Overview of the damping grease range

Designers and manufacturers have used damping greases for more than 50 years as an economical way to build fine tolerances into their products. The “velvet feel” and virtually silent operation of the focusing mechanisms on microscopes, zoom lenses on 35mm cameras, and other optical instruments, and the fact that the lens doesn’t continue to “coast” when the mechanism is stopped, are all the results of a damping grease applied to the focusing threads. Damping greases are also widely used for electronic controls such as potentiometers, where they ensure smooth, quiet, controlled motion, and make possible very precise settings, very cost-effectively, that could not otherwise be made by hand. They are also found in gear trains and gear motors, appliance controls, electric switch mechanisms, outdoor recreation equipment, laser controls, television tuners, and in many automotive, hand-actuated or instrument panel control applications, where “quality feel” usually indicates the presence of a damping grease.

When selecting a damping grease, objective and subjective criteria apply. Objectively, damping greases must retain their damping qualities throughout the temperature range of the application, so careful attention should be paid to the temperature range of each grease. More subjectively, damping greases are selected for the “feel” the designer wants to achieve. Generally, the more delicate the device, the lighter the grease. Damping greases come in standard grades, from very light to very heavy and even extreme damping. Importantly, when determining a grade and how much grease to apply to a device, carefully consider the amount of torque available at the lowest operating temperature, when the grease is most viscous.

The Tribosyn 320 series of damping grease is our core range.

The Tribosyn 320 range is a colour coded set of six damping grease from which to choose from. The stiffness or viscosity of the range starts at very light, moving up in grades to a very heavy damping, as show by the below graphic showing a simplified illustration of damping effect through the range:

Recommended service temperature range is -40 to 130°C

For the more technical minded reader, we offer a different chart showing the base oil viscosity of the Tribosyn 320 range. When a damping grease or any grease is formulated, it would be the base oil of the grease that constitutes the largest ingredient in the formula, so in theory, the kinematic viscosity of the base oil would be the main reason the grease is stiffer/has a higher viscosity; this is a rather simplistic statement to help the reader, if more insight into grease formulation is of interested, please watch our video What Is Grease? Below is graphic illustrating how an increasing base fluid/base oil viscosity is used to increase of the damping level or damping characteristic of the Tribosyn 320 series:

Insight into the chemistry used for the Tribosyn 320 Series

The Tribosyn 320 Series are synthetic grease products. There are three components of a grease formulation:

  • The base fluid (also sometimes called base oil). Formulations can involve the inclusion of more than one base fluid (a blend).
  • The thickener system (can be one or more materials).
  • Additive or additive package.

The Tribosyn 320 series all use a Polyalphaolefin (PAO) base oil of differing viscosities, a silica thickener and a proprietary co-polymer is included in the product range, which is not revealed in documentation so as not to compromise the formulation.

In previous years we offered damping grease from Nye Lubricants, which included the Nyogel 774 and Fluorocarbon 868 range; we have changed supplier so offer a different range. If you are looking to switch to our new range, read our article about switching from a Nye damping grease to a TSE damping grease (our new synthetic lubricant partner).

Offered at a low cost, we sell a DAMPING GREASE TRIAL PACK at our online shop, primarily aimed at engineers and technicians that are looking to evaluate the use of a damping grease on their device or prototype; the kit is also popular with the hobby or retail user that only requires a small amount of grease.

Tribosyn 320 Damping Grease Series overview

Grease Name Temperature Range (°C) Chemistry Grade/Level of Damping
Tribosyn 320 Clear -40°C to 130°C PAO, Silica & proprietary copolymer Very Light
Tribosyn 320 Red -40°C to 130°C PAO, Silica & proprietary copolymer Light
Tribosyn 320 Orange -40°C to 130°C PAO, Silica & proprietary copolymer Medium
Tribosyn 320 Yellow -40°C to 130°C PAO, Silica & proprietary copolymer Medium to Heavy
Tribosyn 320 Green -40°C to 130°C PAO, Silica & proprietary copolymer Heavy to Very Heavy
Tribosyn 320 Blue -40°C to 130°C PAO, Silica & proprietary copolymer Very Heavy

TSE grease used for extreme damping tasks

Grease Name Temperature Range (°C) Chemistry Grade/Level of Damping
Tribosyn PG44A 20°C to 125°C Polybutene & Silica Ultra Heavy /Extreme

Note: PAO = Polyalphaolefin

Smaller containers of the core damping grease range can be purchased online (opens new window).

We have had a large number of requests for an equivalent to the now discontinued Rocol Kilopoise 0868GW and 0868S damping grease – Take a look at our article dedicated to customers looking for a Kilopoise alternative.

Material compatibility problems with the damping greases is not common but we recommend that you consult the compatibility chart that is within the Engineering Reference Chart.

Similar Posts