Introduction to Petroleum (Mineral) base oil

Petroleum or mineral oil based grease is the most common and lowest cost grease on the market. If you have a lubrication task and are considering a grease, a grease that uses a mineral oil should be considered. Why? Well why should you pay for characteristics and features that you don’t need? If a mineral oil based is good enough for the task at hand, you shouldn’t pay for a synthetic oil based grease unless you have to. This might sound strange coming from a company that sells synthetic grease, but the principal of not paying for product features that are not required applies to any lubrication product selection, even when choosing a grease based on a synthetic oil.

There are many fine petroleum based grease products so although, in this article we will be focusing on the limitation so petroleum based grease, this is only the case from the standpoint that synthetic grease has more features and a higher overall performance, but at a much higher cost.

  • Temperature range of -20 to 100°C, so narrow temperature range
  • Very low cost
  • Product variability compared to synthetic oil
  • Poor plastic/elastomer compatibility
  • Broad temperature range
  • Viscosity Index 80 to 110

Keep in mind that when you hear terms like ‘Lithium Grease’ this is referencing the thickener used to make an oil into a grease. A thickener (sometimes called gellant) acts like a sponge to make an oil into a grease. So a ‘Lithium Grease’ could be a mineral or synthetic grease.

Take a look at our list of base oil overview articles.

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