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PFAS Free Lubricants

The Hidden Dangers and Benefits of PFAS Substances in Lubricants

What Is PFAS?

PFAS are Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS. They have become a topic of increasing concern due to their widespread use and potential health and environmental impacts. These synthetic chemicals, known for their water- and chemical-resistant properties, have found applications in various industries, including the production of lubricants. In this article, we will explore the dangers, benefits, and the intricate link between PFAS substances and lubricants.

For our industry, PTFE - often known under brand name of Teflon or its chemical name (Polytetrafluoroethylene) - is the most commonly known product that sits under the PFAS brand and less commonly PFPE (perfluorinated poly ether) greases and oils.

The Dangers Of PFAS Substances

  1. Health Risks

    PFAS compounds have been associated with various health risks. Studies suggest that exposure to PFAS may be linked to reproductive and developmental issues, liver damage, immune system dysfunction, and an increased risk of certain cancers. The persistence of PFAS in the environment and the human body is a significant concern, as they have been known to accumulate over time.

  2. Environmental Impact

    PFAS are highly persistent in the environment, earning them the nickname "forever chemicals." They do not easily break down and can contaminate water sources, soil, and air. This has led to concerns about the long-term environmental impact of PFAS, affecting wildlife and potentially entering the food chain.

  3. Regulatory Challenges

    The regulatory landscape surrounding PFAS is evolving as authorities recognize the potential dangers. Some PFAS compounds have been phased out, but due to their persistent nature, older formulations continue to pose challenges. Regulatory bodies worldwide are working to establish guidelines and regulations to control the use and disposal of PFAS-containing products.

The Benefits of PFAS in Lubricants

  1. Friction Reduction

    PFAS compounds are known for their exceptional lubricating properties. In the field of lubricants, they contribute to reducing friction between moving parts, enhancing the efficiency of machinery and engines. This can lead to improved fuel efficiency and reduced wear and tear on components. PTFE is often referred to as the slippiest substance known to man and has a very low coefficient of friction.

  2. Temperature Stability

    Lubricants containing PFAS substances often exhibit excellent temperature stability. This is particularly crucial in high-performance applications where machinery operates under extreme conditions. PFAS-containing lubricants can maintain their effectiveness and provide consistent performance across a wide range of temperatures.
  3. Chemical Inertness

    PFAS compounds are chemically inert, meaning they do not readily react with other substances. In lubricants, this property can contribute to the stability and longevity of the lubricating film, resulting in prolonged equipment life and reduced maintenance requirements.

    PFAS lubricants can also resist breakdown from chemical attack where other products would fail.

The Link Between PFAS and Lubricants

The connection between PFAS and lubricants lies in the desire to create high-performance, long-lasting lubricating solutions. Industries that rely on machinery operating under extreme conditions, such as aerospace and automotive, have turned to PFAS-containing lubricants to benefit from their unique properties.

However, the use of PFAS in lubricants raises ethical and environmental questions. As the awareness of PFAS risks grows, there is an increasing push for alternatives that maintain performance without the potential harm associated with these substances. Some sites are now operating PFAS free, and we have worked with some to help them achieve this goal.

Difficulties occur in replacing PFAS Substances, certain product applications require exceptionally long life or high performance lubricants where the risk of failure is critical. This can be in medical equipment, diving valves, automotive applications and other essential use cases where relubrication is often not possible. We can attempt to reduce the use of these substances and replace them with alternative products in many cases, but for now we will still rely on these products to accomplish the goals of certain equipment needs.


While PFAS-containing lubricants offer undeniable benefits in terms of friction reduction, temperature stability, and chemical inertness, the associated dangers and environmental impact cannot be ignored. Striking a balance between performance and sustainability is crucial as industries seek alternatives that provide high-performance lubrication without compromising health and environmental well-being. As research continues and regulations evolve, the lubricant industry faces the challenge of finding innovative solutions that prioritize both efficiency and responsibility.

A full list of PFAS Free products is available on request.

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