General purpose and lubricants cannot withstand the temperature requirements of braking applications and are not compatible with most materials used in a braking materials utilised in a braking system. At elevated temperatures these lubricants will burn or oxidise, adding debris to the braking components which will most likely accelerate wear and create additional noise, vibration and harshness. Specialty synthetic lubricants also last longer than general purpose lubricants which will greatly extend the time between service intervals.

What brake components are we typically asked to lubricate?

We work on varied braking challenges with automotive OEMs and their tiered supply partners, typically we are ask to help with the lubrication of parking brake cables, brake caliper pins, electronic power brake and brake calipers and anti-lock braking system bearings and pistons all operate at high-temperatures and should be lubricated using a specialty synthetic grease.

Subjects to consider when choosing a lubricant for a brake component?

Consider Material Compatibility Issues

Petroleum/mineral based lubricants are often not compatible with rubber and plastic brake components, there are several other lubricant chemistries that are not ideal for braking applications; PAO and Ester lubricants are not compatible with braking components as they are known to attack plastics and EPDMs. Silicone, PFPE or polyglycol lubricants are compatible with most plastic and EPDMs. With so many different chemical variations in plastic, it is always recommended that you test a grease for material compatibility.

Ensure the Grease Falls Within Your Operating Temperature

Brakes get hot, that’s no secret, but not every grease/lubricant can take the heat. Low temperature conditions must also be considered when selecting a lubricant. At low temperatures the wrong grease will thicken and slow down the operation of the mechanism and if the right chemistry is not selected the grease will burn away/burn off at high temperatures.

The move to electrically actuated parking brakes and brake calipers has brought new challenges.  High temperature needs now need to be balanced with cold temperature performance like low voltage draw and speed of application.

PAOs and Esters have good low temperature performance, down to -60°, but are not recommended for high-temperature applications exceeding 125 to 150°C. Silicones and PFPEs exhibit excellent wide-temperature capabilities ranging from -40° to up to 200°C.  Many automotive companies do not like silicones due to their infamous migratory ability (if you are an automotive professional, you will know about this subject). You don’t want silicone? Polyglycols can be an alternative performing at -40° up to 125°C. Each base oil chemistry has it’s pros and cons, like most things engineering, there is no simplistic choice. The product selection is best researched thoroughly or you should get in contact for assistance.

What Brake Grease Should I Select?

We can only give you an insight into our experience; we offer several silicone and PFPE based greases that have been specified by leading Automotive OEMs within braking applications. Don’t just focus on the base oil for the grease, the inclusion of an appropriate thickener can be crucial in meeting your lubrication goal. Base oil, thickeners…what are these terms? If you are confused, consider watching our explanatory video that explains what makes a grease. The lubricants/grease product we see most often used on brake components is listed below but if you don’t see a product that suits, please get in contact:

 

Fluorocarbon Gel 880

TDS for Fluorocarbon Gel 880 – click on image to open TDS in new tab. More extensive data available if requested.
  • Recommend temperature range of -40 to 200°C
  • Dimethyl silicone base oil.
  • PTFE thickened.
  • NLGI grade 2.
  • Recommended for use in parking brake cables.
  • Meets the specifications GM #99854593 & Chrysler #MS-7751 for parking brake cables.

 

 

 

Fluorocarbon Gel 990A

TDS for Fluorocarbon Gel 990A – click on image to open TDS in new tab. More extensive data available if requested.
  • Recommended temperature range of -40 to 200°C
  • Dimethyl silicone base oil.
  • PTFE thickened.
  • NLGI grade 1.
  • Recommended for use in brake calipers, parking brake cables and ball joints.
  • Meets GM specifications Ford ESA-M1C200-A2 & GM 9985664 for parking brake cables.

 

 

Rheolube 380

TDS for Rheolube 380 – click on image to open TDS in new tab. More extensive data available if requested.
  • Recommended temperature range of -50 to 130°C
  • Blend of PAO/Ester base oil.
  • Lithium soap thickened.
  • NLGI grade 2.
  • Recommended for use in park brake ball/forcing screw.

 

 

 

Uniflor 8512

TDS for Uniflor 8512 – click on image to open TDS in new tab. More extensive data available if requested.
  • Recommended temperature range of -50 to 225°C
  • PFPE base oil.
  • PTFE thickened.
  • NLGI grade 2.
  • Recommended for use in ABS bearings and pistons.
  • Softer version of 8512 available which could be of interest depending on the application criteria.

 

 

 

If you are a automotive engineer who is considering one of our products for your braking component, then this means you are a potential large volume user and therefore eligible to receive a free sample for test/evaluation purposes – please get in contact.

Consider Your Grease Dispensing Requirements

For most automotive applications, grease is applied both on the assembly line and during servicing and repair. Most greases can be automatically dispensed but it becomes more difficult with viscous greases. We offer a variety of packaging options for both automatic/large volume and handheld/lower volume applications.

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