A number of factors must be considered when choosing a lubricant for a particular application, amongst these is the minimum, maximum and nominal temperature of the environment in which it is expected to work.
Often lubricants are expected to work continuously at a level close to their maximum or minimum temperature capabilities. This can lead to inefficient operation, premature wear, component failure and expensive repairs and downtime.
If we consider an oil as a fluid and a grease as an oil or fluid within a thickener (which acts like a sponge), it is easy to understand that the viscosity or ‘thickness’ of the oil at the operating temperature becomes critical to the correct operation of the film of lubricant.
If a lubricant is too thin at high temperatures it will not provide an adequate lubricating film under load, however, if at lower temperatures it becomes too thick or even freezes it will make it more difficult (or even impossible) to shear the film. In some cases the component can seize solid.
It is also necessary to consider the operating parameters of the application when choosing a suitable product. For example, the speed, loads, materials employed, sealing system design, moisture, chemicals and other factors are equally important.
IKV offer a full range of low temperature lubricants including oils, greases and dry film coatings, specifically developed for applications in cryogenic and extreme low temperature environments.
Often the lubricant whether oil grease or dry film is expected to operate in a wide operating temperature range, which can be even more demanding on the lubricant. In these instances IKV offer fluorinated (PFPE) oils and greases for operating temperatures from –90 to 300°C.
IKV Lubricants also supply dry film coatings which will work at even more extreme temperatures.