LOX-8® Grease, by Fluoramics, Inc., is proven to extend the operating life of a toggle valve by 26 times.

Instron, a worldwide leader in the materials testing industry, manufactures and services sophisticated machines that test the mechanical properties of a wide range of materials, components, and structures.

Steve McMahon has been a Mechanical Engineer at Instron for 36 years. Recently, he needed a better lubricant for sliding components inside a tensile testing grip, and he immediately thought to use LOX-8 Grease.

“Instron is best known for our tensile testers – machines that sit on tables and pulls things apart to determine tensile properties,” says McMahon. “As a member of our Sustaining Engineering Group, my job is to solve problems that our customers might be having in the field. We received a call from a customer regarding the hand-actuated toggle valve that opens and closes the pneumatic side action grips on their tensile tester. The customer said that the valve leaked air for a few days and then stopped working altogether after about 30,000 or so tests.”

McMahon said, “The valve, manufactured by a third party, used a silicone-based lubricant between two sliding parts (nickel-plated brass against stainless steel). We suspected that silicone might not be the right lubricant.”

McMahon explained, “I had a tub of LOX-8 Grease in our supply cabinet that worked great when I used it on some pivoting arms on another Instron product. Since then, it has always been my go-to lubricant. I was very confident the LOX-8 Grease would work well in this application as well.”

McMahon and his team decided to do their own lubrication study of LOX-8 Grease by building a cycler that would simultaneously exercise six pneumatic toggle valves. He knew that typically a customer might flip this toggle every two minutes while doing their tensile testing, but with this cycler, he was able to
achieve three testing cycles per second – a rate that would quickly give them a clear picture of the performance of LOX-8 Grease.

“We were able to reach one million cycles on our cycler in just four days!” says McMahon. “We quickly found that the LOX-8 Grease could give the valve a lifetime of 800,000 cycles compared with the 30,000 from the silicone-based lubricant. That’s 26 times the lubrication life of the old lubricant. We even added
iron oxide debris into the toggle valve and the LOX-8 still performed very well up to this 800,000 threshold.

“We asked our valve supplier to use LOX-8 Grease according to our drawing that showed the grease points. All of our toggle valves now use LOX-8 Grease on the sliding parts.”

LOX-8 Grease is a PTFE lubricant and NLGI 1 grease. Use LOX-8 Grease in environments where extended service life is important: medical, nuclear and other high-tech fields including chemical processing, industrial gases and other aggressive applications. Use when greasing oxygen service bearings, valves, O-rings, pumps and regulators. Approved for use in food processing facilities. Fire resistant.

LOX-8 Grease Products