Grease lubricant is comprised of a base oil carried in a thickening agent, which delays migration and evaporation of the oil, lengthening its effective operational and shelf life. Additives may also be included in the basic grease formula to improve corrosion resistance, reduce oxidation, and otherwise improve the lubricant performance. Grease lubrication is recommended unless low torque or high speed is essential to the application.
In general, oil is used as a lubricant where grease is unsuitable, for example, where low torque or high speed are considerations. Typical oils used are the same as those used as the base oils in greases. The operational life of oils is usually much less than that of equivalent greases due to evaporative losses. One exception is the perfluorinated hydrocarbon family of oils that have extremely low saturated vapor pressure (SVP), giving greatly extended life.