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Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?

Posted by razoredgeknives 
Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 09:36AM
This question is inspired by this discussion and as I came to think of it, while it makes sense, I have never seen any hard scientific evidence to show this. Was hoping there was some good info on this?

Lube manufacturers, Frog Lube being one, makes statements such as this:

"Apply FrogLube and allow time to absorb. (heat quickens the rate of absorption)."

and this:

"FrogLube into the barrel as the heat will accelerate the absorption into the voids of the metal. After treatment, you will notice a marked reduction in friction and temperature. It is not necessary to do this after every use, but should be done at regular intervals."
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 10:10AM
I THINK (aka a big guess), heat reduces lube-polymer size to facilitate penetration and adhesion (increase contact areas and less mis-align angle between polymer and surface). Metal at a fixed-phase, its dimension changes very little in operating temperature range.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 11:08AM
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razoredgeknives
I have never seen any hard scientific evidence to show this.

Yes, steel has pores :

Quote

The developed ultrasonic method was found to be capable of discriminating inclusions from pores in rolled bearing steel 100Cr6.

- [iopscience.iop.org]

100Cr6 is 52100.

The pores can be do to actual voids in the steel (very common in early PM) or surface finish issues depending on manufacturing, or the actual surface layer itself can be some kind of oxide or other substance which it itself porous (rust is for example).

When you apply heat to those lubricants it decreases the viscosity which is what allows it to penetrate. It also causes the steel to expand however I doubt that is the critical factor. Another issue is that metals expand at different rates and thus when you apply heat to stuck parts if one expands more than the other this can aid in pulling them apart and making enough of a crack for the oil to penetrate.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 02:39PM
Quote
bluntcut
I THINK (aka a big guess), heat reduces lube-polymer size to facilitate penetration and adhesion (increase contact areas and less mis-align angle between polymer and surface). Metal at a fixed-phase, its dimension changes very little in operating temperature range.

Yeah that sounds about right.

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CliffStamp
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razoredgeknives
I have never seen any hard scientific evidence to show this.

Yes, steel has pores :

Quote

The developed ultrasonic method was found to be capable of discriminating inclusions from pores in rolled bearing steel 100Cr6.

- [iopscience.iop.org]

100Cr6 is 52100.

The pores can be do to actual voids in the steel (very common in early PM) or surface finish issues depending on manufacturing, or the actual surface layer itself can be some kind of oxide or other substance which it itself porous (rust is for example).

When you apply heat to those lubricants it decreases the viscosity which is what allows it to penetrate. It also causes the steel to expand however I doubt that is the critical factor. Another issue is that metals expand at different rates and thus when you apply heat to stuck parts if one expands more than the other this can aid in pulling them apart and making enough of a crack for the oil to penetrate.

I didn't read the whole paper, just the abstract, but I guess I am wondering what is the definition of "pores" because they stated that the 22 bearings tested had a total of 16 pores found. I guess I had imagined that the pores were similar to what you would find on a waterstone, for example, just on a whole other level (don't pass through and join up w/ other "air pockets" etc). So I am wondering if doing as these lubricant companies suggest and simply heating up the part w/ a hair dryer actually does anything?
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 02:48PM
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razoredgeknives
...I guess I am wondering what is the definition of "pores"

It just means what you think it means, a small opening/void .


Quote

So I am wondering if doing as these lubricant companies suggest and simply heating up the part w/ a hair dryer actually does anything?

Yes, but likely it has more to do with other aspects than the actual expansion of the pores :

Quote

When you apply heat to those lubricants it decreases the viscosity which is what allows it to penetrate. It also causes the steel to expand however I doubt that is the critical factor. Another issue is that metals expand at different rates and thus when you apply heat to stuck parts if one expands more than the other this can aid in pulling them apart and making enough of a crack for the oil to penetrate.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2015 02:48PM by CliffStamp.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 04:04PM
cool thanks cliff. The part about two stuck parts definitely makes sense!
me2
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 11, 2015 07:52PM
I don't think of metals as porous, but I have a fairly specific definition of material porosity from some light ceramics work many years ago. There are certainly surface imperfections and surface chemistry is a detailed field of study that includes stuff that could be considered pores in a layterm sense.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 06:16AM
What about surface tension guys? I've discussed, in basic terms, how that effects various plastic materials, such as wether or not they can be painted. Water as well, it's why small insects and arachnids can walk on the surface of the water. Does steel have surface tension, or no?
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 06:29AM
As a welder I am taught steel does have a certain level of absorption. When cutting steels left out in humid or wet conditions you have to pre-heat it to remove moisture in the metal. Now how deep this penetration is I would be guessing. But it is a factor when using an oxygen actelene torch for cutting cleanly. Also TIG welding requires a clean and dry surface so grinding is the preferred method, so I would hazard a guess that it is very shallow less then a millimeter of penetration.

