Can White Lithium Grease Be Used On Electrical Connections?

It is a lithium soap-based multifunctional lubricant. Dielectric grease is widely used and used in electrical components. White lithium grease is used in locomotives and autos. They protect the conductors from dirt by sealing and securing them.

What is the best electrical connection grease?

Lubricating electrical connectors has a number of benefits, including preventing oxidation, fretting corrosion, contact wear, and prolonging connector life. A thin film of lubricant can also minimize mating force by up to 80%, which is critical in connector installation. Grease is often favored over oil due to the grease’s visible ability to “remain in place” as compared to oil.

A word regarding the chemistry of the connector greases on the market….

If you’re not familiar with connection grease/lubricants, these aren’t ‘grease’ in the traditional sense if you’ve only ever used cheap grease, i.e. these aren’t mineral-based, mass-produced brown sludges. Synthetic connector lubricants are highly engineered products that come in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet the demands of real-world applications ranging from domestic to automotive, aviation, high temperature, extreme environments, and even satellite applications requiring low outgassing lubricants.

Preventing water ingress and/or preventing fretting corrosion are the two most common reasons for utilizing a connector lubricant. Are you unsure about fretting corrosion? Keep an eye out for our upcoming article, Understanding Fretting Corrosion.

A low insertion force makes assembly more efficient and provides reliable connections for complex electrical connectors with dozens or even hundreds of pins, or for automobile connectors in hard-to-reach spots. An efficient lubricant for gold-plated connectors decreases the risk of noble metal wear/damage during mating and separation.

The devices listed below are suited for electronic/electrical applications as well as digital and analogue data communications.

Lubricants protect against corrosion, oxidation, and the impacts of severe conditions. This means that gold-plated connectors will protect the substrate from corrosion. A thin film of lubricant can seal the pores, reduce substrate assault, and provide low contact resistance in thin gold plating. Manufacturers have used gold plated contacts to combat fretting corrosion over the years, but OEMs may still have to deal with fretting despite using gold because enough of the gold coating is scratched away during initial mating, negating the use of gold in the first place….especially where the gold plating thickness is probably too thin in the first place.

A special mention should be made of the capacity of a quality connection lubricant to prevent fretting corrosion in separable connectors this is obviously a critical capability of a quality connector lubricant if you are reading this because you suspect fretting concerns. In addition to air corrosion, tin/lead connectors can suffer from ‘fretting corrosion,’ which is caused by low-amplitude vibration induced by thermal expansion and contraction, as well as surrounding motion from fans, motors/engines, or anything else that vibrates the connector. Fretting corrosion promotes micro abrasion of the contact surfaces and exposes new layers of the metal surface to oxidation on a regular basis. During vibration, a lubricant film reduces metal-to-metal contact, protecting the connector from metal wear. To learn more about the facts and beliefs surrounding connector lubrication, see the accompanying information sheet Connector Grease Facts and Myths (lower down the page).

The goods listed lower down this page are suited for electronic/electrical applications as well as digital and analogue data communications. So, let’s go over the major reasons for using an electrical/electronic connector lubricant, which will most likely be one or more of the following:

To make it easier for the reader to choose, the goods are listed below in order of cost, with the Nyogel 760G being the least expensive and the Uniflor 8917 being the most expensive. Take a look at the connector lubricants that we offer…

Nyogel 760G

  • The majority of consumers’ “go to” connector lubricant widely utilized and the most cost-effective option.
  • The best dielectric connector grease for water and salt water resistance – this is the product on this list with the best water resistance.
  • Nyogel 760G has a strong track record, particularly in the automobile industry, where it is employed by the majority of global automakers. A reliable defense against fretting corrosion, oxidation, and regular wear.
  • All metals, including gold and silver, are compatible with Nyogel 760G. The most prevalent application is on tin-plated terminals.
  • Because 760G has a clear/translucent look, it might be difficult to discern in thin layers; nevertheless, the recipe includes a UV tracer/dye to help visibility in small amounts.

