22 April in

What are Grease Thickeners and When to Use Different KLONDIKE Greases

KLONDIKE produces a range of unique robust and tacky greases that provide premium lubrication in difficult operating conditions and are tailored to industry requirements for improved productivity. Greases are usually formulated with three components: base oil, thickener, and additives.

All three of these ingredients have different uses. The base oil lubricates, reducing friction between moving surfaces. The thickeners act like a soap sponge. It’s there to hold oil in reserve until it’s needed to lubricate. When exposed to movement, vibration, or temperature change, it’s triggered to release oil.

The additives complement the lubricating ability of the base oil, improving its ability to protect against wear and rust prevention.

Let’s look at the different thickeners used in KLONDIKE Greases

Grease thickeners can be divided into two categories – soap and non-soap. More than 90 % of thickeners are soap based. These thickeners can be broken into the following groups:

  • Simple Soap: Resulting from the reaction of a single acid, usually 12 HSA and a metallic hydroxide, with lithium being the most common and they can also be derived from, calcium, aluminum, and other basic salts.
  • Mixed Soap: Less common and produced by a reaction of acid with multiple metallic hydroxides.
  • Complex Soap: Reaction of an acid with a short chain complexing acid. The acid mixture is then combined with a metallic hydroxide to form a complex thickener, resulting in an improved structure and additional performance benefits.
  • Non-soap: Are thickened with clay, polyurea, calcium sulfonate and other materials. These greases provide strong heat and water resistance without sacrificing other properties.

Calcium Sulfonate

Calcium sulfonate thickeners incorporate attributes of calcium complex soap thickened grease with the additional benefits of sulfonate technology, such as superior performance in wet conditions and outstanding water washout protection. They offer outstanding extreme pressure properties, corrosion, and oxidation protection, and have a higher dropping point, making them attractive for high-temperature applications.

Lithium Complex

Lithium grease is a multipurpose grease known for its durability, high viscosity, and stability. It offers good low temperature performance and pumpability.

Lithium complex greases have properties that enable the grease to be heated to a higher temperature without losing its structure. They also offer improved shear stability and lower oil bleed while still maintaining the best characteristics of lithium thickeners.

Aluminum Complex

Aluminium complex greases are best used in the food industry. They can withstand extremely high temperatures, have impressive water-resisting properties, prevent rust, corrosion, oxidation, and have good shear stability.

Bentonite Clay

This grease type has no known dropping point. Typically used in high temperature applications and applications that involve exposure to water. Great wear and tear protection, and good mechanical stability.

Choose the right grease for your application

Check out our grease chart here to compare our range of greases tailored to a variety of industry requirements. Remember to use the KLONDIKE LUBE-LINK database, this unique online tool references an extensive OEM database and connects the right KLONDIKE product for the equipment being searched.

Always follow OEM recommendations. KLONDIKE takes no responsibility for product misuse or misapplication.

KLONDIKE Lubricants Corporation is an independent Canadian company with oils and lubricants distribution facilities in:
Greater Vancouver, BC ● Edmonton, AB ● Winnipeg, MB ● Greater Toronto, ON ● Moncton, NB