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Plastic Safe Lubricants

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#26 Rogue Warrior

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 04:39 PM

That sounds like Moly Grease to me. Which, come to think of it, is in constant contact with rubber axle boots, which don't seem to have any problems with it. I suppose it may eat plastics, though.

Moly grease = lithium grease with brand name additives



(insert raucous buzzer sound here)

http://en.wikipedia....denum_disulfide


You must be an Aryan JSB, you seem to be a nazi about everything.

It seems to me that food based aersol lubricants always come out like liquid foam, very odd.
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#27 Draconis

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 05:33 PM

You must be an Aryan JSB, you seem to be a nazi about everything.

It seems to me that food based aersol lubricants always come out like liquid foam, very odd.


Hey, if you don't have anything technical, useful, or at LEAST on topic, then STFU.


Sorry Slug, I should have been more clear. I was in fact referring to the Molybdenum Disulfide bearing grease. After closer inspection of the MSDS, I find that it is in fact made of petroleum, and thus is not plastic safe. Please excuse my error.
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#28 Mod Man

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 06:01 PM

Teflon, dry lube...... doesn't attract dirt/grime. Dry lubes have a lot of advantages wear dust or dirt might be introduced. I use a product called Team McLube sailkote high performance dry lubricant. Works better than most other lube I've found. No problems with plastics or rubber butyl etc. Later, Mod
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#29 DrSpaceman

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:25 PM

Could someone please tell me if this lube is helping or hurting my gun.
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#30 Draconis

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 08:49 PM

Could someone please tell me if this lube is helping or hurting my gun.


That is a matter of some debate. It shouldn't be hurting anything, but the dry silicone lubes are unlikely to provide as much reduction of friction as the wet type. However, the propellant may be harmful to your plastics.
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#31 Wes7143

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 09:44 PM

Dry lubricants will not fill or plug space between the O-ring and the inside of the plunger. They will reduce friction, though. Good for the sliding parts, but not for plungers.
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#32 Guest_DarkInfection_*

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 10:16 PM


Edited by DarkInfection, 23 June 2010 - 09:18 PM.

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#33 autonerf

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:58 PM

I'm still kind of lost here, I picked up these 4 lubes but I don't know which is best or what will last the longest.
Captain Slug says to use silicone so that's what I got. I found some in spray and grease.

I really want to find a lube that is intended to make o-rings slide on plastic. Most lubricants I have found for o-rings were meant for keeping them waterproof and preventing rust, but not for making them slide better.

Gunk Liquid Wrench Heavy-Duty Silicone Spray vs ACE Pure Silicone Lubricant

Posted Image

The Liquid Wrench can says it is for rubber, wood, plastic, vinyl, and metal, and has high dielectric characteristics. However the contents include Petroleum Distillates, Naphthenic Oil, Silicone, Butoxy Ethanol, and Carbon Dioxide. I thought any lube with Petroleum is bad to use right? It has been some time since I used it, but I don't remember it having great results.

The ACE Pure Lubricant can says it substrates machinery, car door locks, sporting equipment, tools, zippers, ect. It says nothing about use with rubber or vinyl. It contains Aliphatic Hydrocarbons, Hexane and Ketones. This must be one of the "dry" lubes that is meant for metals, because it caused my plunger to slow down.

Gunk plumber's Silicone Grease vs Harvey's Plumber's Faucet and Valve Grease

Posted Image

The Plumber's Silicone Grease says right on the box it contains no petroleum additives. The instructions say to apply to rubber or synthetic o-rings, gaskets and seals; Plastic, metal or ceramic valves, stems and cartridges. It contains Polydimethylsiloxane, Dimethyl Siloxane, Hydroxyterminated, Silica, and Amorphous Fumed. This type of grease is for faucets because it provides a waterproof, protective coating that prevents rust and corrosion. It does not make Nerf plungers slide better from what I can tell.

Finally Harvey's Plumber's Faucet and Valve Grease says it is applied to stems of faucets, valves, ball cocks, plungers, packings, and washers. It frees sticky faucets, prevents rust, and allows easier installation of o-rings. No contents are listed, but it seems to work okay so far in my plungers.

All these lubes were found at either Autozone or The Home Depot. But none of them work as well as the lube Hasbro uses in their Nerf blasters. I contacted them to find out what lube they use for plungers but I got an automated response telling me that the information was not available. I emailed Buzz Bee also. An actual person responded and informed me that no lubricants or oils at all are used in their blasters. I know this is not true because if you look at the o-rings of the Mega Missile or Big Blast you will find they have grease on them.

If anybody has experience with these lubes or knows what kind Hasbro uses please reply.
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#34 CaptainSlug

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:13 AM

However, the propellant may be harmful to your plastics.

The propellant really isn't going to stick around long enough to do any damage.

Teflon dry lube... No problems with plastics or rubber butyl etc.

Which isn't much of a surprise considering it is made of plastic. Added it to the first post.

In a thread a while back, somebody posted about using graphite "lubricant" in their Nerf gun.
I may have been somewhat of an asshole when I went about telling him that it wasn't a good idea to use that stuff with plastic, but whatever. I would add graphite lubricant to the list of things not to use with plastic.

I remember using graphite on the nail axles for the wheels on my pinewood derby car. It's very dry and not really suitable for use on a plunger head, but it definitely can't harm plastic or synthetic rubber. You will however end up with a huge mess.

Finally Harvey's Plumber's Faucet and Valve Grease says it is applied to stems of faucets, valves, ball cocks, plungers, packings, and washers. It frees sticky faucets, prevents rust, and allows easier installation of o-rings. No contents are listed, but it seems to work okay so far in my plungers.

I would recommend you keep using the valve grease.
The liquid wrench has a ton of undesirable additives and the "Pure lubricant" is intended exactly for what is advertised (machinery).

Edited by CaptainSlug, 01 May 2009 - 12:21 AM.

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#35 ilzot

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 04:26 PM

WOW. Useful guide.

I was wondering when I Vaseline'd my recon tube that the O-ring expanded to twice it's original size...
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#36 Shrub

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 06:12 PM

SO that's why all my guns hate liquid wrech.
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#37 Jediguy

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 05:30 AM

Hello guys, I'm new around here and seeing this thread, I was wondering if any of you have tried Tamiya model grease. Its mainly used for r/c and high performance parts like gearboxes. I tried it and it works great on my LS.

Not sure if you guys have it on your side of the world but its definitely safe for plastic and rubber.
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#38 laxtk88

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 07:30 AM

In a thread a while back, somebody posted about using graphite "lubricant" in their Nerf gun.
I may have been somewhat of an asshole when I went about telling him that it wasn't a good idea to use that stuff with plastic, but whatever. I would add graphite lubricant to the list of things not to use with plastic.


That was me that used it. It didn't make a good seal but it certainly helped with moving parts. As CS said the stuff is plastic safe, but if it gets wet you end up with a huge mess.
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#39 Bullshit Dragon

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 03:49 PM

This should be pinned.

I use Harvey's Silicone Grease. Works great, but it's just a tad on the thick side. Either way, I love it.
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#40 Carbon

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 04:11 PM

Might as well toss in the lubricant that I've had good luck with: Xerox fuser oil. According to the specifications, it's a form of polydimethylsiloxane...essentially a silicone lubricant, but with a thicker body. It stays around much better than silicone spray ever did for me: one aplication will last me months.

Other oil-based fusers in laser printers may use similar stuff: it can be found at office supply stores.
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#41 Doom

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 05:26 PM

Petroleum jelly's been misclassified. While it's definitely bad for natural rubber and thus should be used with caution, synthetic rubbers and most plastics should handle it well. I used petroleum jelly to lubricate a large Buna-N piston cup in a PVC pipe several years ago with no ill effects.

Chemical compatibility/resistance charts are useful here. Buna-N rubber, a common O-ring rubber, is perfectly fine with petroleum jelly (in fact, this chart rates it better than aluminum, brass, and steel). This chart suggests that polycarbonate and ABS are perfectly fine with petroleum jelly and this chart says the same for PVC. I'd suggest doing a Google search to find some of these charts if there is any question of the lubricant's effect on the material.

Edit:

One additional point about petroleum jelly that I had failed to mention was that the ONLY reason I used it was because I needed a huge amount of lubricant. I was lubricating two 4 inch piston cups. Needless to say I'd be spraying for a while from my can of silicone lubricant.

