Lithium grease has been the go-to lubricant for many maintenance engineers for decades, but it's time to face the facts: Lithium grease is no longer the best choice. With the increasing demand for lithium batteries, the cost of lithium grease is rising rapidly. Supply shortages are also starting to be seen across the industry, which will only add to the cost.
The good news is, technology has improved a lot over the past 5+ years. Although lithium will still have it's place, in many instances there are better alternatives...
In addition to the increasing cost, lithium grease also has its fair share of drawbacks:
High-temperature failure: Lithium grease has a low melting point, which means it can break down and become ineffective at high temperatures. This can lead to equipment failure, costly repairs, and unexpected downtime.
Material incompatibility: Lithium grease can react with certain plastics, elastomers, and other materials, causing damage and reducing their lifespan. This can result in costly replacements and lost productivity.
Contamination risk: Lithium grease is an oil-based lubricant, which means it attracts dirt and debris. This can cause equipment to become clogged, leading to reduced efficiency, increased wear, and shorter lifespan.
Water vulnerability: Lithium grease is not waterproof, which means it can be washed away in wet conditions. This leaves equipment unprotected, leading to rust and corrosion, and reducing its lifespan.
So, what's the alternative?
Technology has advanced dramatically in the last 5+ years and there is now proof of the performance benefits of calcium grease over lithium grease. Here's a few reasons calcium can be the better option:
Value for money: Calcium grease has traditionally been more expensive, however with the rising costs, lithium is set to take over even the best quality calcium greases. This coupled with the added performance benefits of calcium make calcium better value for money.
High melting point: Calcium grease has a higher melting point than lithium grease, making it more stable in high temperatures. This leads to improved performance outcomes and greater machinery component protection.
Better compatibility: Calcium grease is compatible with a wider range of metals compared to lithium grease, making it a versatile solution for a variety of applications.
Improved protection against wear and tear: Calcium grease provides better protection against wear and tear, leading to a longer lifespan for machinery components.
Proven performance benefits: With the advancements in technology, there is now proof of the performance benefits of using calcium grease over lithium grease, making it a safer and more reliable option.
Recommended Calcium Greases
We recommend PEERLESS LLG for equipment with bearings and slide-ways operating continuously at temperatures up to 200°C or intermittently as high as 300°C. It's also been developed for extreme water resistance making it highly effective in wet and marine environments.
Alternatively, PURITY FG2 Synthetic is a food grade calcium synthetic grease which performs well in high temperatures up to 200°C. It is MPI New Zealand approved, and highly water resistant to withstand rigorous wash-down processes often faced in the food industry and beyond.
So with the high cost of lithium grease, not to mention its shortcomings, it's no longer the best option. Calcium grease is a much better alternative, offering improved performance, stability, and value for money. With the advancements in technology, it's time to ditch lithium grease and make the switch to calcium!