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MOLYKOTE® 101 - Compounds Explained

Compound Lubricants 101

The MOLYKOTE® portfolio of compounds provides a broad selection of specialty, high-performance solutions for a variety of equipment types & industrial processes requiring seal performance & lubrication.  Learn the secrets and the what, where, why and how of proper compound lubricants selection.
 

MOLYKOTE® 101 Webinar - Compounds 


What is a Compound Lubricant?


Compound lubricants are unique, versatile solutions for lubrication & protection where a conventional grease either does not or cannot work. The basic number of ingredients between a grease and a compound is the same, however the chemical composition of those ingredients varies enough to make them behave differently.   The basic make up of any grease or compound consist of a lubricating base oil, thickener system, and a range of specialty additives to enhance and tailor performance for a particular application. 
Typical
Lubricant Composition
Typical Grease Formula
Base Oil: 65% - 90%
Thickener: 10% - 30%
Additives: 0% - 10%
Typical Compound Composition
Base Oil: 65% (Always Si fluids)
Thickener: 30% (typically Silica)
Additives: 0% - 3%

How to Choose Between a Grease and a Compound Lubricant?


If the chemical composition between a compound and a grease are so similar, how can you be sure you select the right solution for your piece of equipment? Here's a quick cheat sheet to help highlight the benefits of both lubricant types. 

Grease Benefits

  • Seals the lubricating point (no dirt) 
  • Long lasting lubrication (stays at lubricating point, no migration)
  • Pack lubrication in grease reservoirs
  • Open lubrication points (gears)
  • Noise reducing or dampening 

Compound Benefits

  • Good Thermal & Oxidative Stability
  • Wide temperature range (-40°C to 200°C)
  • Excellent resistance to water 
  • Compatible with common plastics & elastomers
  • Low volatility & vapor pressure

When to use a MOLYKOTE® Compound?


There are many applications where a MOLYKOTE® Compound can deliver extended term performance and protection - but there are a few applications in which they are not well suited. It's important to run through a few key parameters for where and how you plan to use the silicone compound lubricant. 
Load, Environment, Temperature, and Speed - or LETS for short - the major parameters to keep in mind are listed below: 

Equipment Parameters

  • Machine Element
  • Operational Load 
  • Temperatures (high & low)
  • Velocity of friction or movements 
  • Expected Life or Run-time
  • Used Material 
  • Compatibility with environment
  •  Regulatory concerns (food-safe)
 

Applications for MOLYKOTE® Compounds


The MOLYKOTE® Compounds are ideal solutions in a wide range of specialty equipment and applications where moisture or electricity is involved. The MOLYKOTE® lubricants can deliver exceptional performance in applications including: 
 
  • Moisture resistant barrier on electrical plugs or equipment
  • Dielectric insulator or lubricant on high current switches 
  • Release agent for both plastic & metal surfaces
  • Mold treatment for release 
  • O-ring & valve lubricant at ambient or high temperature
  • Vacuum & pressure system sealant (HVG)
  • Applications with NSF, FDA, or USDA requirements like NSF 61

 
It's important to keep in mind that the MOLYKOTE® compounds should not be used in metal-on-metal lubrication or in applications where a silicone rubber is present, as the silicone in the compound can cause the elastomer to swell.  In this instances, a MOLYKOTE® grease is a better solution.

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