Industries Canada "The
Process Equipment People" designs, engineers and manufactures the PATTERSON Double Motion
Grease Kettles that are extensively used in the production of lubricating greases for the
automobile, aircraft, railroad and industrial applications.
Grease Kettles are available in sizes ranging from pilot plant (R&D) of 25 kg (55 lbs)
capacity through pre-production sizes varying from 150 kg (330 lbs) to 750 kg (1,650 lbs)
up to full scale plant units with capacities to 18000 kg (40,000 lbs), this currently
being the largest unit made by PATTERSON, while the smallest can produce 25 kg (55 lbs)
batches, as noted above. Smaller units for specific applications are available.
PATTERSON Grease Kettles are available in either the Autoclave-style (Pressurised) to
enable the complete Grease manufacturing cycle of Saponification, Grease Finishing and
Grease Cooling to be accomplished in one vessel or in the Atmospheric-type (Non-Pressure)
where the Soap is transferred to the Grease Kettle from the Reactor and the Grease
Finishing-Grease Cooling process stage is then completed.
Kettles can be designed for either steam or thermal fluid (hot-oil) heating for production
size units as well as electrically heated for Pilot Plant/Pre-Production sizes. Water
cooling is used in the case of steam heated units. With Thermal Fluid Heating Systems, the
same fluid is externally cooled through a Heat Exchanger and the cooled fluid circulated
through the Kettle jacket for product cooling.
PATTERSON Grease Kettles are typically fabricated from carbon steel. Where process and
budget conditions warrant, they can be built in stainless steel and/or other alloys.
- Designed, engineered and manufactured to individual customer specifications, process
conditions and batch capacity.
- Conventional double wall jacketed construction for efficient heat transfer.
- Jackets with either single zone or multiple zones depending on process and batch level
requirements (full or partial batch size).
- Supplied with leg supports for floor level installation or shell mounted brackets for
mezzanine type installation.
- Double Motion Counter Rotating Agitator Stirrer Mechanism. The Anchor Stirrer Frame and
Product Loaded Scrapers with Pitched Support Arms prevent product build-up on kettle walls
and assist heat transfer, and rotate in one direction, while the Inner Pitched Paddle
Blades rotate in the opposite direction to assist in product mixing ensuring homogeneous
- Independently driven Anchor/Scraper and Inner Paddle assemblies operate at different
- Single or two-speed motors.
- Designed, manufactured, tested and inspected in accordance with the ASME Code Section
VIII Division I and with the stamp of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel
- Our proven track record of functional design and reliable construction is your present
and future solution to cost effective, low maintenance equipment.
- Reliability of design and construction with proven track records for low maintenance
- Our worldwide reputation for manufacturing innovative, dependable products and systems
result in a rapidly growing customer base of Grease manufacturers from Canada, China,
India, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States and other countries.
Laboratory and Grease Research
state of the art Grease Research Equipment.
shown a PATTERSON Automated Grease Kettle &
Related Equipment –
Grease Mill, Grease Filter, Grease Pump, Heating
and Cooling System,
Vacuum System and Controls
and consisting of:
6 kg (13.2 lb) Working Capacity PATTERSON GREASE
SAPONIFICATION/FINISHING KETTLE complete with PATTERSON
Double Motion Counter - Rotating Agitator Stirrer
consisting of a
Assembly and Grease Kettle Body that can be manually
raised and lowered. A
Flush Bottom Handwheel-operated Discharge/Sampling Valve is
located on the Kettle bottom.
Autoclave-type Pressurized 6 kg (13.2 lb) Working
KETTLE comes complete with a
Double Motion Counter - Rotating Agitator Stirrer
of a Stationary Mounted Drive Assembly and
Grease Kettle Body that can
be manually raised
and lowered -
similar to a Drill Press Arrangement.
The Outer Assembly is
a sweep-type style
with PATTERSON patented pitched product
loaded teflon scraper blades to provide efficient movement of product and transfer of heat.