Rheotemp 768G

  • It was designed for an automotive under bonnet/under hood application where temperatures exceeded 135C, therefore 760G was not acceptable and a different chemistry was needed to achieve the requisite temperatures.
  • Rheotemp 761G was originally produced under the name Rheotemp 761G, but was renamed Rheotemp 768G in 2015 after the formula was changed due to a raw material supply issue – 761G has since been discontinued.
  • For gold-plated contact surfaces where water intrusion is not an issue, the 768G strikes the perfect balance of cost and performance.
  • Reduces connector mating insertion forces and performs well at high temperatures.

Rheotemp 769G

  • Urea thickened blend of Polyalphaolefin (PAO) and Alkylated Naphthalene (AN) base oils.
  • In our lab testing, the finest performing fretting prevention dielectric connect grease.
  • The product was released in 2018 and is thought to be an enhanced version of the Rheotemp 768G.

Uniflor 8917

  • The best base oil lubricant for decreasing insertion forces while connecting connectors is perfluoropolyether (PFPE).
  • Uniflor 8917 is perfect for large multipin connectors with strict tolerances, since it protects contact surfaces and delicate pins during assembly and mating.
  • Uniflor 8917 is appropriate for hazardous settings and harsh temperatures because of its exceptional thermo-oxidative stability.
  • Because the base oil employed in the composition is inert, there are little concerns with plastics or rubbers.

A word of caution concerning possible grease compatibility difficulties with plastics and rubbers. This concern applies to any use of lubricants/grease, regardless of the application or who makes the lubricant; some oils/grease can cause plastics and/or rubbers to expand, crack, or discolor. This post’s readers should not be concerned, but caution is advised, so we urge that you read our article on Lubricant and Plastic Compatibility Issues.

Take a look at our post on the “Facts and Myths of Electrical Connector Lubricants”…full it’s of interesting information! For example:

We don’t recommend using silicone-based oil on electrical contacts, as the reader may have discovered. Why? Simply said, silicones have the potential to polymerize into a hard, brittle material that might cause electrical issues. Take a look at the article Not Recommended-Silicone Lubricant Use on Electrical Connectors if you want to learn more about this topic.

Lithium-soap and silica-based electrically conductive greases, including specially low-carbon greases for superior channeling ability…

If static discharge is a problem in your application, try Nye’s conductive lubricant. Typically, conductive grease is used as a ground. It’s used in computer equipment ball bearings, for example, to enable static discharge to travel through instead of building up, arcing, and pitting the rolling element or fluting the raceway, which accelerates wear. In treadmills, where the rubber belt can generate static charge that travels to the bearing, it serves a similar purpose. In laser printers and office copiers, conductive grease is also utilized to bleed static away from the toner cartridge and toward the shell.

Nye recently developed a custom-formulated fluorinated conductive lubricant for automobile battery lugs to improve conductivity over a wide temperature range.

Buy NO-OX-ID A-Special Grease Direct from Sanchem!

The electrical contact grease of choice for new electrical installations and maintenance is NO-OX-ID “A-SPECIAL Electrical Grade.” NO-OX-ID electrical contact lubricant (electrical contact grease) is a conductive electrical grease that prevents rust and corrosion on metals. From low micro-power electronics to high voltage switchgear, NO-OX-ID electrical contact grease has been used in the power industry for over 65 years to prevent corrosion in electrical connectors. NO-OX-ID A-Special complies with RoHS! This substance can also be used to lubricate battery terminals. Speak with a Sanchem professional right now!

Anti Corrosion Conductive Lubricant

NO-OX-ID electrical grease protects copper, aluminum, and steel surfaces and conductors from the formation of oxides, sulfides, and other corrosion deposits. An electrical contact lubricant’s job is to prevent corrosion and lubricate the connection so that maintenance is easy. NO-OX-ID “A-Special” electrical grease protects all metal surfaces from corrosion. Battery acid, salt, dampness, and different industrial chemical fumes in the surroundings can all cause an attack. NO-OX-ID “A-Special” prevents the reformation of oxide coatings, which causes high resistance and eventual failures, when placed on aluminum connectors in joints. It’s an excellent option for battery terminal grease.