Now as to lubricants penetration of steel I am unsure of. Oils do tend to have higher surface tensions then some fluids. How much so not sure.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 07:45AM
Frog Lube is essentially hype in lubricant form. Cliff, I know this statement won't stand up to scrutiny, but it does not have much evidence to back up the company's claims for the product, nor has it proven to be all that great of a lubricant for firearms compared to something like CLP or Fireclean.

[www.breachbangclear.com]

Now the requirements for lubrication in a firearm are considerably different than in a knife, with dirt contamination being more of a concern in a knife (if you are a flipper) or if there is a risk of the lock jamming. In that case, it is something that more needs to be designed around than choice of lubricant.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2015 07:52AM by Bugout Bill.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 11:03AM
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Ryan Nafe
Does steel have surface tension, or no?

Yes, to some extent all solids do. Surface tension is just the stress in the surface layer of a solid :

- [iopscience.iop.org]

As to how this effects lubrication, interesting question. It is of issue in industry as you can find papers on how it effects contamination of the surface of steel in dairy plants for example.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 11:05AM
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Bugout Bill
Frog Lube is essentially hype in lubricant form.

Bill, almost all manufacturing claims have some level of hype as that just means exaggerated claims. Very few people sell "ok" products or argue that they are just "good enough". It doesn't take much to realize that not everyone can be the best, but almost everyone claims it. If they make a specific claim you want to dispute then post away, however the one noted here is pretty reasonable, heating a part before lubrication is generally a good idea.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 11:07AM
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TerriLiGunn
As a welder I am taught steel does have a certain level of absorption. When cutting steels left out in humid or wet conditions you have to pre-heat it to remove moisture in the metal.

This is normally done to get rid of surface water (condensation) and to just preheat the meat as otherwise it will make a rapid heat sink. You don't want water on the surface as it can lead to hydrogen embrittlement and you don't want the rest of the part to heat sink as you will end up with untempered martensite (extremely brittle).

As well, if you weld cold steel you can see water seem to come out of the metal. That is condensate from the burning of the gasses, water is a byproduct of combustion and as the steel is not preheated it will rapidly cool the water vapor.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 12, 2015 10:21PM
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Bugout Bill
Frog Lube is essentially hype in lubricant form. Cliff, I know this statement won't stand up to scrutiny, but it does not have much evidence to back up the company's claims for the product, nor has it proven to be all that great of a lubricant for firearms compared to something like CLP or Fireclean.

[www.breachbangclear.com]

Now the requirements for lubrication in a firearm are considerably different than in a knife, with dirt contamination being more of a concern in a knife (if you are a flipper) or if there is a risk of the lock jamming. In that case, it is something that more needs to be designed around than choice of lubricant.

Well more study on the subject would of course be invited for sure! But this guy seems to have done some fairly thorough testing and froglube is just one of a few others that performed pretty well across the board. It did not score top in everything but it seems like a good stable lubricant and rust protector. This also seems to corroborate the first article. Now I know you can find good stuff about any lube out there on the market, but this one seems to be a nice stable lube that does a good job and is food safe.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 13, 2015 08:09AM
Razoredge:

In regards to the first article:

-My biggest problem is that he does not use any sort of baseline as a comparison. The author states what Frog Lube does well in terms of weapons maintenance (cleaning carbon fouling, restoring finish back to black), but how do we know that WD-40 or 10W-30 won't do the same thing?

In a more general sense, I don't think Frog Lube is a bad product; I just don't think that it really does anything better than other lubricants. If you are testing an AR15 and running it to high round counts (2-5K) rounds, I would be very interested to see if any difference could be noticed between Froglube and CLP.

Furthermore, I have never really understood how the food safe aspect of Froglube has any relevance to firearms (other than it leads to people eating it in youtube videos). With a firearm lube, you need something that is going to be stable for a long period of time and under high temperatures, beyond OHS concerns, you don't need to be able to eat the lube.

But meh, if it works for you, great. I'm happy with 10W-30 and lithium grease.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 13, 2015 09:46AM
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Bugout Bill
The author states what Frog Lube does well in terms of weapons maintenance (cleaning carbon fouling, restoring finish back to black), but how do we know that WD-40 or 10W-30 won't do the same thing?

He keeps noting comparisons to other products, he is just very vague on what they are. It is a valid question to ask what else he is using and if he is using them correctly - but if this is a criticism then post it to them.

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Furthermore, I have never really understood how the food safe aspect of Froglube has any relevance to firearms ....

The main point of food safe lubricants, aside from the fact they are not toxic, is that they tend to be environmentally friendly and for legal reasons this is a huge advantage in industry. If people are working with toxic substances then there is a huge cost associated with the OH&S regulations which cover how they must work and how they must dispose of the waste product. In addition to that real cost, there is a perceived benefit because a lot of people buy "green" products because it makes them feel good that they are supporting the environment.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 02:29AM
Firebrand is vegetable oil.

Lubricants are odd things, marketing is a big thing. Frankly froglube works well. And it doesn't stink, frankly it smells pretty good.
As to the science.
If viscosity, and other factors work for the application then the marketing is kind not really relevant.
Often I ignore the marketing and pay attention to testing and reviews.
Marketing is made by sales people, who often know nothing about the science except a very dumb down explanation the creator of the product gave them.
I know this doesn't answer the question. But it has been my experience with marketing claims.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 09:20AM
Terri: Andrew Touhy is a good guy.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 01:12PM
Just as a point in regards to that blog, in the comments a criticism is rasied against his work, specifically that the graphs shown would be very similar in any oil like compound and that in order to actually know the details of the compounds other measurements would have to be taken. This point is raised by individuals with a background in chemical technical analysis. The author of the blog ignores these points and makes comments like :

-Do your own research

-I don't have 8 years to become an expert

and so on in response to criticisms. Quite frank, these are not only poor responses, they are completely ridiculous. If you do a PhD in Chemistry it is not even likely you would do much if any spectroscopic analysis, though you might do a lab or two. Beyond a BSc the work you do is very specialized, my background (curious enough) was actually in spectroscopy (Masters and PhD) but I had friends that did it in thermodynamics, quantum theory, gravitational modeling, etc. . They know next to nothing about Spectroscopy aside from what they hear me say.

If you wanted to understand how it is used and the limitations and what you can and can't learn from it, this would take maybe 30 mins to an hour to get a really good understanding. The author didn't do that, he just asked one individual and then ignored criticisms from other people with similar experience and background as to why the data presented don't support the conclusion. That is not only bad science, it is simply really unreliable reasoning, it shows emotional bias and quite frankly borders on being dishonest.

Now what was the actual objection and why was it an objection? You have to know what spectroscopy does and what it measures. On a basic level this is all it does :

-you shine light through something
-you measure the light that comes through over a range of frequencies
-this difference shows the light that is absorbed at particular frequencies

As atoms and molecules can only absorb light at frequencies which allow them to have particular states (which depends on their atomic and molecular structural details) by looking at which frequencies show absorption you can identify what is there. Well this is the idea, but it gets complicated fast when the molecules get complicated.

Oils contain compounds such as triglycerides which are three fatty acids (can be three different ones) all attached to a glycerol backbone, glycerol is a type of sugar alcohol. Now how do you calculate the frequencies of absorption for a big mess like that - I don't know, I didn't work with organic compounds.

The objection rasied is that the length of the fatty acid chain, or which chains are together won't show up in the spectroscopy which could be right, if this is the case then you could have very different compounds producing very similar spectra as they might only show the basic groups and not how they are assembled.

--

Now what would I have done if someone asked me to shoot some spectra of that lubricant. I would have told them that I don't work with Organics and to give me a day to talk to some Chemistry geek about how to use spectra on large complicated organics. If they could not wait that long then I would have at a minimum looked at the spectra of :

-a bunch of food oils
-a bunch of non-food synthetic oils

and do differential spectra (you just subtract them) to see if there was some kind of systematic difference. They didn't even do that to show clearly that a synthetic lubricant would have very different spectra. What they did was just show a lubricant next to a simple organic, conclude that it was similar because the spectra were similar and there could be real issues with that conclusion.

--

But all of this is moot because even if your conclusion is well supported by the data, when you respond to a criticism with "go do your own" instead of looking at the objection then you are not interested in truth you are just interested in propaganda. It would have taken the author maybe 5 to 10 minutes to simply call up the same guy and ask him about the objections raised.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 06:45PM
The whole mess is PR fail on both sides. Fireclean has deleted and blocked comments and commenters and questions on their Facebook page. As well as threatening legal actions against the blog. So it was just a rough example of marketing. Although it has gone nuclear in the gun blogging world.

Full disclosure myself and another were blocked by Fireclean for asking questions in response to the product being so similar to standard cooking oil, and why no rust inhibitors were added.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 07:18PM
I just did a brief scan on both sides and the irresponsibility on the accusations is simply extreme :

- [www.thefirearmblog.com]

I am kind of surprised there are not lawsuits flying around because those conclusions, while could be true, are extremely unreliable. In any case it does show as a point of perspective that what we see as hype in knives/steels pales in comparison to what is in guns/ammunition. I am kind of surprised that no one has even a high school level of understanding of chemistry and physics in all of those people jabbering about what is or isn't happening.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 07:25PM
Cliff: Hype and outright falsification drives the gun industry. This is pretty common stuff, if lawsuits were filed a lot of dirty laundry would be aired on both sides.

