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Lubricants can generally be found anywhere there is active machinery. That means it can typically be located everywhere from DIY garages to industrial manufacturing plants. No matter what type of compound it is, when the substance is used it tends to ease friction as the machine whirls, grinds, or chugs. Some heavy-weight lubricants can prevent a machine’s electrical resistance, while light-weight lubricants can ease an object’s ability to penetrate. Here is a quick guide to the three types of lubricants available today.

Grease

Specialty oil, a lithium thickener, and loosening particles are combined to make grease. Known for their sticky-thickness, grease allows the application to stay on the surface as it is applied. Sometimes the thick, oily texture will act as a protecting barrier as it prevents contaminants from damaging a particular machine surface. Grease consistencies range from a mineral-oil-thin to a sour-cream-thick and are only one type of industrial lubricant in Richmond, VA, that are available. Be careful when applying grease because when it is used on fast moving machines, grease can be flung in many directions.

Oil

Made from polymer chains mixed with a detergent or corrosion preventative additives, oil is the most common lubricant sold. Depending on the viscosity, when applied to almost any surface, the oil usually makes the two items slip-and-slide against one another. The weight classifications of oils are often shown in numbers, with the higher number referring to a thicker oil. Oil lubricants should not be used on surfaces exposed to dirt or water.

Penetrating

Known for its ability to penetrate into even the smallest of spaces, the penetrating lubricant has saved many people from hours of wiggling rusted bolts, screws or keys. Designed for one-time use, this specialty lubricant comes in two categories – graphite and oil. The film left behind by the penetrating lubricant is a very thin coating.

The type of lubricant you need generally depends on the type of problem you have. From industrial strength lubricants to thin, oily textured sprays, lubricants can save many headaches over sticky metal parts.