When it comes to lubricating moving parts, very few products are as effective as dielectric grease. Apart from lubricating, it also works as an excellent insulator and sealant. Whether you’re fixing your vehicle’s electric connections or your mechanical keyboard, dielectric grease can do it all.
However, you might not always have it in hand while in need. In that case, you need to find an alternative that works just like the dielectric grease. So, what are the substitutes of dielectric grease? Are they any good?
Some of the best substitutes of Dielectric Grease are Silicone-Based Grease, Synthetic Grease, White Lithium Grease, Conductive Grease and Vaseline.
To answer your question in deails, here we will discuss the most common and easily attainable substrates of dielectric grease. You’ll also know how the products are different from each other. So without wasting much time, let’s dive right in.
Common Alternatives of Dielectric Grease
If you want to achieve similar results, the alternative you choose should not only be able to properly lubricate the parts but also provide electrical insulation. That’s because dielectric grease is used to withstand high temperatures and eliminate fire hazards besides lubrication.
Below are some substitutes that provide almost the same benefits as dielectric grease. Let’s check them out.
1. Silicone-Based Grease – The Best Alternative
Since silicone is the common component used in both these lubricants, silicone-based grease is considered the best alternative to dielectric grease. Silicone-based grease provides excellent protection against high temperatures.
It’s a better option to choose if you want water resistance. This type of lubricant dries to a hard state for providing optimal insulation. Besides, it offers better fluidity, greater thermal conductivity, and lower volatility.
You can use it on high voltage interconnections, taps and pipes, rubber seals, and other moving parts as a lubricant and sealant. However, not all silicone-based greases have the same chemical composition.
The grease that works for your vehicle’s inner parts might not be as effective for mechanical keyboards or plumbing jobs. So, choosing the right product is essential to get the desired results.
Dielectric Grease Vs Silicone-Based Grease – What Are the Differences?
The key differences between the two types of lubricants include-
- Appearance: Dielectric grease is transparent and used mostly to coat and protect electrical conductors and shield them from dust and other foreign substances.
Silicone grease has a translucent white viscous paste-like appearance used for waterproofing and protecting rubber seals.
- Characteristics: Silicone grease is a combination of silicone oil, lithium, and other additives. When it dries out, it turns into a hard coat. On the other hand, silicone is also the main element used to formulate dielectric grease. However, it remains flexible after drying and doesn’t turn hard.
- Uses: Dielectric grease is used in high voltage areas, power cables, terminals, mechanical keyboards, etc. It insulates the hardware and protects the elements from alien substances.
Silicone grease is used as a temporary sealant in factories and labs. Also, it effectively lubricates moving vehicle parts.
- Price: Due to its insulating features and wide application, dielectric grease is pretty expensive. Silicon-based grease costs comparatively less and is readily available.
2. Synthetic Grease – For Low-Temperature Applications
Conventional greases typically have a petroleum base which can dissolve plastic materials. Instead of petroleum products, synthetic greases employ synthetic lubricants like silicone to solve this issue.
Metallic thickeners like calcium or lithium are used to make them resistant to challenging situations such as high pressure and temperature. For lubrication, this grease features base fluid and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) micro powder.
This non-toxic lubricant can withstand extreme temperatures between -45 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also protects against rust, corrosion, and friction. You can safely use it on plastic, rubber, and other materials.
Dielectric Grease Vs Synthetic Grease – What Are the Differences?
Although the base material is similar for both grease types, synthetic and dielectric greases differ in many aspects including-
- Appearance: Artificial color is added to various synthetic greases depending on their uses. This type of grease isn’t sticky and doesn’t lose shape. Excessive heat can’t melt or separate it from the surface.
Dielectric grease is also similar in appearance and properties except its transparent.
- Composition: Just like dielectric grease, silicone, or other synthetic materials are used to formulate synthetic grease. Substances like PTFE micro powder, lithium, or calcium are used to increase the thickness of synthetic lubricants.
- Uses: Synthetic grease is best for low-torque and low-temperature applications. It’s often used to lubricate moving parts at low temperatures. Industries use this grease for heavy-duty applications.
Whereas, dielectric grease is used both for light and heavy uses. However, for plastic and rubber materials, synthetic grease is more suitable than dielectric grease.
- Cost: The price of synthetic greases widely vary depending on their composition. High-quality synthetic greases are available in the same price range as dielectric grease.
