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Biodegradable grease for bearing applications

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SKF "green" grease, LGGB 2, is a general-purpose lubricant. As such, it is suitable for various types of bearing applications. This contrasts with other biodegradable and non-biodegradable greases, which often require a particular type of grease for each application.

LGGB 2 is a highly competitive alternative to traditional greases.

The grease meets the stringent demands of a range of engineering applications without any adverse effects on the environment. In particular, equipment users in the construction, earthmoving, forestry and farming industry are increasingly seeking "green" solutions because environmental contamination may be an issue.

Until recently, it was thought that current generations of biodegradable and low-toxicity lubricants could not satisfactorily meet the requirements of rolling bearing applications.

SKF has managed to overcome the inherent disadvantages of biodegradable greases that have led to premature bearing failure. LGGB 2 has been tested and approved for steel-on-steel spherical plain bearings, ball and roller bearings.

From exhaustive studies, SKF has found that ester or vegetable fluids formulated carefully into lubricants perform well in real applications.

In particular, SKF researches found that a combination of synthetic ester oil and a lithium/calcium thickener resulted in good properties as defined in terms of water and corrosion resistance without the need to use toxic additives.

The LGGB 2 grease formulation, based on these constituents, performs well with ball, roller and plain bearings. This is a significant development, as conventional lubricating greases are normally considered suitable for only one bearing type.

Each bearing class has a different contact surface, which can affect lubricant performance. For instance, the lubricant film in ball bearings has a point contact; in roller bearings line contact; plain bearings full contact over the area.

SKF selected four different formulations that were subjected to stringent bearing tests. From these tests, it was found that LGGB 2 offered superior performance over a range of operating conditions and bearing types and established a steady operating temperature set at 90°C.

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