Specialty fluids and lubricants include specialized, proprietary, or unlisted lubricants or fluids. They are based upon non-standard chemistries (i.e., PPE, PAO, and halide) or contain a conventional fluid base that has been formulated or compounded with unique additives (e.g., nanoparticles) to impart fluid properties such as radiation resistance, oxidation resistance, a high refractive index, or high tackiness. Specialty fluids and lubricants are also engineered for very specific applications with extreme conditions such as ultrahigh temperature, high pressure, and ultrahigh vacuum (UHV). Often, products such as Mil-Spec fluids are used in aerospace and military applications.
Types of Specialty Fluids and Lubricants
There are many different types of specialty fluids and lubricants. Examples include engineered fluids and optical fluids; electronic fluids and electric fluids; and ferrofluids, ferromagnetic liquids, magnetofluids, magnetic fluids, magnetorheological fluids (MR fluids). Specialty fluids and lubricants also include dialectic, conductive, and supercritical fluids; viscoelastic fluids and thixotropic fluids; high-temperature fluids, fireproof fluids, and heat-resistant fluids; and various quenchants and quenching brines. Additional product categories include cesium formate, potassium formate, and formate brine; high-pressure high-temperature fluids (HPHT fluids); drilling fluids, completion fluids, and intervention fluids; and flushing oils.
Specialty fluids and lubricants such high-pressure coolants, high-volume coolants, and surface active coolants are available. Additional product types cover specialty misting fluids, lapping oils, honing oils, and sharpening oils; carrier fluids, drying fluids, and dry cleaning fluids; tacky adhesive fluids for belt dressing or traction; and specialty traction fluids. Some specialty fluids and lubricants use nanotechnology or nanoscale particles to further enhance specific properties such as electrical conductivity, ferromagentism, low boiling point, high boiling point, high voltage dielectric (HV dielectric), water displacement, and moisture or steam resistance. Food-grade, biodegradable, natural or bio-based, synthetic and petroleum products are also available.
In addition to military and aerospace applications, specialty fluids and lubricants are used in well drilling, steel quenching, metal heat treating, extraction, dampening, expansion, system cleaning, grinding, lapping, and carbide grinding applications. Specialty fluids and lubricants are also used in aerosols, cleaning products, and traction products.