A Model for Shear Degradation of Lithium Soap Grease at Ambient Temperature

Yuxin Zhou, Rob Bosman, Pieter Martin Lugt

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    In this paper the shear degradation of lithium 12-hydroxy stearate grease will be measured using an in- house-developed Couette aging machine. In this device the shear rate is well defined. The aging is related to the generated entropy density, as described in Rezasoltani and Khonsari’s work (Tribology Letters, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 197–204, 2014 and Ref. 11). The rheological properties of the aged samples were evaluated using a parallel-plate rheometer. The results showed that there are two aging phases with different degradation rates, i.e.—a progressive degradation phase at the early stage, followed by a rather slow deterioration afterwards. Based on this observation an aging equation was
    formulated to describe the aging behavior of lithium-thickened grease. Atomic force microscopy results of the fresh and aged greases showed that the variation in thickener microstructure provides a good explanation for the lithium grease degradation mechanism; under shear, the original fibrous network is progressively destroyed and becomes fragmented, leading to the loss of consistency and a change in the rheological properties.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-46
    Number of pages9
    JournalPower Transmission Engineering
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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