Connector makers propose NO-OX-ID A-Special electrical conductive paste for trouble-free joint connections. It’s also used to lubricate battery terminals. NO-OX-ID “A-Special” coated nuts, mounting bolts, and cotter keys will never rust or freeze, allowing for easy, trouble-free removal. Wherever the production of a corrosive product may impact the correct functioning of the metal surface, NO-OX-ID “A-Special” should be used. This electrical contact grease is simple to apply, remove, and provides long-lasting, dependable performance on a variety of metals.

NO-OX-ID electrical contact grease and terminal grease lubricant were tested on electrical terminal connectors by Practical Sailor Magazine in December 2010 (Consumer Reports for Sailboats). They put the electric grease and electrical terminal lubricant through the torture test of wire, crimp connections, and corrosion inhibitors in a salt water room for a year. NO-OX-ID electrical grease beat all other greases, lubricants, and corrosion products tested, including Boeshield T-9, according to their findings. All portions coated with Boeshield T-9 were totally rusted over, according to Practical Sailor testing. “As an electrical grease and terminal lubricant, there is only one product choice for long-term corrosion performance. The electrical grease NO-OX-ID was the only product that provided long-term protection on terminals, and it was the best value for the little amounts used and the cost of fixing issues. It’s worth it to pay a little more for a better finish.”

Electrical Contact Grease Application Information

NO-OX-ID “A-Special” electrical contact paste is applied using a brush or rag straight from the bottle. NO-OX-ID “A-Special” should be extensively rubbed into the metal to absorb all moisture and guarantee that all irregularities on the surface are covered. The amount to which portions are exposed to the corrosive impact determines the thickness of the coating.

When it comes to electrical connections, what do you use?

Dielectric grease extends the life of your connection points while also ensuring a suitable seal. Dielectric grease reduces arcing and adds extra insulation to electrical interconnections with rubber gaskets.

Is it OK to use white lithium grease on battery terminals?

Do you truly put lubricant on a clean battery post before connecting the connection, as Paul asked? To prevent corrosion, apply grease to the clean terminal post before reattaching the cable, according to the Cleaning a Car Battery section. Isn’t this going to make it difficult to make a proper electrical connection?

White lithium grease is the type of grease that should be used. It’s easy to find in auto parts stores. It will not interfere with the electrical connection, but by displacing the air in the surrounding space, it will help prevent future corrosion.

The objective is to apply the grease to the terminal after the battery cable has been connected and tightened. This will form a grease coating between the conducting surfaces and the ambient air and moisture, preventing corrosion. To get the best results, use it on a clean terminal.

A pair of felt washers should also be installed beneath the terminals. These washers can be found beside the batteries in automobile stores. The aids in the prevention of high-resistance shorts throughout the battery case (when batteries get really dirty, the layer of oil and dirt will sometimes be conductive enough to connect the two terminals electrically)

What kind of grease helps with conductivity?

Some people believe that dielectric grease is conductive or abrasive because it contains silica, which accelerates wear. (There is no silica in it.)

Dielectric grease insulates connections, making them less conductive, according to the most common Internet complaint. Pure silicone grease is referred to as “insulating grease” by some. The word “dielectric” in the name serves as a general foundation for this argument. Because “dielectrics” are insulators, the name “dielectric” is considered to imply that the connection will have future problems. In general, authors expect powdered metal greases (also known as “conductive greases”) to increase or sustain connection quality over time, whereas dielectric greases will isolate connections since “that is what dielectrics do.”

My first encounter with silicone grease was as a lubricant in record turntables in the 1960s. On turret-type television tuners, where channel coil packs or “strips” were mounted in a rotary turret, it was also often employed as a lubricant and protectant. The transparent silicon grease (which replaced a green or red petroleum grease) lubricated the contacts and kept air off the plated surfaces as the turret rotated, moving different channel strips over stationary contacts to choose each channel. After experiencing field failures due to faulty electrical contact connections in new modular televisions, RCA, Motorola, and Magnavox advised pure silicon grease as a contact protectant. They delivered kits with pure silicone that could be applied straight to module contacts. Connection concerns between circuit modules, pins, and sockets were minimized with this 100 percent pure silicone dielectric grease. Silicone grease was used on signal and high voltage connections on hundreds of thousands of TV sets with hundreds of connections in each TV. Silicone grease was also used to lubricate frequently-switched gold or silver plated contacts, as well as contacts on low voltage signal level modules. To prevent or lessen corona, silicone grease was applied directly to high voltage CRT anode connectors.

