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 extra light to heavy, and Nye can formulate them to meet any gradation in between. 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.
What’s the difference between the 774 vs the 868 range of damping greases below…
Both the Nyogel 774 and Fluorocarbon Gel 868 products use a Polyalphaolefin base oil. The 774 series is thickened by silica and exhibits low colour, high clarity and medium tack. The 774 grease generally better at resisting displacement from plastic and metal surfaces when compared to the 868 range. The 868 range was originally designed for metal on metal applications; composed of white coloured products formulated with rust inhibitors and PTFE particles, which on some surfaces will improve lubricity.
Note: PAO = Polyalphaolefin | PTFE = Polytetrafluoroethylene
Smaller containers of the core damping grease range can be purchased online (opens new window).
Please note that the products in the tables above are the core damping grease products offered by Nye. Many more are available including older formulations that are still available and are sold on this website such as Nyogel 767A and Nyogel 795A. Please contact us if you cannot find the product you are looking for.
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.
Should you choose one of the 774 or the 868 damping greases? Both ranges perform similar functions but utilise different chemistry to achieve their damping goal.
The 868 range is thickened with PTFE which is normally white in colour, hence the 868 range is white in appearance. The 774 range is either a tan or blue colour but will appear translucent in thin layers and is less visible on dark surfaces, if visibility is an issue. The 868 products have a better shear stability and our experience is that they are better suited to metal on metal applications or applications where the grease will experience prolonged periods of use. 774 greases can be better suited to plastic applications and have a lower price point.
Material compatibility problems with the damping greases is not common but we recommend that you consult the Nye compatibility chart that is within the Engineering Reference Chart.