In regards to Mr. Touhy's reaction, there is a bit of background to that. Back in the early to mid 2000s, one of the gun forums (ARFCOM) had a solid reputation for actual engineering knowledge and interest in testing. Mr. Touhy came in during the tail end of that and branched off on his own. He is one of the few people that did comprehensive, independent testing and openly releases the results, that has resulted in him butting heads with a lot of people. Given the environment that he operates in, he reaction isn't all that surprising.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 08:01PM
Bill, you results are supposed to be challenged in science, people are supposed to look at your conclusions and see if they are supported by the data. If you respond to this by ignoring the questions, using data you don't understand at all, not even taking minimum steps to understand what you are citing, doing no followup ... well that isn't science, what Touhy is doing, at least in the above and a few other cases I have read (a recent video where he accuses the same manufacturer of falsifying a video) are as bad as, or worse than the people he is criticizing.

What he has done is removed the methods of self-correction which are necessary in knowledge. At a minimum level, in order to generate truth, the method used must have at least two things :

-it is positively correlated to returning true on true claims
-it is positive correlated to returning false on false claims

Ideally these are independent. If you remove the second one, which he has clearly done, even to the point of being hostile to neutral questions/criticisms, then you are guaranteed to start generating misinformation. No methods are perfect and they will generate false results. If you prevent these from being picked up then they will slowly start to propagate through your information base and in time will completely contaminate it.

I don't know the history, maybe he was reacted to in a very harsh way which forced him to be defensive. However he is clearly writing in such a way now to deliberately be inflammatory, he offers conjecture as assertions, doesn't consider valid criticism from people much more informed than he is about how he is reaching conclusions - but he has a fan base and maybe that is all he really is interested in.

It isn't like people go see Megan Fox expecting James Cagney level acting.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 08:05PM
Cliff: I understand

Further note on history, his website has become much more lax and less focused on testing more or less due to burnout. He did a lot of independent testing early on and built a decent name for himself, got some sponsorship to do comprehensive testing, ultimately no one was interested and his site went away for a while.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 08:45PM
Bill,

I am really kind of biased in this area because of my background and quite frankly I likely over react. I just read his reading list and it has two of my favorite authors on it and since I like them and I am awesome, then he must be ok as well.

All I would say is once you don't self correct you abandon knowledge. That doesn't mean it is inherently wrong. I don't learn much when I watch Rick and Morty, and I would learn much more if I watched a video on organic chemistry.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 15, 2015 10:10PM
Cliff: ha, that is what I figured. When you come from a background and see people doing things from that enviroment incorrectly, it is easy to get very vocal about that sort of thing.

The interesting thing about testing firearms as opposed to knives is not only the hype and misinformation worse, but everything you are trying to observe will take a lot of time and money to reach. Say you are testing an assault rifle, it isn't a big deal if you are a contractor or a government agency, you can readily fire 20 or 30 thousand rounds in a mud chamber all day long. If you are a private party, you are expending your own treasure to produce results that no one in the industry will necessarily need (because they can do their own tests) and will very well be ignored by the public.

On top of that, "variables" are even more of an issue. In just testing lubricant you have to account for:

-condition of weapon and components prior to test.
-type of ammunition, manufacturer of ammunition.
-environmental conditions
-rate of fire

To add to that, the difference between products may ultimately be so miniute that it is impractical or impossible for the layperson to observe. That is really my main issue with things like Fireclean or FrogLube. If you take confirmation bias into account and are not expending large amounts of ammunition at agency like intervals, are you really going to observe any difference between products.

As an aside, I've learned a lot from Rick and Morty, very true to life show.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
September 16, 2015 05:20PM
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CliffStamp
...when I watch Rick and Morty...

Yes! Freakin great show! Just watched the theme park in a body episode last night.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
January 15, 2016 08:44AM
[www.vuurwapenblog.com]

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
January 15, 2016 01:25PM
I am not understanding why everyone is bent out of shape over this. If you don't like the product, don't buy or use it. If you like it , buy it or use it. It's not as if it's a big ticket item.

"Gotta love living in 2019 baby, (63rc too soft on a production knife)"
--Shawn Houston

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage."
--Cliff Stamp

"Cause geometry cuts, .....steel determines the level and the duration"
--Roman Landes

"But in general, I'm all about high performance, Ergos, safety. That's why I've been accused of 'designing in the dark' "
--Sal Glesser
Re: Do pores/grains in metal expand w/ heat enough to allow lube to "embed"?
January 15, 2016 04:27PM
Jason: With me it is more amusement than anything. The fact that several different companies are promoting the same product produced by the same company, with considerably more woo in the firearms targeted lube, is kind of entertaining.

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Bill22252 on YouTube. "See you space cowboy"

Resident Emerson Fanboi

Folding knives are fun, fixed blades are important.
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