The components of a lubricating grease are base oil, thickener and additives. During their production, lubricating greases are subjected to homogenization in a final process. The aim of the process is to equalize the distribution of all components and optimize the structure of the thickener. Automation of homogenization could reduce the cost of lubricant production, but has not yet been realized because there was no known parameter that could be measured on-line during homogenization and with which the degree of homogenization could be quantified.
Research report published: Investigations to determine the distribution of substance components in lubricating greases
The DGMK Lubricants Expert Committee has therefore initiated a research project to examine for various measuring methods whether they are suitable for determining the condition of a lubricating grease in the course of the homogenization process in on-line use.
The project, which was funded by the BMWK, has been completed after three years. The results of the investigations confirm that homogenization leads to a refinement of the thickener structure. In the project, it was shown for lithium grease and urea grease that refractometry and FTIR-ATR spectrometry are suitable for assessing the homogeneity of the thickener structure of lubricating greases and the state of the structure during the homogenization process, respectively.
OWI Science for Fuels gGmbH
An-Institut der RWTH Aachen
DGMK Research Report 809 has been published and is available free of charge from DGMK.
Other exciting projects are underway or in preparation.
The IGF project (20867 N) of the research association Deutsche Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für nachhaltige Energieträger, Mobilität und Kohlenstoffkreisläufe e.V., Große Elbstraße 131, 22767 Hamburg, Germany, was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection through the AiF as part of the program for the promotion of joint industrial research (IGF) based on a resolution of the German Bundestag.