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- What lubricants should you use
We have probably all needed to
lubricate our helicopters at some time, and I will bet that a great many
of us reach for those two old standby's, WD40 and 3in1 oil.
Well, we are
(usually) wrong with using either of them.
The fact is that if there are ANY
PLASTIC PARTS in the area, you must use a
SYNTHETIC OIL, not vegetable or mineral based oils.
The reason for this is that both
of the other oils will interact with the plastic parts, softening them,
and rendering them useless. Even though you may argue that you
have a full CNC (Alloy) head or tail, don't forget that you still have
plastic links on the connecting rods.
Mineral oils are made from
HYDROCARBONS, which is exactly what PLASTIC IS MADE OF AS WELL, so you
can see what will happen if they are mixed - THEY WILL REACT TOGETHER.
The most common synthetic oil is
known as a polyalphaolefine. This is usually known as a POA for short,
and it IS compatible with plastics and metals. There are others types as
well, but the more refined the oil, the more expensive the grease.
A well known synthetic lubricant
is called Molykote PG-65 Plastislip. There are also what are called
Rocol greases and these are just about the best available. They are
usually available through bearing suppliers and places like RS (Radio
Shack) Components or similar electronic parts stores.
So to sum it all up :-
Don’t use a mineral oil based product (such as 3 in 1
Do use a synthetic oil based grease (PAO is ideal)
Don’t put too much on
Do check and re-lubricate frequently
Do clean old grease of first, especially before changing grease types