All About Penetrating Oils
“Penetrating oils or penetrating fluids are a low viscosity type of oil used to make nuts and bolts easy to remove. This type of oil can also be used on other applications such as for home-use and industrial plant functions.“
Penetrating oils have low viscosity which means that they flow easily when applied. Penetrating oil got its name from its ability to penetrate in the narrow spaces between the threads of two parts. It works by leaving an oil film in the surface pores of an object and displacing other materials. It’s low viscosity and the surface tension it provides is what lets it penetrate well into small cracks.
Though it can be used as a general purpose lubricant, this is not entirely advisable due to its volatile nature. It evaporates in a very short amount of time, therefore leaving very small lubrication residues.
Penetrating oils are generally made out of a blend of lower alkanols, lower alkyl benzenes, alkyl succinic acid, tert-dibutyl-p-cresol, polymethacryalate, zine dialkyl thiophsphate, and methyl silicone in a stock of paraffin bright stock lube oil.
The alkanol component is usually added as a lower alcohol variant like methanol or propanol. Economy and tax reasons usually call for a blend of isopropanol and methanol in a ratio of 5 to 1. The bright oil base, on the other hand, is usually created from a blend of natural paraffin oils which are usually pre-treated for low-viscosity and high-viscosity lubricant use like the ones in commercial transmission oils.
The reducing agents and antioxidants are those commonly added to lubricants for automobiles and may vary in amount when used in penetrating oils. However, they are usually added following the recited range in order. This way, their chemical actions are loosened or reduced. This lets the parts be freed easily and without need of excessive force.
Types of Penetrating Oils…
Micro-Dispersant Penetrating Oils
Penetrating oils of this type are very fire resistant and have solid lubricant particles that are suspended in a synthetic or natural oil base. The said particles can be any kind of solid lubricant. Good examples are boron nitride, polytetrafluoroethylene, and graphite. The oil base on the other hand, can be any kind of liquid oil.
Straight Oils and Soluble Oil Fluids
This type of penetrating oil is the one commonly used for mechanical purposes. They are undiluted with the non-emulsifiable oil made from petroleum or base mineral oils with fats or esters. Penetrating oils of this kind have high water content with the oils emulsified in low water concentrations. The soluble oils are created from fluids with high water content which improves its resistance to fire. Straight oils are highly flammable so soluble oils with high water content should be used in cases which have high chances of the oil igniting.
Penetrating oils for automobiles easily loosen rusted bolts and nuts and perform other purposes such as quieting noisy hinges and suspensions. It can also protect parts from salt and corrosion. It should basically cover three purposes namely lubrication, protection, and moisture displacement.
For lubrication, penetrating oils should help reduce heat and friction and lessen the noise between squeaky and rusted parts. A quality penetrating oil should also provide resistance against elements that can cause rusting and corrosion like salt and water. Lastly, these oils should enable displacement of water and moisture on the parts as well.
The following parts are just some of the components where penetrating oils can be applied:
- Air tools
- Electrical terminals
One very exceptional penetrating oil developed by a well-known manufacturer is a good example of such product. The CleanBoost® Nano-Spray™ penetrating lubricant spray can do all the said duties while also improving drill bit performance and extending drill bit life. Besides from just being used on automobiles, trucks and farm equipment, it can also be applied to other components of other mechanisms like conveyors, air tools, hand tools, firearms, and fishing reels.
If you want to know more about CleanBoost® Nano-Spray™, just head here. What is your favorite penetrating spray or lube? Comment and let us know or tell a story of how your favorite penetrating oil saved the day.
About the Author
Passionate about Jeeps, mechanics and all the new ways to improve engine performance.