New lubricants improve safety around high voltage power cables
Silicone grease consists of two components. Pure silicone oil is mixed with a silica powder. The silica filler added to the oil makes it look like a grease but, in time, the oil starts migrating. It runs away and leaves the silica behind. What is left is no longer a lubricant, so the two rubber mating surfaces stick to each other and that makes it difficult to separate them.
The solution, Mashikian says, is to create a lubricant with a lower percentage of silica, or no silica at all. And that's what he and the staff at the Electrical Insulation Research Center have done. In fact, they've made five different lubricants which performed better than the commercially available silicone grease, he says.
"Studies of the new technology indicate the new lubricants will remain fluid," says Chuck Leuth, president of PolySi Technologies Inc., which has a license agreement with the University to commercialize the new technology.
For more information see http://advance.uconn.edu/1997/970718/07189720.htm
, from which this is excerpted.