Biobased Greases Gain Traction with National Stock Numbers
Lubricants and greases are a part of routine maintenance for machinery, fleets and transportation worldwide. Environmental Lubricants Manufacturing has developed a replacement for petroleum-based lubricant products. Their sustainable, biodegradable and biobased greases contain a noteworthy ingredient: U.S. soybean oil. The company has successfully developed three grease products that are made with high oleic soybean oil and have now earned National Stock Numbers from the Defense Logistics Agency.
ELM, a leader in manufacturing biobased lubricants and greases, has worked for three decades toward creating soy-based products that are cost-effective and high performing.
ELM greases meet industry standards
Lou Honary, ELM president, said ELM products meet rigorous performance standards and match the price of other greases on the market.
“We have perfected our products to meet the National Lubricating Grease Institute’s highest standards of performance, with LB and GC-LB letter designations,” Honary said.
The NLGI’s letter designations classify performance and identify which greases are acceptable for certain uses. A designation of GC-LB is recommended for wheel bearing grease, and LB is the industry standard for chassis grease.
The following three biobased ELM products have earned National Stock Numbers: UltraLube LMX Red Grease NLGI #2, UltraLube Moly EP Grease NLGI #2 and UltraLube Multipurpose Grease NLGI #2. All three greases are ideal for heavy load and extreme pressure applications.
Biobased lubricants with soy oil as an ingredient offer a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based greases, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing performance.
“We have gone through extensive tests with our products, comparing them to petroleum. And we tell everyone, ‘You get equal or better performance,’” Honary said. “Vegetable-based lubricants, including soybean oil, have much higher flashpoints. They don’t catch fire as easily as petroleum-based products.”
A seamless switch to biobased greases
Companies using petroleum-based greases that are looking for a more sustainable approach to lubricants can welcome the switch without fear.
“We have run compatibility tests between petroleum-based greases and biobased greases. We know that some greases cannot be paired together, such as lithium grease with aluminum grease or aluminum grease with calcium grease,” Honary said. “There are industry standards that test for compatibility, and we performed that with biobased greases and petroleum greases. The tests showed our products are compatible.”
Honary said those using lithium greases and wanting to use a biobased grease can make the switch with no issues.
ELM products available for everyday use
Honary said that having National Stock Numbers on their products adds credibility and will allow customers to better understand how their greases perform.
“We hope that having products with National Stock Numbers will generate interest from government and industry purchasers so that our distributors will sell more of it,” Honary said.
Those interested in purchasing ELM products can find them offered under various private labels. ELM products are sold by other companies with support from ELM.
Currently, the state of Iowa’s Department of Transportation uses high oleic soybean oil-based grease produced with Iowa soybeans. Honary believes these greases match the competition and could find a home with other government organizations, including the U.S. Postal Service and other federal facilities.
Honary said, “With our products now having National Stock Numbers, it makes them easily available for a wider audience. I think it is a win for us, U.S. soybean farmers and anyone who makes the switch.”
Discover more about soy-based lubricants here.