Graphite for lubricating old locks

Last month, we chatted about ‘dry’ wax-based lubes as opposed to ‘wet’ oil-based ones. Although that blog related to bicycle chains (where a dry lube is preferred in South Africa), it does raise the subject of ‘graphite’ – another great dry lubricant.

 

Because Q20 is formulated as a multi-purpose oil, in some cases, it’s better to use a specialist product such as Q5, which is a graphite-based lubricant rather than a oil-based product.

 

The greatest benefit to using graphite (rather than oil) is that the graphite leaves no sticky residue that may later attract dust. This is because the lubricating properties of graphite lie in its weak covalent bonds that allow the layers of graphite to “slide” on top of one another with very little resistance.

 

With this in mind, it’s often best to use a graphite-based lubricant in applications where dust and dirt are a problem. That said, application such as locks, key slots, threaded rods, air compressors, hinges, and printer rails are perfect for a dry graphite-based lube.

 

Because pin tumblers are sensitive to dust and gunk build up, using a normal “wet” oil can often attract dirt and make the functioning of the lock even worse.

 

Using a wet-oil in these applications will often attract dust to the area and make the problem worse. Or, at the very least, increase how much maintenance and cleaning you have to do. The problem, however, is getting the graphite into these hard to reach places.

 

The solution? Mix it with a solvent.

 

Although graphite is commonly available in powder form, the obvious hurdle is trying to get the powder into a tight spot that only a penetrating-oil can reach.

 

The answer lies in combining the graphite with a fast evaporating solvent. In other words: the graphite powder is mixed with a solvent that penetrates the component, and then quickly evaporates to leave a powdery graphite deposit. Meaning, you get the benefit of a penetrating lube without the risk of leaving much oily residue.

 

The other benefit of using graphite is that it boasts an extremely high heat and pressure tolerance.

 

Naturally, like most dry lubes, graphite doesn’t work well in applications where other oils, solvents, or water may be used, as these liquids tend to wash the graphite away.

 

To recap…

 

Use Q5 Graphite spray when:

  • You need to lubricate small intricate components that are sensitive to dust and gunk
  • You need to keep the surrounding area clean without attracting dirt and grime
  • You need a heat / pressure tolerate lubricant

 

Click here for more information on our graphite-based penetrating lube.

 

 

 

 

 

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