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The Importance of Grease Compatibility With Bearings

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When it comes to equipment and tool parts, material compatibility is essential. It can have a significant impact on the functional lifespan, quality of performance, and safety of products.

This is why, when it comes to bearings, it is absolutely imperative to use the right type of grease.

According to one of the leading bearing manufacturers based in the UAE, grease compatibility with bearings offers the following benefits:

  • It prevents cross-contamination, which typically happens when you switch from using one type of grease to another.
  • It determines if two grease types will separate or mix homogeneously to work for the bearings.
  • It can likewise determine if combining two grease types will create a chemical reaction that can compromise the performance and quality of bearings.

Suffice it to say, choosing the right grease for bearings based on the load, temperature, and operational environment will be beneficial for your car or machine’s optimum efficiency, and for your manpower’s safety

Businesses operating machinery such as factories can suffer low productivity and accrue unnecessary expenses if they fail to take grease compatibility for the bearings of their equipment.

Machinery Lubrication magazine even reports that using the wrong type of grease is the cause for 50 percent of bearing damage or failure, which then results in equipment breakdown and compromised operations.

The question now is, how do you choose the right grease to use in ensuring the functionality ad optimum performance of equipment bearings? To answer this, provided below are expert tips on establishing grease compatibility with bearings.

Choosing the Right Grease

For bearings to work right, they need to have the right type of grease. Be sure to consider the following in determining what kind of grease will ensure the best performance and longevity.

1. Research on grease types and what they are used for.

There truly is no better way of knowing what grease would work best than by getting information from industry experts and manufacturers. Study the different types of grease used for bearings, as well as the special lubrication needs of specific types of bearings.

By doing so, you will better see an alignment of type, function or use, and performance.

2. Find out what your equipment or machine OEM specifications are.

The operating environment and load rating are two critical variables in determining which is the right grease type to use. This is due to how temperature and other environment-related changes such as humidity, as well as varying loads automatically lead to grease viscosity loss.

When grease loses its thickness, it leaks out of bearings, which quite often leads to the quick breakdown of surrounding components or parts. Thus, it is crucial to find out how a certain brand and type of grease will fare against such variables.

3. Find a reputable supplier of both grease and bearings.

Industry players can offer extensive information on both the different types of bearings and grease. With their technical expertise gained from seeing both grease and bearings in action and using these products, you can be sure that they have a solid idea of performance and quality to pair up the two components accurately for various applications.

4. Opt for well-known grease brands.

Product brand popularity is usually one of the leading determinants of quality. Not only does it reflect quality and customer satisfaction, but it is also one of the indicators of industry leadership, reliability, and trust. More importantly, well-known grease manufacturers have a vast selection of options suitable for leading bearing brands.

More often than not, they offer different types of lubrication formulations that have been thoroughly tested to deliver expected results. After all, among the most vital goals of famous brands is to remain relevant and to lead in their industry by providing innovative products.

Top brands make it a point to produce new and improved formulations that work more effectively in meeting the unique demands of various pieces of machinery such as prolonged usage under extreme environmental conditions.

All About Grease

To round up your knowledge about grease, here’s some more useful information:

1. EP Additives

Extreme pressure additives are chemical ingredients in grease that give maximum heat and wear protection to bearings.

2. Base oil

This is the ingredient that makes grease ideal for industrial purposes or applications. It is usually made of mineral oil, which is denser than other oil types.

3.  NLGI rating

For bearings used in conditions with extreme humidity and heat, the NLGI rating should be of Grade 3 consistency to prevent leakage. As mentioned earlier, when grease loses its viscosity due to extreme conditions, it leaks out of bearings and then damages the surrounding mechanical components.

4. Thickener

The thickener is usually  lithium soap, which is known to bind with the base oil, so grease becomes highly resistant to operational or environmental temperatures, load, and speed.

Ensuring cost-effectiveness, durability, and optimal functioning is essential for businesses using machinery for daily operations. Using the right type of grease for bearings is one effective way to achieve such goals.

Hopefully, the information provided above will help in your implementation of smart preventive practices for your equipment.


Hassanein Alwan is the Managing Director of Mineral Circles Bearings with more than 10 years’ experience in the bearing industry’s technical support division, sales and marketing, plus strategic business development consultancy.