My second job was in the cable television industry. As a systems engineer, I was drawn to CATV/MATV signal loss, radiation, and intrusion issues. Dry connections that corroded were a problem, as were aluminum trunk cable shield connections protected by Noalox, a lubricant that people often refer to as “conductive.” Silicone grease that was “non-conductive” solved all of these issues. The first oil and sealer I used in the systems was a white Teflon-silicone lubricant from an Elyria, Ohio-based manufacturer. While the grease fixed difficulties, applying it to tens of thousands of fittings was too expensive. It was also unattractive since service personnel left white fingerprints all over the place. I went to a GE 100 percent pure silicone dielectric grease in all CATV fittings after checking with numerous grease manufacturers. We utilized the grease in hundreds of thousands of connectors without incident for many years, totally flooding F connectors that were directly exposed to snow or rain.

Today, I still use silicone dielectric grease. I use it to lubricate the O-rings and threads of coaxial connectors. It’s what I use to keep stainless bolts and nuts from galling. It comes in handy for plug-in connections, which I use a lot in my automotive hobby. For battery terminal connection preservation, I also use silicone dielectric grease, which I apply directly to the battery post. I use it liberally on ground connections to protect stainless-to-zinc (galvanized), lead-to-lead, stainless-to-copper, and stainless-to-aluminum electrical connections against corrosion.

I’ve never had a problem with silicone dielectric compound causing increased resistance or wear. We use it to lubricate and preserve contact plating in very low current meter switches in new equipment construction. I use it on spark plug HV boots on race engines and in high voltage connectors since it has never produced shorts across insulation. In my EFI system, I also employ direct on contacts, including low voltage sensors.

Silicone vs. Petroleum Grease

Years ago, petroleum grease (Vaseline) was recommended (and appears to have been used) in low-power antenna installations. While some individuals claim to have had no issues with it, I never use it in my installs. Vaseline’s main flaw is its extremely low melting point. The majority of brands or varieties liquefy at roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just above body temperature. While this may be beneficial in medical applications such as coating human skin, it is a major issue in connection applications. Vaseline will run when exposed to heat and will eventually dry out.

Vaseline’s production of flammable vapor, even at moderate temperatures, is a second petroleum jelly concern. A cotton ball saturated in Vaseline can burn for a long time and can even be used to start a fire. Petroleum jelly isn’t the ideal option because connectors are frequently near insulation or other materials that can act as wicks. This is especially true in warm weather because grease migrates.

Typical Applications for Greases

Myths thrive on internet forums. Dielectric grease, according to online forums, thermally insulates connections. Dielectric grease is also said to electrically insulate connections, such as those in connectors and on battery posts, according to online forums. Neither of these statements are correct.

A 35-watt dissipation resistor was used in this test. A stack of Belleville washers is used to secure the resistor to the heatsink. Conical spring washers are what these washers are. When half collapsed, they retain a steady pressure. The use of a Belleville washer ensures that the compression or pressure against the heatsink is nearly identical between testing. Cap screw torque isn’t an influence in the Belleville’s performance.

The best outcome is at the bottom. By roughing up the heatsink with 300 grit paper, all greases were tested in “scuffed” circumstances.

Thermal resistance was considerably raised when too much dense grease, such as thick heatsink compound, was used. Because the compression pressure was insufficient to drive excess grease out of the space between the heatsink and the resistor tab, this happened. Thermal resistance dropped dramatically when the layer was thinned to a light “wipe” of oil.

Permatex Dielectric Tune Up Grease and a specific heatsink compound used on high-power transistors are virtually identical. Even 1 percent Vaseline is preferable to bare metal-on-metal.

Completely flooding the connector is totally acceptable in radio frequency low power installations, particularly at low frequencies and/or when the connector has very little air gap. Flooding a connector at high power is not recommended since most greases will carburize when exposed to an arc. Grease lowers the dielectric constant of the connector by changing the dielectric constant. The problem’s effect on the system is totally reliant on the duration of the hump in electrical degrees and the quantity of the bump. (Not everything that appears on a TDR affects performance, but it does signal a potential issue.)