The Inner Assembly Paddle type two (2)
impellers pitched to give lateral
achieve a wide range of rotating speeds,
the equipment is equipped with
an AC SCR
Frequency Inverter Speed Control.
Grease Mill (Colloid Mill)
including circulation pump and
modular electronic solid state
Electronic Solid State
is featured for
and accurate reading
Vacuum System including vacuum pump to degas the grease to a
vacuum level of less than 60 TORR absolute.
Control System. The
basic controller is designed and supplied for
manual operation to
initiate a process cycle. All
control functions are a
panel mounted with safety interlocks.
The Heating/Cooling system has
its own control system and control
readily apparent from the 3D schematic below the system is designed on a
rack mounted platform so it can be picked up with a fork lift truck.
of the system also serves as the shipping frame and
during shipment will be
enclosed with plywood panels.
Size of Crate/Skid:
5'0" wide x 4'0" deep x
Large Capacity Laboratory Grease Research Skid Mounted System
17 kg (37.5 lb)
capacity PATTERSON Grease Saponification Finishing Kettle
System consisting of 5 USG
working capacity PATTERSON
Autoclave type Pressurized Grease Reactor
Kettle with Double Motion
Counter-Rotating Agitator Stirrer
basically consisting of a Stationary
Mounted Assembly and Grease
Kettle Body which can be manually
raised and lowered.
Size: 260 mm
(10-1/4") I.D. x 432 mm (17") tan line to top of straight
Total Vessel Volume:
Capacity: 5 USG = approx. 37.5 lb of Grease at SG of
All wetted parts 316 stainless steel including
3/4" flush bottom hand wheel
Conditions: Shell 100 psig at 125°C (302°F).
2. Heating/Cooling System
- Flanged Heater.
- Shell & Tube
Heat Exchanger for cooling.
- Internal fluid
bypass to protect the pump and heating element.
- Fused motor
- Fused heater
- Fused transformer
protection on both primary and secondary sides.
- Motor overload
- Long life IEC
- Microprocessor-based PID controller (dual display).
- Mercury heating
- Over temperature
- Thermal Fluid
reservoir for filling and expansion.
- Pressure gauge
showing delivery pressure to process.
- Pilot lights to
indicate separate functions (Power on, Heating and Cooling
- Equipment built
to NEMA 1 Specifications.
Options & Accessories
- Mechanical seal
- Heating or
cooling only functions.
- Increased cooling
- Increased pumping
options to include RS 485 communication.
- Pump reverse.
- Audible or visual
Homogenizer/Vertical Batch Colloid Mill
Operating Speed: 7200
Peripheral Velocity: 65 ft/sec (20 m/sec)
All wetted surfaces in 316 S/S. Stator Housing is
allow for heating and cooling
Capacity: 1.5 US gallon (5.7 litres) capacity of 316S/S
complete with Re-circulation tubing and 3 way valve for
discharge with 1" Tri-clamp fitting.
Direct drive 1/2 HP, 115V/1f/60Hz.
7200 rpm, Open
Ventilated Universal Motor.
System including vacuum pump to degas the grease at a vacuum
less than 60 torr absolute. The system includes a single wave
Rotary Vacuum Pump including inlet filter and valves.
Features and Benefits
basic control system is designed and supplied
for manual operation as
far as function initiation. All control functions
are panel mounted with safety
interlocks where necessary. The
Heating/Cooling System has its own control system and control
panel but is connected to the main control panel
The control system
is micro processor based with an HMI Interface
with the following
Screen, touching on any component will take you to the component
within the system.
|Heater control Screen
indicating Vessel operating temperatures.
