Seta-Shell Four Ball Autoload Lubricant Tester for ASTM D, ASTM D, IP We perform grease testing by ASTM D to measure the load-carrying properties or load wear index of lubricating grease using a four ball test apparatus. This standard is issued under the fixed designation D ; the number 1 This method is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum.

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Understanding compatibility and contamination is the first step to optimal grease performance, plant operations and return on investment.


Relubricate frequently, taking care not to overlubricate, especially motors. The dilution in performance is again nearly equivalent to the level of contamination, that is a 20 percent reduction in the load wear index upon 20 percent contamination. Determines a greases ability to withstand repeated mechanical stress. The 4 Ball EP test machine operates in a sliding or rolling motion.

The Best Gets Better: However, a true incompatibility situation may result when low-performing grease affects the performance of the higher performing grease, meaning another grease with more desirable intermixing attributes should be considered. The purpose of this testing is to determine the load carrying capabilities of a lubricating grease under high load applications.

Making sense of it all–how to pull it together in a simple and understandable form The Leon-Maxwell Equation simplifies the lubricant selection process. Incompatibility can be identified from the performance or measured physical properties of two or more mixed greases. An overview of a recently performed aviation grease study by Anderol demonstrates the necessity of proper grease testing within the actual manufacturing environment.

The lower the percent change, the greater the mechanical stability of the grease. Figure 2 shows how the performance of a grease can be reduced by contamination from water or a lesser performing grease. The answers are in a few ASTM test methods. Oxidation stability ASTM test: The coefficient of friction is also measured throughout the 60 minute test with the average being reported at the end of the test.

Changes in physical properties would be reflected by a softening or hardening of grease consistency, or decreased shear stability upon mechanical working and even reduction in thermal stability identified by a reduction in dropping point.


Acids, caustics and cleaning solutions can break grease down and corrode metal. Contemplating a switch of grease products, due to poor performance or process change, brings to light the critical issue of compatibility. A graphic representation showing the dramatic difference in load-carrying capability between two grease samples sample No.

The better the lubricant is at preventing wear, the smaller the wear scar will be on the three stationary balls. Before implementing a new product, plant and maintenance engineers must weigh all consequences of grease intermixing and the impact on equipment reliability, production levels and the bottom line.

Ideally, a supplier with an intensive research and development program is willing to perform tests before a lubrication change is implemented to protect machinery from failure or wear. More often than not, intermixed grease analysis shows minimal changes in grease performance, but this cannot be taken as the rule without proper assessment. Because percent grease replacement is unlikely, some level of contamination is certain to occur, requiring the pre-implementation measurement of leftover grease with a new product before finalizing an upgrade or machinery process change.

Create your own user feedback survey. Results are reported as percentage with a functional range from 0. Results are reported as pressure loss expressed in pounds per square inch psi with a functional range from 0 to psi. Simply, compatibility results when the performance properties of the mixed greases are equal or better than the lower performing grease.

Maintenance Services and Products.

Dropping point ASTM test: At the conclusion of the test, the three wear scars are measured and the average is reported. Based on this value, one can formulate greases with different levels of extreme pressure properties.

Tribological Testing by 4 Ball Methods

Determines the strenghth of the boundary film between metal surfaces that provides extended protection. Maintenance and engineering zstm can minimize the risk associated with grease changes by doing each of the following:. Imagine the test as a routine traffic light. Toggle navigation Toggle search. Select greases with similar thickening systems. Current Issue Archive Advertise. In this example, a recent three-test trial of intermixed lithium soap-thickened greases reveals details of compatibility when observing grease consistency, antiwear and extreme pressure along with water contamination on extreme pressure grease performance.


The higher the number the greater load-carrying ability. Generally, greases having similar thickener types will be compatible, but even greases of the same thickener systems can be deemed incompatible because of differing additive treatments and must be judged on an individual basis.

The supplier should also spend time with maintenance personnel to make sure they know what to look for going forward. For this experiment, a low-level, 10 percent by weight, of contamination was implemented to avoid harmful degradation of the individual greases and to simulate a situation common to typical grease changeouts.

Even though the study found no grease incompatibility issues, changes in grease performance were measured and documented. The ability of a grease to perform under extreme pressure conditions is determined by the load wear index LWI. In addition, where possible the supplier should be present throughout a grease changeout to make sure the new grease runs correctly. Seven tests for selecting the right grease Greases are used to overcome real-world problems presented by operating environments and operating conditions of mechanical equipment.

The higher the number, the greater the long-term protection. Simply put, all the asm samples were found to be compatible with one another. The performance dilution continues when the lithium complex grease is contaminated by both the lithium OH stearate grease and water. Organize Your Maintenance Online!

Penetration ASTM test name: Determines the temperature point at which atsm changes from a semi-solid to a liquid.

Force applied to a bearing or journal that exceeds the load carrying capability of the grease. In addition, because equipment users usually do not have the proper resources to perform testing themselves, it is the responsibility of the grease supplier to measure grease compatibility with dropping awtm, penetration and high-temperature performance test machines.

Wear scar properties and coefficient of friction of a lubricating grease can also be determined using the 4 D25596 Wear configuration.

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