Lubricants Used in Electronics
By Joe Murray
Lubricants used to grease electronic gadgetry such as DVD players, computer hard drives and music center volume controls bear little resemblance to natural substances. Modern electronic lubricants are designed and produced by chemical companies, and are often designed to address specific requirements demanded by electronic component manufacturers.
Recording studios use mixing boards to adjust sound levels to different frequencies from divergent audio sources. The sliding switches on these mixing boards are called faders, and they need to move easily from the lowest setting to the highest. Fader grease, applied through a tiny straw on a spray can along the fader track, allows this to happen. Regular application of fader grease keeps the faders’ action smooth and static free. Fader grease also works for graphic equalizers built into home stereo receivers.
Soap-based lubricants used in conveyor- and chain-driven machinery can clog delicate electronic moving parts, especially those that create high temperatures during operating peaks. The solution is polyurea grease, a non-soap based lubricant that performs smoothly at a broad range of temperatures. Polyurea grease is generally used in applications involving roller bearings in circular mechanisms such as DVD and turntable motors.
Manufacturers require a permanent lubricant for moving parts in sealed package devices such as DVD players, cell phones, digital cameras and camcorders. Semi-dry lubricants fill this role for many such products. These environmentally friendly lubricants also work well with card slots on many desktops and laptops, as well as DVD sliding compartments and hot swap hard drives. Semi-dry lubricants are non-stick, clear and dry substances that are compatible with a wide range of materials, including most plastics.
Anti-Corrosive Lubricant Spray
Anti-corrosive lubricant sprays, commonly available in hardware and electronics stores, are often used for general sticking problems on anything from volume controls to DVD motors. Most of these anti-corrosive lubricant sprays contain Stoddard solvent as their primary ingredient. Stoddard solvent is similar to kerosene, and dissolves rust and many corrosives, allowing stuck parts in motors, switches and controls to move freely again.
Joe Murray began writing professionally in 1980. As a technical writer, he authored white papers and articles for Hewlett Packard and Intel. Since retiring, Murray has written several home-exchange travel articles for KnowYourTrade.com and CHECtravel,com among other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Santa Clara University.