Choosing The Right Thickener For Multifunctional Grease

Greases are made of three main components: base oil (70-95%), thickener (3-30%), and additives (up to 10%). Thickeners are essential as they are the “sponge” that holds the base oil and additives. Greases are classified on the basis of thickeners i.e. soap based(eg. lithium, calcium) and non-soap based (eg. Clay, Polyurea). Majority of greases worldwide are classified as soap thickeners.

This article uses research to decide the best soap thickener for multi-functional grease. Three thickener options – Lithium, Lithium Complex, and Calcium Sulfonate – have been tested against the following key parameters:

  • Stability
  • High temperature
  • Water resistance
  • Extreme pressure

The ideal thickener should work exceptionally well at higher temperatures, won’t break down from water washouts, and will respond well to extreme pressure.

Calcium Sulfonate – The star performer

It was found that out of the three thickeners, Calcium Sulfonate is the clear winner. This is due to its inherent strength to perform well under highly-demanding conditions. Moreover, Lithium-based gases need the addition of expensive additives to perform well in demanding conditions.

Another factor in favor of Calcium Sulfonate is flexibility. It’s easy to switch to Calcium Sulfonate-based greases from Lithium-based greases due to the high compatibility factor shared between the two thickeners.

Calcium Sulfonate grease has consistently outperformed lithium and lithium complex greases in field applications and tests. One endearing feature of calcium sulfonate grease is that it does not require performance additives to meet higher performance levels.

Calcium Sulfonate greases feature enhanced shear and mechanical stability when compared with lithium and lithium complex greases. This ensures less runout and leakage in industrial environments. Calcium Sulfonate greases also possess a high temperature life and an enviable dropping point. High anti-wear and extreme pressure properties further cement the popularity of calcium sulfonate as the right thickener for multi-functional grease.

Another positive is that sulfonates are renowned rust inhibitors and this attribute has been passed on to calcium sulfonate greases. They possess superior water resistance and will not disintegrate in if water is present.

Calcium Sulfonate greases have high tolerance to dust, dirt and humid environment. This ensures that they are widely used in demanding industries such as Construction and Mining.  Other industries that rely on calcium sulfonate include Transport, Marine, Steel, Power, Agriculture, Food and Drilling.

Over the years, the price difference between Calcium Sulfonate greases and Lithium greases have narrowed down significantly and many industrial professionals view Calcium Sulfonate thickeners as total value for money.

Molygraph offers top-quality Calcium Sulfonate greases that have repeatedly proven their capabilities across multiple industries. We strongly recommend that you switch to our thickener offerings and leverage the high performance they offer. Call us at +91 81044 09925 or send an email to to get started.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *