Difference Between Dielectric Grease And Silicone Grease

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Dielectric grease and silicone grease are two products that can be used for sealing and lubricating applications. Both types of grease protect against moisture, dust, dirt, oxidation, and corrosion.

The main difference between dielectric grease and silicone grease is the type of base material used. Dielectric grease is made from a combination of petroleum, mineral oil, and waxes. Silicone grease is made from polydimethylsiloxane, which provides greater heat tolerance than dielectric grease.

Dielectric Grease Versus Silicone Grease – Defining The Two

What Is Dielectric Grease?

Dielectric grease is a lubricant and sealant used for moisture-proofing electrical connectors. It has excellent conductivity properties and prevents corrosion, oxidation, and other damage from water or chemicals. Dielectric grease is also known as electrical contact grease because it improves the connection between two metal surfaces.

What Is Silicone Grease?

Silicone grease is a lubricant and sealant used for sealing metal parts, rubber parts, and other surfaces. It is made from a combination of silicone oil and thickeners, which makes it waterproof, heat resistant, non-corrosive, and chemically inert. Silicone grease also improves the connection between two metal surfaces, but it is more heat and water resistant than dielectric grease.

What Is Dielectric Grease Made Of?

Dielectric grease is made from a combination of petroleum, mineral oil, and waxes. It has excellent conductivity properties and provides protection against moisture, dust, dirt, oxidation, and corrosion.

What Is Silicone Grease Made Of?

Silicone grease is made from polydimethylsiloxane which provides superior heat tolerance when compared to dielectric grease. It is resistant to water and chemicals, and it protects against oxidation, corrosion, and other damage caused by moisture. ​ ​ ​

Usage Difference

When To Use Dielectric Grease Or Silicone Grease?

  • Dielectric Grease: Dielectric grease is best used on electrical connections. It seals out moisture and provides lubrication to improve the connection between two metal surfaces.
  • Silicone Grease: Silicone grease is best for applications that require heat-resistance or are exposed to water or chemicals. It can be used for sealing and lubricating rubber parts, metal parts, and other surfaces.

Applications And Uses:

Dielectric Grease:

  1. Sealing electrical connections.
  2. Protecting against corrosion, oxidation, and other damage from water or chemicals.
  3. Improving the connection between two metal surfaces.

Silicone Grease:

  1. Sealing and lubricating rubber parts, metal parts, and other surfaces.
  2. Resisting high temperatures.
  3. Waterproofing and protecting against corrosion, oxidation, and other damage from water or chemicals.

Possible Similarities Between Dielectric And Silicone Grease

  1. Both are used to seal and lubricate surfaces.
  2. Both protect against oxidation, corrosion, and other damage caused by moisture.
  3. Both improve connection between two metal surfaces.
  4. Both are resistant to water and chemicals.
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Differences Between Dielectric Grease And Silicone Grease

Comparison Table Between Dielectric Grease And Silicone Grease:

Properties Dielectric Grease Silicon Grease
Meaning: It is a thermally stable, waterproof compound made of silicones and other chemicals. It provides excellent electrical insulation properties and prevents oxidation or corrosion on metal surfaces. It is a silicone-based lubricant that is used to lubricate mechanical parts. It helps reduce friction and wear while providing good protection from water, dust, and other contaminants.
Function: It is used to protect electrical components from corrosion and oxidation by providing an insulation barrier between the metal surfaces.  It is mainly used for lubrication purposes on mechanical parts such as O-rings, valves, bearings, etc., and also provides a waterproof seal.
Chemical Resistance:  It has excellent chemical resistance and won’t break down easily, even when exposed to harsh chemicals such as acids or alkalis.  It is not resistant to some petroleum-based oils and solvents, which can cause it to break down over time.
Temperature Range -50°C to +200°C -40°C to +120°C
Cost Expensive Cheap
Thickness  Very thick Thinner
Cleanup Difficult Easy
Usage Electrical components protection and lubrication Lubricant, seal out water, dust, and other contaminants
Chemical Properties non-toxic, non-flammable compound that won’t react with other materials. toxic and may give off fumes if exposed to high temperatures.
Industrial use of both: It is most often used in industrial and automotive applications, such as spark plugs, connectors, wiring harnesses and circuit boards. It is mainly used in the medical field for lubricating delicate instruments, but it can also be found in automotive and plumbing applications.

