Automotive grease helps diminish friction and wear, provide corrosion protection, seal bearings from contaminants and water, repel leakage, resist change in consistency or structure during service, maintain flexibility under conditions of application, and repel or tolerate moisture. The consistency or hardness of the grease is measured by a penetrometer, which consists of a cone of specific weight and size dropped into the grease for five seconds. The color of the grease is determined by thickener, base oil, dye, and additive. Grease can be of any color to suit a particular application, environment, or identification purposes. The ability of any particular grease to be handled by grease dispensers, grease pumps, and other components in an automated greasing system depends on the viscosity of the grease. Depending on the application of grease, different base oils and thickeners can be used.
Growth in the automotive industry is anticipated to boost the demand for automotive grease. Additionally, increase in demand for automobiles in emerging economies in Asia Pacific and Latin America is estimated to further propel the demand for automotive grease. However, strict environmental regulations, fluctuation in prices of raw materials, and weak demand in Europe and North America are projected to hamper market growth.
The shelf life of grease is affected by the amount and type of thickener used, consistency of the grease, formulation complexity, and manufacturing method employed. Generally, lithium complex, straight lithium, and calcium complex greases remain stable for an extended time. Barium and bentone greases tend to soften upon aging. Based on these, the shelf life of most Penrite greases is about seven years. However, semi-fluid grease and steering box lubricant have just two years of shelf life.
Asia Pacific is projected to be the key region of the automotive grease market, followed by North America and Europe, during the forecast period. India and China are the major markets in Asia Pacific due to the presence of an established automotive industry. Singapore, Republic of Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia are expected to be other prominent consumers of automotive grease in Asia Pacific. The automotive grease market in Europe and North America is projected to experience moderate to high growth rate during the forecast period. The automotive grease market in Latin America is also likely to expand at a rapid pace due to the increase in number of cars in emerging economies in the region. Argentina and Brazil are estimated to be major consumers of automotive grease in Latin America.
The automotive grease market is dominated by large and medium material and chemical corporations. Key players operating in the automotive grease market include Harrison Manufacturing Co. PTY Ltd, Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd., Axel Americas LLC, Bel-Ray Company, LLC, IKV lubricants, Chemtool Incorporated, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, Hexol International Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Lubri-Lab Inc, Lubrita.Com, Luke Oil Co Inc, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Penrite Oil Company, and Phillips 66.
Companies are adopting the merger and strategic acquisition strategy to expand their market share. Penrite Oil, a major player in the automotive grease market, offers a wide product portfolio. The company offers greases for various applications, ranging from trailer bearings and wheels to assembly components. It is one of the few companies that provides greases for veteran, classic, and vintage vehicles. IKV Lubricants provides greases made by mineral oil, including silicone and fluorinated greases, for usage in extreme temperature and pressure. The company uses the latest synthetic technology to manufacture automotive greases that can withstand high temperatures.
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