Understanding oil bleed and grease separation
What causes grease to separate?
Grease is oil that has been mixed into a soap in order to hold the lubricating oil in place. Oil release, static and dynamic, is one of the most important properties of a grease. Oil release is controlled by the thickener type and amount, polymers and processing. ExxonMobil uses a broad range of technologies to optimize and control grease oil release properties.
Is it normal?
Some degree of oil separation from the soap is necessary for the oil to provide lubrication to the intended application. Oil separation varies with storage, time and temperature. There is no industry-defined acceptable limit for oil bleed in service. As long as the oil is not leaking from any seals in the airplane, the grease will perform its intended task.
What does normal oil bleed look like?
- Small traces of oil on the surface
- Oil that collects around the dome or in the crevices at the top of a pail of grease
If you experience normal oil bleed, you should be able to mix the oil appearing on the surface back into the grease.
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