Why Is Graphite a Better Lubricant than Oil

Bisley InternationalFAQs

The choice of lubricant you use depends on the application and the environment surrounding the application. When it comes to lubricating moving parts, you can use oil or liquid-based lubricants or dry lubricants like graphite. Mostly, graphite is preferred over multi-purpose oils. Below, we will discuss the benefits graphite offers over oil lubricants in industrial applications.

Oil Lubricants

Multipurpose oil lubricants eliminate corrosion but are not ideal for lubrication because they leave residue on the applied part’s surface. In an application where the lubricated part is exposed to dust, the contaminant mixes with the oil, causing friction and wear. If you have to use oil to prevent corrosion on the lock, ensure you use a degreasing product to remove the residue left behind.

Graphite as a Lubricant

Graphite is a crystalline carbon that has a black appearance. It is hydrophobic and offers superior lubrication properties. Graphite is mainly used as a dry lubricant but can also be dispersed in oil. Solid or dry lubricants reduce the force of friction between sliding surfaces. The most significant advantage of graphite over oil-based lubricant is that it doesn’t leave sticky residues that accumulate debris or dust.

Graphite is made of carbon, and it consists of different structures with horizontal sheets. Each sheet is made up of 6 carbon atoms. The lubricating properties of graphite exist in the weak covalent bonds that make the graphite layers slide on top of each other with minimal resistance.

These weak bonds between the carbon atoms make graphite the best lubricant in applications where longevity and wear resistance are essential. Besides, graphite is highly resistant to pressure and heat.

However, in some applications, it may be challenging to use graphite in hard-to-reach areas, making the user pour in more graphite than what’s required. Using too much graphite will eliminate the benefit it has over multipurpose oil. Excess graphite may start to gunk up and mix with contaminants like dust and dirt. However, you can combine graphite with a solvent and solve this problem.

Mixing Graphite with a Solvent

Combining graphite with a solvent is an easier way to lubricate tight spots where crystalline carbon can’t reach. It is essential to mix it with a fast-evaporating solvent so that you can have only the graphite powder on the surface after the solvent evaporates. This means that you will benefit from graphite lubrication without leaving an oily residue.

Order Quality Graphite Grades from Bisley

Whether you need graphite lubricant for industrial applications like railway track joints, ball bearings, open gears, or mechanical devices with valves, and threading, Bisley International has what you need. We supply various grades of synthetic and natural graphite produced in the USA. We have enough stock to supply the products you need for your project. We offer customizable solutions, so don’t hesitate to contact us to place your order.

Check out our Raw Materials Range Guide for Grease & Lubricant Additives.