Vacuum greases are low pressure application lubricants with low volatility. They are also used as sealants for joints in a vacuum system. In a vacuum system, lubricants with higher volatility are susceptible to evaporate, causing wear and tear of the moving parts of the equipment. The global vacuum grease market can be segmented based on base-oil type, application, and region.
In terms of base-oil type, the vacuum grease market can be classified into hydrocarbon, silicon, and fluorocarbon. Hydrocarbon vacuum greases are mineral oil-based and primarily used by mechanisms requiring high frictional lubrication. They are highly resistant to creep which means the chances of grease moving from its application area are low and, thus, reduce contamination of the adjacent surfaces. They also provide cleanliness and low outgassing without tainting the vacuum systems. They are easy to use and have a shelf-life of 10 years. Silicon vacuum greases have silicone oil as their base oil and are ideal for lubrication and as sealants due to their water resistance property. They are thermally stable and can withstand high working temperatures. Important features of silicon vacuum greases include excellent resistance to chemicals, sealing ability, and low volatility. The silicon-based vacuum greases can be used in applications operating below 10-8 mbar. Fluorocarbon-based vacuum greases are chemically inert and offer superior lubrication in a vacuum system. The base oil used for fluorocarbon-based vacuum greases is fluorinated oil, which is made from perfluoroalkyl polyether and fluorocarbon thickener. The fluorocarbon-based vacuum greases do not ignite or explode or decompose, and do not react to form solid deposits. They retain their lubricating ability at extreme temperatures ranging from –15 to –300 °C and offer resistance to oxidation. The applications of fluorocarbon-based vacuum greases include pressure relief valve lubrication, oven conveyor chain and bearing grease, high-temperature bearing, valve, and O-ring lubrication, or any use that requires high-temperature stability, low vapor pressure, or chemical inertness. The fluorocarbon-based vacuum greases segment is estimated to constitute a prominent share of the vacuum grease market by the end of the forecast period due to significant investments in laboratory equipment industry in North America and Europe.
Based on application, the vacuum grease market can be segregated into food processing, pharmaceuticals, laboratory equipment, aerospace, electronics, and others. The laboratory equipment application segment constitutes the largest share of the vacuum grease market owing to growth of the industry in developed countries.
Based on region, the vacuum grease market can be segmented into North America, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. Europe accounts for the major share of the vacuum grease market, followed by North America. This is due to the expanding end-use industries in these regions. Asia Pacific is expected to expand with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. India and China are the major countries for the laboratory equipment and food processing industries. Foreign investments in research projects is augmenting the demand for laboratory equipment. The emerging middle class and growing population are boosting the demand for processed foods in these countries, thereby propelling the demand for vacuum greases for these industries.
Key players operating in the global vacuum grease market are Inland Vacuum Industries Inc. (the U.S.), Solvay S.A. (Belgium), Santolubes LLC (the U.S.), Castrol Ltd. (the U.K.), The Chemours Company (the U.S.), M&I Materials Ltd. (the U.K.), Supervac Industries (India), Dow Corning (the U.S.), Kluber Lubrication (Germany), Ulvac Technologies Inc. (the U.S.), Fuchs Lubritech GmbH (Germany), and MPT Industries (the U.S.).