3. White Lithium Grease – Best for Metal
If you want a suitable substrate for dielectric grease that works even better on metal surfaces, white lithium grease is your best bet. Formulated from lithium soap, white lithium grease is highly viscous and remains in its place after drying out.
Due to its high resistance to temperature, moisture, and environmental changes, this grease is particularly suitable for heavy-duty uses. It also protects against wear and tear, rust, and corrosion.
Although its best for metal-on-metal uses, it provides sufficient lubrication and protection to a wide range of surfaces. White lithium grease possesses stability and a high dropping point. It’s frequently utilized on automobile parts, mechanical keyboards, and other heavy-duty uses.
Dielectric Grease Vs White Lithium Grease – What Are the Differences?
The composition, properties, and applications are different for the two lubricants. Which includes-
- Appearance: As the name suggests, white lithium grease is a creamy and white substance with high pressure-withstanding properties. This multi-component lubricant maintains its viscosity after drying out.
The transparent dielectric grease doesn’t change its color and doesn’t completely heal into a hard matter after drying out.
- Composition: Silicone or various silicone oils are the main ingredients of dielectric grease. The base helps it to maintain its consistency on various surfaces.
As for white lithium grease, it’s composed of lithium soap derived from fatty acids. Hence, it has a stronger composition and higher consistency than dielectric grease.
- Applications: White lithium grease is widely used in locomotive and automobile industries. It has high lubrication properties that keep the metal parts moving seamlessly.
Dielectric grease is mainly used as a sealant and lubricant on electric parts thanks to its waterproof nature.
- Cost: White lithium grease is more affordable than other greases including dielectric grease.
4. Vaseline – The Cheapest Alternative
This substance is widely used in factories with large machinery. Interestingly, vaseline and dielectric grease share many common properties. Vaseline functions well as an insulator and lubricant. It safeguards the moving parts from corrosion.
Vaseline also keeps the parts safe from rust, dirt, and moisture. This lubricant is used on plastics, costing woods, metal, keyboard switches, and stabilizers.
However, it has a low melting point and low conductivity. So, it’s not safe to use vaseline in high voltage areas.
Dielectric Grease Vs Vaseline – What Are the Differences?
The noticeable differences between dielectric grease and baseline are-
- Properties: Since vaseline is considered chemically inert, the preservation strength of vaseline is lower than dielectric grease. Also, vaseline melts in comparatively lower temperatures. Unlike dielectric grease, vaseline is non-toxic and widely used in skin products.
This lubricant doesn’t dissolve in water, but it also doesn’t show much water resistance as dielectric grease.
- Applications: Due to its conduction properties, vaseline has diverse electrical applications. Its moistening features are great for reducing friction on various surfaces. Vaseline is used on metal surfaces, pharmaceuticals, the food industry, cosmetics, and other household products.
On the other hand, dielectric grease isn’t safe to use in domestic products. It’s mostly used in the automotive industry.
- Cost: As we all know, vaseline is way cheaper than any other type of grease. It’s readily available at local stores. Whereas dielectric grease costs way more, especially the top-rated ones.
5. Conductive Grease – Great for Electronics
If you want a better insulator, conductive grease would be a great choice. This product is widely used in car connectors to improve their performance and enhance durability.
It has a metal base that spreads on the surface and protects it from rust, dirt, and foreign particles.
The conductive properties of the grease make it a better choice for electrical applications. However, you have to know how to apply the grease to a surface to achieve the best results.
Dielectric Grease Vs Conductive Grease – What Are the Differences?
Here’s how conductive grease is different from dielectric grease-
- Composition: Conductive grease probably has the most unique chemical composition which includes a thin metal base. The finely powdered metal fills the voids of the oxide and delivers better performance.
However, when mixed with copper or aluminum blocks, it fails to withstand voltage drop. Hence, you need to apply it directly for sufficient lubrication and protection.
Dielectric grease has a silicone base that works differently and withstands higher temperatures.
- Applications: While locomotive and electrical industries mostly use dielectric grease, conductive grease is used in wires and connectors. It’s also used to protect high-power electric switches and moving mechanical parts to resist corrosion.
So, what are the substitutes of dielectric grease? Now you know the answer. Although dielectric grease is expensive, it’s one of the best lubricants, sealants, and insulators available today.
If you want an affordable yet effective alternative, silicone-based grease will be a great option. White lithium grease is probably the best for metal surfaces. As for insulating, conductive grease will be a great choice.
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