While aircraft have revolutionized our capabilities of long distance travel and interconnectedness, they are still vehicles containing many complex and sensitive components that must be protected to ensure reliability. With a multitude of systems and aircraft parts moving and functioning close together, high amounts of heat and friction is often produced and may lead to heavy damages if left unchecked. To mitigate such forces and to maintain smooth and efficient operation, lubricants are utilized.
Aviation grease and lubricating oil often comes in the form of semi-solid or solid lubricants that are used on aerospace parts in order to lubricate, protect, and seal them. When a lubricant is applied between two surfaces, it creates a thin film that acts as a barrier between moving parts, reducing friction and metal-to-metal contact. While aviation grease is comparable in application to lubricants, the two are still distinctly separate from one another. While lubricating oils are often very viscous, aviation grease contains an added thickener which allows it to maintain a semi-solid or solid texture. This makes such grease very beneficial for certain aerospace parts, as it can provide more lubrication in areas where lubricating oils are not sufficient, and its solid properties help maintain positioning without settling.
Across aviation grease types, there are typically three primary parts that make up the composition. These include the base oil, thickeners, and additives. Depending on the application in which aviation grease is applied for, the three properties may present different formulations to accommodate specific needs.
The base oil of an oil or lubricant is the foremost component that dictates the application that it will serve best. The base oil is also what provides for the lubrication, rather than the grease. Depending on the application that the oil is to serve, either synthetic or mineral oil is chosen, and viscosity may vary by type. To put it in perspective, oils that are mineral based and have high viscosity are most optimal for use for heavy load applications. Because of its thickness, however, low temperature applications may run into consistency issues and thus such mineral oil aviation grease is not ideal.
Thickeners are agents that may affect the consistency or texture of an oil, making it more soft or stiff. Grease often ranges from those that are cream-like in substance to those that are wax-like, and their ability to operate without consistency change are referred to as their working stability and working penetration values. While thickeners may not provide lubrication as base oils do, they are still important as they release oil when put under pressure or stress. Similar to a sponge, when the pressure or stress is then removed, the grease will return to its original consistency and form.
Additives are components that are common to both lubricating oil and aviation grease, and they are implemented in both the base oil and thickening agent. Additives are often put in place to affect the performance or properties of a particular lubricant, and they may affect the type of aerospace parts that a lubricant is most optimal for. In general, common types of additives include antioxidants, load carrying additives, corrosion inhibitors, and more.
When it comes time to begin sourcing the lubricating oils and aircraft parts that you need for your operations, ASAP 360 Unlimited has you covered with everything you are searching for. ASAP 360 Unlimited is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find the aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that you are searching for, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. ASAP Semiconductor is an FAA AC 00-56B, AS9120B, and ISO 9001:2015 certified enterprise. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at +1-714-705-4780.
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