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The inadequacies of composition specifications for lubricating greases have become increasingly apparent in recent years. The multiplication of soap bases and their mixtures, the introduction of fluids other than mineral oil, and improvements and variations in manufacturing processes have made it virtually impossible to estimate the suitability of a grease for a given purpose by laboratory determination of the proportions of its ingredients and its traditional physical properties. Some kind of service test or performance test is required for reliable evaluation and selection of lubricating grease. Many makers and users of grease have recognized the need for suitable test methods and have made separate efforts to develop them. The resulting divergencies in apparatus and procedure have yielded considerable information, but little progress toward general acceptance of any method or group of methods. No one now predicts the adoption of one testing device which can sort and appraise all greases for their multifarious lubricating uses, but it should be possible to reach agreement on suitable performance tests for limited categories of lubricants. Technical Committee G of Committee D-2 chose for its first standardization effort of this sort the development of acceptable functional tests for greases to be used in anti-friction bearings in such industrial applications as electric motors. This narrow limitation of the field of prospective agreement seemed necessary for reasonably prompt completion of the project. The project was assigned to a sub-section of the committee about three years ago.
Adams, Robert C.
Principal Chemical EngineerChairman of the Symposium Committee, U.S. Naval Engineering Experiment Station, Annapolis, Md.