Technical Articles

The STRATCO® semi-continuous grease process has been documented in various trade and research publications. Below you can find how STRATCO® has contributed to the lubricating grease field.

Grease Production, CO2 emission - A New Relationship!

Manufacturing conventional lithium grease is a very energy intensive operation and, surprisingly, to the knowledge of the authors, no one prior to a recent technical paper [1] has studied the energy consumption and possible environment impact of the grease manufacturing process associated with the base oil used. It is well known that carbon dioxide has been shown to be the major contributor to greenhouse emissions and global warming and energy consumption can be directly related to the manmade contribution of this gas.

Mehdi Fathi-Najafi – NYNAS AB John S. Kay – STRATCO, Inc.

Moving Forward … Can Lubricating Grease Be Produced in a More Efficient Way?

The STRATCO® Contactor™ Reactor

Its use in the production of calcium sulfonate based greases

Calcium Sulfonate based greases are recognized as an excellent option for grease applications where heat, water, and high or shock loads exist. Their inherent properties are well known and include excellent rust and wear protection, high load carrying capacity, high dropping point, and excellent mechanical stability, even in the presence of water.

Critical Variables in Lithium Complex Grease Manufacturing

Lithium complex greases represent a high performance grease type with specialized applications, and these greases are steadily growing in widespread markets. Several options are available to the grease manufacturer regarding raw materials and manufacturing methods. The selection of the complexing agent has economic ramifications and also performance and procedural considerations. Due to the differences in reactivity of the complexing agents, there may be optimum temperature profiles for each material. A lab scale STRATCO® Contactor™ reactor is used to make lithium complex greases using two common complexing agents, namely azelaic acid and sebacic acid. This type of reactor is used in order to have better control of the temperature profile during the process. Holding the base oil, soap concentrations (11%) and acid ratios (3:1) constant, the temperature profiles are varied and the physical properties are analyzed and compared to establish optimum reaction conditions.

A Micrographic Comparison of Greases

STRATCO® Contactor™ Reactor vs. Kettles

Aluminum Complex (AlX) greases are a high performance grease with many specialized applications. There are three principal chemistry options for manufacturing AlX greases. This laboratory study presents these three different manufacturing options using raw materials from two of the most widely used suppliers in the lubricating grease industry.

Evaluation of Various Raw Material Options for Producing Aluminum Complex Greases

It has been very well established and reported in previous technical papers that the use of a Contactor reactor can improve the yield of greases [1][2]. Although logic dictates that this improvement results from structural differences in the fibrous matrix of the thickeners, such a difference has yet to be explored photographically to any great extent.

Today’s Decision in Grease Manufacturing Kettle Vs. A Grease Contactor™ Reactor

Every grease manufacturer wants an efficient production method that yields a high profit margin in conjunction with a superior return on investment. These needs can only be achieved after careful analysis of capital expenditure, payout, market opportunity, production cost and overhead. Once the decision has been made to enter into the science of grease manufacturing, one other decision must be made: Should we employ conventional kettles, a Contactor reactor or a continuous method? As the continuous method requires round-the-clock plant operation and it typically limited to operations with very high volumes of greases with relatively few product formulations, the technical paper presented here compares Kettle versus Contactor™ reactor process, which are more versatile and common in the industry.

Manufacture of Polyurea Greases in A Stratco® Contactor™ Reactor

Polyurea greases are generally manufactured using in-line static mixers or open kettles with exceptionally good ventilation and vapor handling systems. ln both procedures, exposure to starting ingredients such as fatty amines, diamines and diisocyanates (usually toluene diisocyanate) is eliminated or greatly minimized . These compounds are respiratory and skin irritants and in the case of toluene diisocyanate, somewhat toxic. This technical paper demonstrates on a commercial scale the effectiveness of manufacturing polyurea grease in a Contactor™ reactor, which offers the added safety benefit of operating in a sealed condition, thereby avoiding exposure of operating personnel to the toxic raw materials required in processing.

STRATCO® Contactor™ Reactor Economic Analysis

STRATCO, Inc. has been supplying grease manufacturing equipment and engineering for over 70 years. The first STRATCO® Contactor™ reactor, which is at the heart of the STRATCO® Contactor™ Process, was installed in 1929 and is still operating today. Over the years, many technical papers have been written and presented addressing a variety of issues associated with the Contactor, such as operating advantages, pilot plant versus commercial production correlation and operating techniques. The focus of this paper is to compare the economics of operating a grease manufacturing facility utilizing a Contactor versus conventional open kettles. This study will address, in greater detail than previous papers, the potential cost savings related to raw materials, labor and utilities, by adding a Contactor to a conventional open kettle grease process

New Uses For A Vintage Machine

production of the soap concentrate for lubricating greases. The Contactor significantly reduces manufacturing time while improving product yields and product quality when compared to the oven kettle process. This is demonstrated by the fact that over 120 STRATCO Contactors have been utilized in lubricating grease service since l929.

The Stratco® Contactor™ Reactor Method of Grease Manufacturing

Beginning as early as 1650 B. C. in Egypt1, lubricating grease has been a product that helps make the world go around. From usage on chariot axles to reduce friction in 1400 B. C. until the present day, these semi-liquid or semi-solid products have been utilized to improve the quality of life for people on every continent. When you think about nearly everything you purchase to keep you alive, to clothe you, to communicate with others, to use for sports or leisure, to make you feel or look better, and to transport you from one place to another, please thank the people in the lubricating grease industry. Their expertise provides the best lubricants for the sophisticated machinery necessary to manufacture those products for you.