Flooding with an appropriate insulating grease of low-viscosity dielectric grease is totally allowed in ordinary low voltage multiple-pin circuit connectors, such as automotive applications, unless a manufacturer cautions against it. The grease should be stable, free of metals in any form, and manufactured expressly for use as a dielectric grease. Although some Teflon-based greases are permitted, this is usually a silicone dielectric grease.

Almost any pure grease of light viscosity will suffice in single low-voltage terminals or connections, such as metal-to-metal couplings, grounds, or battery posts. Grease containing metallic particles should be handled with caution to ensure that any metal present is compatible with the metal incorporated in the grease. Embedded metal powder enhances connections only slightly, if at all, and unless the grease is matched to the connector material, the chance of base metal interaction increases.

Only pure dielectric silicone greases should be used in single high voltage connections, such as spark plug boots or other high voltage connectors (x-ray, neon sign, or HV power lines). In most cases, only a light coating or wipe is required. In the presence of moisture, dielectric grease will actually accelerate voltage breakdown across insulators. Metalized grease should never be used or allowed near HV connections.

Any grease must have a low enough viscosity to push out of the way at contact points, be water or liquid resistant, and be stable enough to remain in place as a moisture and air protectant for an extended period of time. Applying a grease that does not provide the needed tasks of excluding air and moisture and lubricating the interface to prevent galling or fretting for long periods of time would be ineffective.

Low viscosity silicone dielectric grease will NOT insulate pressure connections, contrary to Internet rumors, adverts, and articles. Silicone dielectric grease will last as long as a well selected metallic powder grease and function just as well in terms of conductivity (conductive grease). Incorrectly chosen “conductive” grease, on the other hand, can actually cause connection issues.

Unless you’re certain what you’re doing is safe, follow the instructions provided by the switch or relay maker. Very high current contacts can be lubricated, and should be lubricated, in some circumstances to prolong or extend their life. There are numerous instances where lubricating contacts hastens failure.

Low-viscosity greases can usually be applied directly to low-voltage connections. Opening or closing transient voltages, such as opening arcs from inductance back-pulse, would be considered low-voltage.

Grease composition can be influenced by contact arcs. Arcs can transform silicone greases to silicone carbide, which is extremely abrasive. Silicone grease should therefore be avoided when contacts are “hot switched” and there is a risk of arcing.

Insulators are both dielectric grease and “conductive” greases (anti-seize). The main distinction between dielectric and “conductive” greases is that “conductive” greases and anti-seize greases contain finely powdered metal. Because insulating oil suspends the finely powdered metal, it does not conduct. The metal powder suspended in the grease reduces the voltage breakdown of any arc routes.

According to certain articles, anti-seize insulates sparkplug threads, generating sparkplug or ignition problem signals. This is plainly incorrect for a variety of reasons, the most important of which is the voltages and currents involved. The main issue, I believe, was anti-seize contamination of the plug insulator. Anti-seize and other metal-loaded “conductive greases” have been shown to dramatically reduce high voltage breakdown voltages of air routes or surface path resistances of insulators in these tests. Fingerprints on insulators or insulation, or even worse, slathering “conductive grease” on them, drastically damage high voltage hold off. If a single fingerprint crosses the spark plug insulator, “conductive” grease could cause an ignition misfire warning signal.

Other articles advise using conductive lubricant on connections like those between battery terminals and an automotive battery. This notion is based on wishful thinking, according to tests, and the type of grease has little effect on terminal-to-post voltage loss.

We have a blatant contradiction once more. People who claim anti-seize protects a spark plug from the cylinder head are labeled as liars by others who claim conductive grease improves a battery terminal connection, or vice versa. When two groups make claims that are diametrically opposed, at least one of them is incorrect. Both are incorrect in this scenario. Neither group seems to grasp the concepts of resistance, current, or voltage.

All of these dielectric greases, as well as almost all other brands, improve insulation while also preserving electrical connections. They achieve this by sealing connections to keep pollutants, moisture, and air out. They help keep moisture and pollutants out of insulation by sealing insulators. They’re just as good as “conductive” grease in keeping connections together, and they don’t degrade insulation.