Pros and cons:

Pros of Dielectric Grease:

  • Provides excellent electrical insulation properties
  • Prevents oxidation and corrosion on metal surfaces
  • Wide temperature range from -50°C to +200°C

Cons of Dielectric Grease:

  • More expensive than Silicone grease
  • Thick consistency makes it difficult to spread over surfaces
  • Difficult to clean up

Pros of Silicone Grease:

  • Cheaper than dielectric grease
  • Thinner consistency makes it easier to apply
  • Easy to clean up with a cloth or rag
  • Can provide waterproof seal on parts

Cons of Silicone Grease:

  • Temperature range is more limited than dielectric grease
  • Not resistant to some petroleum-based oils and solvents
  • Can be toxic and give off fumes if exposed to high temperatures

FAQs

Can I Use Silicone Grease As Dielectric Grease?

Yes, you can use silicone grease as a substitute for dielectric grease in most applications. It is easier to apply and clean up, more cost effective, and does not contain additives that could react with the surfaces it is applied to.

Can I Use Dielectric Grease On Rubber Parts?

No, it is not advisable to use dielectric grease on rubber or plastic parts that require flexibility, as the thick consistency of dielectric grease can make them stiff and brittle. For such applications, it is better to use silicone grease as a substitute.

What’s The Difference Between Dielectric Grease And Regular Grease?

The main difference between dielectric grease and regular grease is that dielectric grease is specifically designed to provide electrical insulation, whereas regular grease does not possess these properties. Dielectric grease is also much thicker than regular grease and has a higher melting point. Additionally, dielectric grease is more expensive than regular grease.

Should You Put Dielectric Grease On Plug Wires?

No, it is not advisable to put dielectric grease on plug wires as doing so can lead to problems with the ignition system. It is better to use a specialized heat-resistant wire sealant instead.

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What Is The Shelf Life Of Dielectric Grease?

The shelf life of dielectric grease depends on the specific product, but in general it can be expected to be up to 5 years if stored properly. Grease should be kept away from extreme temperatures and should not come into contact with any petroleum-based oils or solvents.

Can You Use Too Much Dielectric Grease?

Yes, it is possible to use too much dielectric grease. Using excessive amounts can cause problems such as preventing electrical connections from being made correctly or leading to corrosion of the metal parts. Therefore, it is important to follow the instructions on the product and only use the recommended amount.

Can You Mix Different Types Of Dielectric Grease?

No, it is not advisable to mix different types of dielectric grease. Different greases are designed for specific applications and mixing them could cause unexpected results or even damage the components they are applied to. It is best to use a single type of grease in any given application.

Does Dielectric Grease Keep Water Out?

Yes, dielectric grease can help keep water out of electrical connectors and other components. The thick consistency of the grease creates a barrier that prevents moisture from entering, while still allowing electricity to flow through the connection. However, it is important to ensure that the connections are properly sealed and not exposed to any excessive amounts of water or humidity.

Is Dielectric Grease Waterproof?

No, dielectric grease is not waterproof. While it can help prevent the ingress of moisture into electrical components, it is not designed to resist submersion in water. It is best to use a specialized waterproofing solution if an application requires protection against water or other liquids.

Is Dielectric Grease Just Petroleum Jelly?

No, dielectric grease is not the same as petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly does not possess any electrical insulation properties and should not be used in environments where electricity is present.

What Grease Is Safe For Electronics?

Dielectric grease is the best option for lubricating and protecting electrical connections, as it is designed to provide a barrier between metal surfaces while still allowing electricity to pass through. In addition to dielectric grease, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) grease can also be used safely on electronic components.

Can I Use Silicone Grease Instead Of Dielectric Grease?

No, silicone grease should not be used as a substitute for dielectric grease. It does not provide the same protection against corrosion or electrical insulation that dielectric grease provides, and it has a much lower melting point. Silicone grease is only suitable for use in applications where temperature resistance is not an issue.

Where Should You Not Use Dielectric Grease?

Dielectric grease should not be used in any application where it could come into direct contact with a live electrical circuit. It is also not advisable to use it on rubber or plastic parts that require flexibility, as the thick consistency of dielectric grease can make them stiff and brittle.

Conclusion

Dielectric grease and silicone grease are both used for protecting electrical connections as well as sealing and lubricating rubber parts, metal parts, and other surfaces. The main difference between these two types of grease is the type of base material used: dielectric grease is made from a combination of petroleum, mineral oil, and waxes while silicone grease is made from polydimethylsiloxane. Depending on the application, either one can be used to provide protection against corrosion, oxidation, and other damage from water or chemicals.

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