A Reminder About Compatibility

Ever notice how conversation flows easily with some people, while it can be an awkward exchange of words with others? The former probably includes synchronous body language and reactions that build off the other person. The latter, however, is like dragging a stick through the mud and wishing you had spent more time discussing the weather.

That’s incompatibility.

And, unfortunately, the same happens with the greases used on your machines. Are you planning on changing your lubricant? Greases are base oils plus thickener and additives, and all these components differ based on their intended application. Thickeners are simple metal soaps, complex metal soaps, or non-soaps, and when mixed together can react to change the structure of the grease. The thickener acts like a sponge holding the base oil, and a reaction with an incompatible grease may lead to the release of this base oil. This negatively impacts both your process efficiency and your equipment.

When switching grease, you can use the handy table below as a guideline for compatibility. (Sorry, one doesn’t exist for people.)


This should only be used as a reference, since the true way of knowing is to perform compatibility testing. Base oil and additive compatibility should also be considered, though the chart above is an excellent place to start. If you have any questions, you can contact one of us at LE at 1-800-GO-LUBES (465-8237).

Stay tuned for our upcoming newsletter explaining grease changeover procedures and much more. You can go here to subscribe.

– Bianca Besnea

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