Control System including timer and time remaining cycle time.
|Motor Control Screen
indicating motor and shaft rpms for inner and outer
respectively including start/stop buttons. By touching the HMI
screen, stirrer speeds can be increased or decreased.
indicating status of Homogenizer and Vacuum System, also showing
motor and shaft rpms as well as vessel temperature and pressure.
|Control Panel Overview
including HMI Touch Screen.
of Inside of Control Panel with PLC and Variable Frequency Motor
of touch screen in overview mode.
view of skid mounted PATTERSON
Research System from control side.
of PATTERSON Double Motion Grease Kettle with counter rotating
stirrer and product
loaded scrapers in open position.
of System from Grease Kettle side.
of heating/cooling system.
view from Vacuum System side. System is skid mounted,
completely wired and piped up. Customer merely has to hook up to
utilities such as main power, air etc.
of Vacuum System.
of PATTERSON Double Motion Grease Kettle in operating mode.
view with PATTERSON Double Motion Grease Kettle in operating mode.
Large Capacity Laboratory Grease Research Skid Mounted System
System consisting of PATTERSON®.
Research Grease Kettle, Thermal Fluid Heater/Cooler and Touch Screen
Control System, all modules on casters, interconnected with
quick-connect hoses and cables.
Modular 17 kg (37.5 lb)
capacity PATTERSON Grease Saponification Finishing Kettle System consisting of 5 USG
working capacity PATTERSON Autoclave type Pressurized Grease Reactor
Kettle with Double Motion Counter - Rotating Agitator Stirrer
basically consisting of a Stationary Mounted Assembly and Grease
Kettle. Stirrer which can be hydraulically raised and lowered.
All modules are on casters and are interconnected with Quick
Disconnect Flexible SS Braided Hoses and Wires.
Total Vessel Volume:
Capacity: 5 USG = approx. 37.5 lb of Grease at SG of
0.9. All wetted parts 316 stainless steel including
3/4" flush bottom hand wheel operated valve.
Conditions: Shell 1 50 psig at 550°F (287°C). Jacket
(for Thermal Fluid) 100 psig 550°F (287°C)
View of Double Motion Kettle.
Close-up of Double Motion, Counter Rotating Drives.
Close-up of Lower Seal.
Close-up of Upper Seal.
Close-up of Kettle Front
Kettle in open position with stirrer in “Top” position.
Close-up of Double Motion Stirrer.
Control System Cabinet on Casters.
Close-up of Control System Touch Screen.
Thermal Fluid Heating/Cooling System on casters.
Close-up of Control Panel of Thermal Fluid Heating/Cooling System which is
integrated with central Touch Screen Control Systems.
Please note: PATTERSON has
in-house expertise to design and supply operating control systems for
all of our process equipment, whether it is a simple start/stop with
cycle time or complex multi-stage systems executing recipes or
formulas and communicating with existing plant control systems.
brief technical overview of the production of
been a need since ancient times for lubricating greases. The Egyptians
used mutton fat and beef tallow to reduce axle friction in chariots as
far back as 1400 BC. More complex lubricants were tried on ancient
axle hubs by mixing fat and lime, but these crude lubricants were in
no way equivalent to the lubricating greases of modern times. Good
lubricating greases were not available until the development of
petroleum-based oils in the late 1800's. Today, there are many
different types of lubricating greases, but the basic structure of
these greases is similar.
In general, grease consists of a thickening agent dispersed throughout
lubricating oil. The thickening agents or gallants include alkali
metal soaps, clays, polymers, carbon black, colloidal silica and
aluminum complexes. The lubricating oil may be petroleum oil or
synthetic oil. The most common type of grease is the soap-based
grease. The soap comes from animal or vegetable fats or fatty acids,
wool grease, rosin or petroleum acids. The lubricating oil is commonly
mineral oil from paraffinic, naphthenic or aromatic hydrocarbons.
Other components of these greases include unreacted fat, fatty acids
and alkali, unsaponifiable matter (including glycerol and fatty
alcohols), rosin or wool grease and water. Some of the other additives
used in grease are oxidation inhibitors, rust and corrosion
inhibitors, color stabilizers, metal passivators, water repellants and
viscosity index improvers.
