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The effect of recycled polymer addition on the thermorheological behavior of modified lubricating greases

Authors

  • J.E. Martín-Alfonso,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, Campus de “El Carmen”, 21071 Huelva, Spain
    • Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, Campus de “El Carmen”, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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  • C. Valencia,

    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, Campus de “El Carmen”, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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  • M.C. Sánchez,

    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, Campus de “El Carmen”, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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  • J.M. Franco,

    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, Campus de “El Carmen”, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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  • C. Gallegos

    1. Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, Campus de “El Carmen”, 21071 Huelva, Spain
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Abstract

This article deals with the influence of temperature on the rheological behavior of lithium lubricating greases modified with three different types of recycled polymers, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene, and polypropylene (PP), all deriving from waste plastic recycling plants. Grease formulations containing diverse polymers were manufactured and rheologically characterized. Small-amplitude oscillatory shear and viscous flow measurements over a temperature range of 25–175°C were carried out. The experimental results obtained suggest that a blend of HDPE and PP could be considered a suitable potential viscosity modifier for lithium lubricating greases in a wide range of in-service temperature. Thus, the lubricating greases studied modified by HDPE or PP show quite promising results at low or high temperature, respectively. In addition, thermomechanical reversibility has been studied by applying different combined stress–temperature protocols. Lubricating greases containing any of the recycled polymers studied show a significant irreversible structural breakdown when the sample is submitted to temperatures and stresses higher than 75°C and 200 Pa, respectively. Regarding lubricating grease viscous flow behavior, a minimum in the shear stress versus shear rate plots appeared at temperatures above 50°C, more pronounced as temperature increased, resulting from material flow instabilities. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers.

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