As many fleet managers and mechanics can tell you, lubrication equipment isn’t an easy process. Some machinery is too complex to lubricate regularly. In that type of situation, mechanics turn to grease-based lubricants. These lubricants have a higher viscosity, so they stick to the surface and provide lasting protection until it’s time to reapply the grease lubricant. Grease lubricants are also great for machinery operating in wet environments like water or off-road applications. They have a higher viscosity and don’t break down if water contaminates the machinery. Another advantageous feature of grease lubricants is that their higher viscosity means that they tend to stay in the area where they were applied, so for high-pressure or metal-on-metal applications, they are great for long-term lubrication because mechanics don’t have to worry about the lubricant being carried through the machinery as it operates. For these reasons, grease lubricants are widely used across several industries because of their unique lubricating properties.

Last year, Chevron rolled out new branding and packaging for its grease lubricant products. The branding redesign aimed to make it easier for customers to choose what grease lubricant they needed. The names of grease products were simplified and broken down by the type of thickening agent used in the grease formula. Chevron’s grease products were put into these four categories:

  • Simple Lithium: These heavy-duty, multipurpose lubricants are for extreme-pressure applications. They are commonly used in automotive, industrial, and household applications. Simple lithium is good at providing oxidation, corrosion, and extreme temperature protection.
  • Lithium Complex: This grease is suitable for extra-duty, heavy-duty, and extreme-pressure applications. It’s most commonly used in industrial or mechanical applications, especially with metal-to-metal contact.
  • Polyurea grease products are great for high-speed motors because they can last a long time without breaking down. They are also water resistant, oxidation stable, and excellent at preventing rust and corrosion. These types of grease are favored in electric motors or steel plants.
  • Specialty, including premium Texclad® grease, is an extra-duty product for sprayable applications. It’s recommended for ball mill gears, traveling water screens, forklifts, and chain and sprocket lubrication.

The new Chevron grease products were rolled out in March 2023, making finding the proper grease lubricant much easier. Now fleet managers, mechanics, and drivers can select the type of grease by the thickening agent that works best for their needs.

Lithium grease products have long been the most popular type of grease thickening agent because they are versatile and remain stable across many industries and applications. However, lithium prices have risen dramatically in the past year, driven by the rise of electric vehicles powered by lithium batteries, leading to price increases in lithium-based greases. The price increase was too much for many customers, and they had to switch to new grease products. To meet that need, Chevron turned to calcium sulfonate.

Calcium sulfonate grease products were one of the first greases developed for use. They have great water resistance, good corrosion protection, and excellent mechanical stability. But they had one flaw: they didn’t maintain their chemical structure at high temperatures. This drawback meant that mechanical applications like a motor engine weren’t ideal when using this type of grease at high speed. So, new grease products were designed with thickening agents like lithium that could better withstand high-speed temperatures. Today, standard calcium sulfonate greases are mainly used in low-temperature marine, agriculture, industrial, and automotive applications.

But, with the price of lithium rising, the research team took another look at calcium sulfonate. As they began researching and experimenting, they developed a new grease product: the Rykon® calcium sulfonate line of grease products.

The Rykon® line of grease products uses a unique overbased calcium complex thickener system that provides excellent corrosion and wear protection, with better thermal stability than previous calcium sulfonate grease products. This new line has been specially formulated for multipurpose anti-friction bearing applications operating under high-stress, high-pressure conditions. It’s also ideal for wet conditions, making it excellent for heavy-duty off-road use. The new Rykon® product line features three different versions, including:

  • Rykon® EP 2: A multipurpose lubricant that offers exceptional protection from wear, shock loading, and corrosion. This version does not contain moly.
  • Rykon® HD 2: This grease lubricant is specifically designed for wet environments. It performs as well as other Rykon® products but has a heavier viscosity for higher loads and slower speeds, which makes it especially useful in wet environments. It also does not contain moly.
  • Rykon® HD 2 M5: Like the other Rykon® grease products, this lubricant offers exceptional protection. However, unlike the other two formulations, it contains 5% moly product to meet the needs of off-road applications.

Each Rykon® product is an exceptional grease lubricant and provides excellent protection and lubrication. However, the true selling point of this new lineup is improved temperature stability. With the improved temperature stability of the Rykon® product line, customers can switch away from pricer lithium-based grease lubricants to the less expensive Rykon® products. As Zach Sutton, Chevron Lubricants industrial sector specialist, says: “By introducing Rykon® to our grease portfolio, we are offering a new solution for high-pressure applications and ensuring customers have a high-performance grease when needed. As demand for raw materials grows, we remain committed to finding solutions like Rykon® that will exceed the demands of machinery and equipment today and tomorrow.”

When choosing the proper grease for your lubricant needs, it can be hard to decide what grease you need. There are several factors to consider, but one of the most important things to be aware of is the thickener agent used in the grease. The thickener agent helps the grease components bond together, increasing the grease’s efficiency. As the price of raw materials like base oil and lithium rises, your choice of thickening agent may change. Lithium-based greases are now more expensive, leading many customers to look for an alternative grease lubricant with a different thickener base. The new Rykon® product line may be the answer for some customers. It provides excellent protection, even at higher temperatures than previous calcium sulfonate grease products, but it’s a more affordable option. If your team wants to try the new Rykon® product line on your machinery, contact your Chevron Lubricants Supplier, Greg’s Petroleum, and we’ll add some to your upcoming order!