In soap greases
the metallic soap consists of a long-chain fatty acid neutralized by a
metal such as aluminum, barium, calcium, lithium, magnesium, sodium or
strontium. The fatty acids usually contain 16 to 18 carbon atoms. A
common form of soap-based grease uses lithium 12-hydroxystearate as
the thickener. To properly thicken the grease the soap must be in the
form of fibers of suitable size dispersed throughout the lubricating
oil. The crystalline fibers are usually in the size range of 1 - 100
micrometers with diameters 0.1 to 0.01 of their length. For good shear
stability the fiber should have a large ratio of length to diameter,
and for good oil retention the fiber should be as small as possible.
Therefore, greases need a mixture of these two types of fibers. Also,
there must be a balance between the solvency of the fluid and the
solubility of the soap to get suitable thickening.
Another type of thickener that is not soap-based is prepared from
clays. The clay, such as bentonite or attapulgite, is reacted with a
quaternary amine to change the clay from hydrophilic (water-loving) to
hydrophobic (water-rejecting) and oleophilic (attracting oil).
Effective thickening is achieved by combining the clay with a polar
activator or dispersant, such as acetone, methanol or ethanol, with
small amounts of water and by delaminating and reducing the platelets
to a small size. This process will increase the total surface area of
the dispersed clay, which immobilizes a very high percentage of oil
based on the weight of clay. This will thicken the grease.
Other solid additives produce thickened grease by the nature of their
fine dispersion throughout the fluid and by their particle-particle
interactions. Solid-additive greases extend the operating temperature
range over soap greases. The solid-type greases do not have a melting
point, and their upper temperature limit is that of the oil being
The melting point of greases made with various soaps will
differ appreciably. For example, using the grease dropping-point
temperature, which measures temperature limitation of the grease, the
following demonstrates the differences in these temperatures: aluminum
- 230°F (110°C); sodium - 325 - 350°F (163 - 177°C); calcium
(conventional) - 205 - 220°F (96 - 104°C); calcium (anhydrous) - 275
- 290°F (135-143°C); lithium - 350 - 400°F (177 - 204°C).
dropping temperature of soap-based greases can be increased by using
soap complexes. These complexes consist of a soap-salt thickener. For
example, an aluminum complex might consist of aluminum with a fatty
acid, a nonfatty acid and an alkali. Then each molecule of thickener
consists of aluminum complexed with stearate, benzoate and hydroxide.
The dropping point of a complex grease is at least 100°F (56°C)
higher than the dropping point of the corresponding soap grease. The
range of application of greases is also extended by
"multi-purpose" greases that consist of mixtures of soap
bases or different metals and soaps.
can be made in either a batch or continuous process. Batch production
is the most common manufacturing method. The steps of manufacturing
include the following. Bulk ingredients are metered or weighed into
the processing reactor. For soap-based greases made by saponification
(the process of forming soap by splitting a fat with an alkali), the
fatty ingredient, alkali and a portion of the oil are added to the
reactor. By heating (300 - 450°F) and mixing, the fat is converted to
soap, and the soap is dispersed throughout the mixture. This may be
done in open atmospheric PATTERSON
double motion stirrer kettles or in closed
PATTERSON double motion stirrers. pressure kettles. After completion of
saponification and dehydration (removal of water), the remaining oil
is added to the batch to lower the temperature. Next, the grease is
milled or homogenized. Alternatively for larger operations a PATTERSON
Grease Reactor can be used for quick and efficient saponification
and after the completion of the cycle the material is transferred to a
Motion Grease Kettle.
Typically one Reactor will feed 3 Kettles.
The step of homogenization or milling is very important, because it
will produce a uniform crystal and gel structure that will not change
when the grease is used. Homogenizing the grease will break down the
solid particles or fibers and will disperse the resultant small
particles in the liquid. It also breaks up lumps, eliminates
graininess and produces a smooth product. Homogenization of certain
types of greases will stiffen the grease producing lower penetration
value. Homogenization can improve texture and “brighten” a
grease’s appearance. In many cases this homogenization process is
carried out at temperatures greater than 200°F (93°C).
