Video: The Science Behind Penetrating Lubricants

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ad7_ALEOrmA

Penetrating lubricants may seem like magic sauces that loosen even the most stubborn of rusty, frozen or otherwise seized bolts, but the fact is that some serious science is going on when you douse that bolt in lubricant.

To better illustrate how penetrating lubricants work, we grabbed a can of CRC Freeze-Off Super Penetrant and created a few experiments to show what's really going on. Presented by CRC Industries.

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vincer77
vincer77
7/21/20 3:09 p.m.

Great video guys!

KentF (Forum Supporter)
KentF (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/21/20 8:25 p.m.

Good demo. Well done J.G.

 

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/22/20 12:22 a.m.

Most of the science i know i learned because i needed it to figure out how car stuff works, but surface tension is still slightly confusing to me.

Pretty surprising to me to hear that the point of the cold is to shrink the clearances between the fasteners for purposes of capillary action (disclosure: never used the product and thus haven't read the instructions). I always just assumed that if you applied heat or cold for a short-ish time (like, not enough time to evenly change the temperature of the entire work piece) that the function of that was basically to cause the male and female sides of the thread to gnash against each other a bit as the two pieces expand/contract by slightly different amounts, thus breaking up some of the oxidation between. I guess that would still happen even if the product contained no actual lubricant, but it's news to me that the primary purpose of the temp change is to help spread the lubricant! So, color me learned, cuz now i know more stuff. yes

CrustyRedXpress (Forum Supporter)
CrustyRedXpress (Forum Supporter) Reader
7/23/20 7:41 a.m.
Vigo (Forum Supporter) said:

Most of the science i know i learned because i needed it to figure out how car stuff works

 

Oh man, me too! As soon as you switch from parts swapping to fabrication you run into physics real fast.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
7/23/20 10:15 a.m.
Vigo (Forum Supporter) said:

Most of the science i know i learned because i needed it to figure out how car stuff works, but surface tension is still slightly confusing to me.

Pretty surprising to me to hear that the point of the cold is to shrink the clearances between the fasteners for purposes of capillary action (disclosure: never used the product and thus haven't read the instructions). I always just assumed that if you applied heat or cold for a short-ish time (like, not enough time to evenly change the temperature of the entire work piece) that the function of that was basically to cause the male and female sides of the thread to gnash against each other a bit as the two pieces expand/contract by slightly different amounts, thus breaking up some of the oxidation between. I guess that would still happen even if the product contained no actual lubricant, but it's news to me that the primary purpose of the temp change is to help spread the lubricant! So, color me learned, cuz now i know more stuff. yes

I may be overselling the concept of "shrink" a bit. Probably a more pure way to describe it would be that you're introducing a thermal delta to the material in an attempt to produce enough of a size change to affect the clearances between the surfaces. Could be heat, could be cold. It's easier to store cold ina can, though.

Heat also has the effect of changing the malleabality of the metal. Ironically, though, the melting point of rust is about 8% higher than the melting point of most steel. So by hitting it with the hot wrench you're not actually "melting out" the rust. You are giving everything a nice softening, though.

Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter)
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/23/20 10:22 a.m.

I <3 Freeze Off & put that E36 M3 on everything!

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
7/23/20 10:30 a.m.

I enjoy your face and videos.

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