Silicone lubricant would be a lot less messy so it's my suggestion for Nerf just like the OP.

If there are any concerns about the compatibility of the materials and the lubricant, again, I'd suggest doing some searches for chemical compatibility tables.

Edited by Doom, 04 May 2009 - 09:55 AM.

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#42 Axelion burnout

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 08:41 PM

This is the stuff that I use. Works great.

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#43 Glint

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 08:56 PM

Which one of these two would be better?:

DuPont Teflon Silicone Lubricant

or

3 in 1 Silicone Lubricant?

Edited by Glint, 02 May 2009 - 08:56 PM.

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#44 Draconis

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 10:10 PM

Doom, that is awesome! I knew you'd have some great info.
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#45 KingBouyah

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 10:47 PM

I've been using Hoppes 9 Lubricating Oil. I've been using that because it was always recommended by everyone as the lube of for o-rings on paintball guns. I haven't played paintball much for the past 7 years, but I had a bottle of it lying around, so I used it on all my nerf guns. It turns out the MSDS lists it as white mineral oil.

Last month I was trying to get a better plunger seal on a NF by making a custom seal with hot glue. I used the lubricating oil to form the glue in the tube and keep it from sticking. About a week later I found that the oil had degraded the hardened hot glue reducing it to the consistency of a wet gumdrop.

The moral of this story: It's time to switch to something silicone based. Also, mineral oil (or at least Hoppe's 9) dissolves hot glue.

Great guide, CS. Though, to clear up an insignificant point, vegetable oil will not necessarily harbor bacteria. Oils go rancid due to oxidation. While it's true that certain microbial growth will cause hydrolytic rancidity, oxidative rancidity is the main culprit making your oils stink, being caused by light, heat, and air.
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#46 Vinnie D

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 01:50 AM

I've been trying some silicon lubricant spray (applies like WD40), to good end. Just let me warn you not to use it on, or near clear or translucent plastics. It makes a sticky cloudy mess. Discovered this while lubing up the axle of my Yoyo (another of my hobbies). Thankfully I only hit the inside so no cosmetic damage done and it doesn't seem to hurt the performance. The ball bearings now spin like never before by the way, so it does lube well.
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#47 CaptainSlug

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:42 AM

Petroleum jelly's been misclassified.

Updated first post.

DuPont Teflon Silicone Lubricant

This one has a better mix.

I've been using Hoppes 9 Lubricating Oil.

It's recommended for paintball guns because those typically use teflon O-Rings which are rated for higher pressures and are more dimensionally stable.

I've been trying some silicon lubricant spray (applies like WD40), to good end. Just let me warn you not to use it on, or near clear or translucent plastics. It makes a sticky cloudy mess.

If you read the can that is what it's supposed to do. Leaves a lubricating film on the part it's applied to. If you wanted to avoid overspray you can spray it into a cup then apply it with a paintbrush.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 04 May 2009 - 07:47 AM.

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#48 Vinnie D

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 05:51 AM

Oh, thanks a ton. That's a huge relief actually. I was thinking that it just ate translucent plastics much like the fumes of superglue do.
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#49 bionicsuperjew

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:12 AM

I have a question; being misinformed about what type of lubricant to use, I used the liquid wrench heavy duty silicone lubricant, the yellow can, and two of my guns' plunger heads have now broken because the o-rings became swollen. My question is there anyway to shrink back the o-rings so they are not tight in the plungers? This is the reason my plunger heads broke. I fixed them, but I cannot fire the guns ( a longshot and a knock-off mini ttg) because the o-rings are still enlarged. Should I soak them in soap and water? Just water? Air them out? Any help would be awesome. I could also just get new o-rings, which I have spares of anyway.

Edit: yeah Zorn, I searched around a little bit more after I posted and Captainslug went back in time and told me what to do. My main thing was I did not know if the o-rings swelling was reversible, but now I know it is not so I will just use new o-rings, which is the easiest solution of them all. I also plan on picking up new lubricant tomorrow.

So Just for the record, Liquid Wrench heavy duty silicone lubricant swelled my old o-rings and I would not suggest using it for older guns that have dry o-rings.

Edited by bionicsuperjew, 13 May 2009 - 01:31 AM.

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#50 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:27 AM

I could also just get new o-rings, which I have spares of anyway.


Answered your own question there.
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