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Choosing a High performance Food Grade Gear Oil

Nov 9th 2015 at 11:48 PM

In the food industry, there is need to provide proper metal lubricants that offer adequate performance. These food grade lubricants are often used in food processing plants and they are categorized depending on how likely they are to get into contact with food. Finding lubricants that are able to perform in extreme environments is important. They must be able to withstand contaminants such as sugar and chemicals.

Selecting which food grade lubricants to use can be challenging. You need to understand the two categories of lubricants and the applications in which they are recommended for. We will take a look at the different categories of food grade lubricants. The categories depend on the kind of ingredients that have been used in their formulation.

Additives and Thickeners

Additives are usually included in the formulation in order to improve the performance of food grade lubricants. There are different types of additives and thickeners depending on the role they are supposed to play. Some are used to prevent corrosion, wear and extreme pressure. The most commonly used food grade grease thickeners in the market are aluminum stearate, aluminum complex and organo clay.

H1 lubricants

If there is a possibility that the machine parts or the equipment will get into contact with food, then h1 lubricants are used. H1 lubricants can be mineral (petroleum-based) or synthetic base stocks. Petroleum based lubricants or mineral oils are often used in industrial food plants because they do not stain,  add any taste, color or smell to the food in the event of contamination. They are considered the most refined mineral oils.

The synthetic base stocks are mostly used in extreme temperature applications because, compared to mineral lubricants, they are designed to withstand a high range of operating temperature. These lubricants also contain approved additives and thickeners to promote effective performance of the machinery. Aluminum complex is a common thickener that is added to H1 lubricants.

H2 lubricants

In cases where there is a very low possibility of the lubricant getting into contact with food, then H2 lubricants are the ones used. Many of these lubricants do not have a list of approved ingredients mainly because of the low risk of the lubricated surface getting into contact with food. A chain and conveyor lubricant should not contain heavy metals like lead and mercury or even ingredients like mutagens and carcinogens that may contaminate food and become a huge health risk.

When choosing the best food grade gear oil, it is important to understand the demands of the food processing work as well as the environment. Know the different categories of lubricants and how they promote food safety before making a decision.

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