advantages like:

  • Increased equipment reliability
  • Savings with maintenance costs
  • The possibility of increasing productivity

All these advantages can be reached thanks to the formulation of Mobil greases, which contain mineral and synthetic liquid closely selected in combination with proprietary greasing technologies and high-performance additives.

The chemical interaction between incompatible greases can however lead to the separation of oil from the additives used, thus the grease loses its high-performance qualities.

For instance, in the case of electrical engines, the most frequently used are greases that contain a thickening agent like lithium-complex or polyuria. Even though the same types of greases can be used for electrical engines, these thickening agents are considered to be incompatible and don’t have to be mixed unless a specific compatibility test has demonstrated their compatibility.

How to avoid the issues caused by incompatibility of industrial greases?

The first thing you need to do to avoid such issues is to always use the same type of industrial grease, with the same specifications and the same additives to lubricate the industrial equipment you own. However, if for various reasons you choose to replace the industrial grease, make sure that the equipment is completely cleaned and the old grease is entirely removed before adding another type of grease.

Also, to make it easier for you, please find below a table of grease compatibility, based in the general information used in this field. The table is compiled based on compatibility according to the thickening agent used and does not refer to the incompatibility that results from mixing greases according to their additives.

incompatibilitatea unsorilor industriale

Graphic source:

Grease compatibility differs according to industrial grease composition thus the data presented in the above table needs to be considered just as a guideline in terms of grease compatibility.

In order to find out what grease is suited for your industrial equipment, click the image below and request a customized offer. A Star Lubricants expert will help you choose the right grease and avoid the issues caused by possible incompatibilities.