We are going to comment today on one of the most widely used lubricants in airsoft, and it is none other than lithium grease.
But before diving in, we remember a little basic chemistry to get to know our protagonist of this review.
Lithium tops the family of alkali metals on the periodic table. In nature it is found as a mixture of the Li6 and Li7 isotopes. It is the lightest solid metal, it is soft, low melting point and reactive. Many physical and chemical properties are as or more similar to those of alkaline earth metals than to their group. Lithium is a moderately abundant element and is present in the earth's crust at 65 parts per million, which places it below nickel, copper and tungsten and above cerium and tin, in terms of abundance.
Among the most notable physical properties of lithium are the high specific heat (heat capacity), the large temperature range of the liquid phase, high thermal conductivity, low viscosity, and very low density. Metal lithium is soluble in short-chain aliphatic sheets, such as ethylamine. It is insoluble in hydrocarbons.
Lithium undergoes a large number of reactions, with both organic and inorganic reagents. Reacts with oxygen to form monoxide and peroxide. It is the only alkali metal that reacts with nitrogen at room temperature to produce a nitride, which is black in color. Easily reacts with hydrogen at nearly 500 ° C (930 ° F) to form lithium hydride. The reaction of metallic lithium with water is a vigorous extruder. Lithium reacts directly with carbon to produce carbide. It combines easily with halogens and forms light emitting halides. Although it does not react with paraffinic hydrocarbons, it undergoes addition reactions with alkenes substituted by aryl groups and dienes. It also reacts with acetylenic compounds, forming lithium acetylides, which are important in the synthesis of vitamin A.
The main compound of lithium is lithium hydroxide. It is a white powder; the commercial material is lithium hydroxide monohydrate. Carbonate has application in the ceramic industry and in medicine as an antidepressant. Both bromide and lithium chloride form concentrated brines that have the property of absorbing moisture over a wide range of temperatures; These brines are used in commercial air conditioning systems.
The 60s saw lithium grow from military uses, mainly in lubricating greases, of which to date it is its cornerstone, up to a vast variety of industrial applications, standing out as a catalyst used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber. Other important applications of lithium compounds are in ceramics, specifically in the formulation of porcelain enamels; As an additive to extend the life and performance of alkaline batteries and autogenous welding and welding for brass.
The main industrial use and perhaps its greatest commercial use is in the form of lithium stearate as a thickener for lubricating greases (added to oils), those that are able to retain their lubricating properties in a wide range of extreme temperatures, are resistant to water and oxidation. If the fat is liquefied by heat, it re-forms a consistent grease when cooled.
In our gearboxes, we use it daily, but lately too much, since to lubricate the gears of our replicas, with putting a little on the teeth of those gears, it is already sufficiently lubricated, so that the grease runs alone by the others gearbox parts. And now, a small warning as a curiosity: we were investigating a possible design flaw in the CA33, which consisted in the fact that the trigger, when having it in semi-automatic mode, and slowly pulling, there were times when a burst escaped, such as if the selector were in full auto mode. We did not give it the greatest importance, because we did not see that any user could come to act this slowly on a trigger, and more, specifically in this model, but, the surprise has come to us recently in an MP5SD2, too, and by chance , from Classic Army.
We do not want to raise the alarm, nor are we claiming that CA has design flaws in its trigger mechanisms. Investigated the problem thoroughly, we have come to the conclusion that by normal use of the gearbox, when the lithium grease acquires a certain temperature and liquefies, by projection in drops inside the gearbox, some fall into the trigger contacts. , and as you have already read a few lines above, in the failures that the trigger gave us in those two models, an electrical contact occurs in some way through the grease, which means that lithium grease is conductive of electricity. Neither more nor less, and the reason for this article. At the moment we are doing tests of electrical conductivity, and measuring with ohmmeters several brands that we have, among them the Ceys, and the special gear of Guarder.