Oil Vs Grease - What Are The Differences?
In the mechanical world, there is a never-ending debate between professionals over which is better for lubrication, grease vs oil. But with both products being entirely different, it makes it difficult to distinguish, which is the superior lubricant. With people often not knowing the real differences between the two, we thought we would look at the debate and compare both components to explain what makes them different from each other and which one to use in certain situations.
What is Grease?
Grease is a solid or semi-solid industrial lubricant which consists of base oil, a thickener and additives. Most liquid lubricants produced today use mineral oil as its base greases with lithium, calcium or aluminium soaps used as the thickener. However, these ingredients can change depending on the specifications of the grease with synthetic oil also used.
What is Oil?
Oil is a viscous liquid originating from animal, vegetable or petrochemical substances. They can also be volatile or non-volatile and are used in a vast range of industries. A distinct characteristic of oil is that it does not mix with water due to its molecular polarity.
So what are their differences?
Though both lubricants are remarkably similar, they have different properties that can make one more suitable than the other depending on the job.
Grease has a higher viscosity than oil making it a better option for applications where a lubricant is needed to stay in one place. Oil, on the other hand, can function as both a lubricant and a cooling agent. Unlike grease, oil flows freely allowing it to carry away unwanted heat.
So When Do You Use Grease Or Oil?
Use Grease when;
- Leakage or drippage is present
- Sealing is required in a high contaminate environment
- Machines show signs of wear
- Noise reduction is important
- Operating under extreme conditions such as high temperatures
Use Oil when;
- A cooling agent is needed to regulate temperatures
- In hard to apply or reach places
- For high-speed applications with intense friction
- You want to increase the life of wheel bearings
- You need to clean by carrying away contaminants
Usually, manufacturer equipment will indicate whether grease or oil is needed, but if in doubt, this guide should help you decide which one is more suitable. In general, oil can be used in any situation where grease is not required.
Whether you decide to use grease or oil for your job or equipment, make sure to use high-quality, reliable products to help get the best out of your machinery and increase lifespan. At Tygris Industrial, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality products with our guarantee for life. Have a look at our range of Grease and Oils suitable for a vast array of industries, as well as application equipment including grease guns. Whether you need High Temperature Range Grease or Anti Seize Grease you can be sure to find what you need in our online store!