Multiply Alkylated Cyclopentanes (MAC) are an exclusive base oil to Nye Lubricants. The MAC name can be confusing as sometimes the oils are called Pennzane® as this was the original trade name for the MAC products when they were first commercialised. A MAC oil or MAC based grease are highly valued by customers due to their superior wear resistance (compared to PFPEs) in vacuum related applications on higher loaded, metal on metal applications; we also have seen great success in more recent years with ceramic bearing applications.
Normally the ‘go to’ base oil for vacuum applications is PFPE but PFPEs cannot cope with high loads. The other reasons that PFPEs are favoured is due to their low vapour pressure and their broad temperature range. The MAC lubricants can match the vapour pressure performance of PFPE lubricants, however the MAC base oils cannot match PFPEs for temperature range:
- PFPEs can have a temperature range of -90°C to 250°C
- MAC/Pennzane® have a functional temperature range of –45°C to 125°C
If the temperature restriction is not an issue then a MAC oil or MAC based grease could be your ideal solution. MAC products have a superb pedigree in vacuum and space applications (e.g reaction wheel bearing). MAC Summary:
- Temperature range of -45 to 125°C
- Low vapour pressure
- Excellent wear resistance (compared to PFPE)
- Broad range of additive options
- High cost
- Viscosity Index 125 to 150
This article is only intended as a basic introduction into MAC oils/fluids. Keep in mind that if a MAC is used as the base oil for a grease, the thickener and additives also used in the formula will have an influence on the final characteristics and performance of the finished grease/lubricant.