Influence of Vehicle Electrification on Future Automotive Lubricating Greases

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Future Automotive Lubricating Greases

Future Automotive Lubricating Greases

Future Automotive Lubricating Greases – The battle against air pollution is nothing new. Residents in London, England, have complained about foul-smelling air since the Middle Ages. In 1952, the Great Smog of London, which plunged the city into smoky darkness for five days, led to the Clean Air Act of 1956. In 2003, the city had to impose a traffic congestion charge after air pollution increased from the 1970s to 1990s. Finally, in 2008, the Climate Change Act aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources.

But the battle hasn’t just taken place in England. In the United States, the battle against pollution has been almost as long. Whether it was the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, the Clean Air Act of 1963, Air Quality Act of 1967 or the Clean Air Act of 1970, the U.S. government has also fought to make the air cleaner for its citizens.

As the fight continues today, a movement is afoot to reduce the number of internal combustion engines (ICE) on the road by introducing more electrical vehicles (EVs) into the transportation sector around the world. It is forcing lubricant manufacturers to rethink their approach to the greases used in such vehicles. In this webinar, we examined the current state of vehicle lubrication and how the evolution of hybrid EVs (HEVs) and EVs will, by necessity, change the way greases are manufactured and used.

Today’s Automotive Greases

In common current conventional vehicles, approximately 26 of more than 50 parts require grease lubrication. There were 483,000 metric tons of grease sold in 2019 (the most recent year for which data is known; sources: NLGI and Kline). In most vehicles, there are four different types of greases used, either alone or in combination:

      • Corrosion-protective;
      • Lubricating;
      • Water-resistant;
      • Antisqueak

There may be as many as 50 greases in a typical passenger car or light truck. Inside the passenger compartment, greases serve mostly light lubrication duties like providing noise-reduction qualities. They must be plastic-compatible and are applied for the life of the components. Externally, greases are frequently used in antiwear, anticorrosion and antioxidant capabilities.

The major uses for grease include steering racks, suspension joints of light trucks, door hinges, locks and handles, brake mechanisms, shock absorbers and wheel bearings, among others. In contrast, small volumes of specialty greases are necessary for electrical contact switches, pedal mechanisms, accessory drive bearings, seat adjusters, window winders and other applications.

Click the image below to read the complete article in the digital version of “LUBES EM FOCO MAGAZINE – issue 83” :