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topic 5204

What is a Dry Lube and What are the Benefits

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A discussion started in 2000 & continuing through 2017 . . .


Q. What is a dry lube and what are the benefits. Are they more difficult to clean, and are they compatible with synthetic oils. Thanks

Mike Hartman
- Warren, Ohio


A. Dry lubricants are powder materials such as graphic that form a barrier between surfaces. The dry lube is used in places that liquids could create a mess and as an alternate to liquids due to preference.

Dry lubricants should not be more difficult to clean with the right cleaner materials. I am not sure I can answer the comparison question, my guess would be yes for the same lubrication need. Each product is a tool and each has a specific best application of the product. A kitchen knife can be used as a screwdriver, it works, but it is not the best tool.

Contact your supplier or a supplier of the lubricants and discuss with them why you are concerned with the dry lubricant or the synthetic oils and get their input on your questions. Good luck.

Tyrone L. Caley
- Jefferson City, Missouri


A. The dry lube coatings are coatings that are applied to surfaces that are difficult or impossible to lubricate in standard way. Inside parts of machines, mechanicals that works with solvents, etc. Normally those coatings contains Molybdenum Bisulfide or graphite, and a lot of them have also PTFE to reduce the co-efficient of friction. There are coatings that are compatible with oils and coatings that they aren't, you must ask to your supplier. Jordi Pujol

Jordi Pujol
- Barcelona, Spain


A. Dry Lubricants are not only dry powders, but also can be applied as a paint system, which contains pigments like PTFE or MoS2 onto (metal)surfaces. The paint system can be air dried or cured during heat treatment. The dry lubricant system can be seen as a multi purpose system, such as layer thickness is rather thin (0,0003-0,0005"), it has a low co-efficient of friction, 0,02-,0,14. Depending on the pretreatment, it also provides a very good corrosion protection.

Another advantage of this type of lubrication, is that the coated surface of the parts is dry and does not attract dirt and sand. So a longer lifetime may be obtained.

Johan Nelissen
- Netherlands, Deurne


Q. In the flat rolled industries and stamping sector, dry lube means anything that is solid or semi-solid at room temp. This could include waxes, inorganic or water soluble polymers. This is a very active area of research and development. Comments please.

Steve Simpson
- Kingston, Ontario, Canada

How to control Dry Lube finish thickness?

May 25, 2017

Q. How can I control final diameter tolerance of .0005 total after dry lube critical OD. diameters.
I feel critical dimensions shall be met prior dry film application

Any Comments?

Victor Arias
TQ System - Lake Forest California
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

May 31, 2017

A. Hi Victor,

The way we control close tolerance diameters after dry film lubricant is to lap the finish coating to within tolerance requirements. Of course this depends on which coating is applied and to what thickness.

Keeping away from naming products we have a couple of coatings that we apply to around 7-12 microns, which we then lap, we also have a couple of coatings which are applied in the 1-3 micron range, with these we aim to have the final tolerances met before coating.

Brian Terry
Aerospace - Yeovil, Somerset, UK

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