After homogenization, the
grease is further cooled, deaerated and packaged. Of course, it is
understood that there are many different grease manufacturing methods
depending on the type of grease and the manufacturer.
APV homogenizers and APV colloid
mills or equal can be used for processing grease. The single-stage
homogenizer with wear-resistant parts may be operated at up to 10,000
psi. The homogenizer is the preferred piece of equipment for the
solid-additive-type greases, because high energy is needed to break up
and delaminate the particles such as with clay dispersions. Although a
colloid mill can be used to process grease, there are advantages to
using the homogenizer. First, the homogenizer is a
constant-displacement pump, and its capacity does not vary with
different grades of greases. This makes it possible to tie into
filling equipment, if desired. The colloid mill must be pump fed and
the capacity will be significantly decreased on the stiffer grades of
greases. The homogenizer
has sufficient pressure to deliver the grease to any point in the
process after it has been homogenized; but a second pump must pick up
the colloid mill product, if the grease is to be delivered to another
There are other methods of
producing grease. A continuous process for grease manufacturing is
described in European Patent Specification 0072184B1 (October 29,
1986), which also mentions other continuous methods. These particular
techniques will not be discussed here. However, another patented
method (US Patent 2,704,363, March 15, 1955) will be briefly
described. In this process a homogenizer was used to accelerate the
saponification reaction by recycling the batch of ingredients from the
reaction kettle through the homogenizer and then back to the kettle.
This reduced the reaction time needed to make the grease. In one
example given, a batch produced by homogenization was compared to a
batch produced by conventional means. The results were that the
homogenized batch had an improved consistency; it possessed greater
mechanical stability; the operating temperature of the homogenized
batch was 320°F compared to 400°F (conventional) and the total
operating time was reduced from 18 hours in the conventional
fire-cooking process to 3.5 hours for the steam-cooking and
The formulation and processing
of grease will determine the type of structure the product has and its
physical properties. This is why homogenization can have an important
influence on the quality of the grease. There are several desired
characteristics for grease such as: body or consistency, stability to
shear, surface affinity, thermal stability, flow or viscosity,
thixotropy, syneresis, texture and appearance and water resistance.
There are many tests that can be performed on grease to measure these
properties. One important test is penetration. Penetration is
determined by an instrument that measures the depth (in tenths of
millimeters) to which a standard cone sinks into the grease under
prescribed conditions. Higher penetration numbers indicate softer
greases. The National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) uses
consistency numbers that correspond to penetration values to classify
greases. The numbers are given below.
US Patent 2,704,363; 1955.
C. J. Boner, C. J. Manufacture and Application of Lubricating
Greases, (New York: Reinhold Publishing, 1954)
A. A. Gordon, European Patent Office 0072184 B1; 1986.
_____________, 1989. Lubricating
Grease Guide, Kansas City: National Lubricating Grease Institute,
Any statements concerning
the use of products or processes described above are made for
educational purposes only to further the understanding of grease
manufacturing. They are not to be construed as recommending the infringement
of any patent or copyright and no liability for infringement arising
out of any such use is assumed by PATTERSON
Information from National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) founded
has been a member of the NLGI for over 20 years. As stated by
President Sandy Cowan during a speech in 2008, "the original
mission of NLGI was to distribute information pertinent to the
manufacture and use of lubricating grease". This
original mission is still valid today. Besides annual meetings during
which new and useful information and a wide assortment of grease
related information is published, including the Lubricating Grease
Guide and the NLGI Spokesman, NLGI is the source for most technical
information concerning lubrication and grease. It is a great example
how an industry can work together and exchange important technical
information for the benefit of industry in general and the consumer.
Below with the permission of NLGI, we are reprinting a regular
feature from the NLGI Spokeman titled "Ask
We are mainly reproducing columns
that primarily deal with technical information on greases and
manufacturing rather than just end user related questions below and
trust this is helpful to our customers for Grease Kettles and