There are many different types of molybdenum grease. This lubricating substance may be called moly grease, molybdenum disulfide, moly lube, or even just moly. Numerous companies manufacture and sell molybdenum disulfide lubricants, so there is quite a variety among products. Moly lubricants are also marketed as industrial, anti-seize compounds, so other names include gasket coating, permanent thread lubricant, kiln lubricant and metal forming lubricant for alloys.
Molybdenum lubricants are available in the form of greases, aerosols, powders and super-fine powders. Moly even comes in various grades, such as technical grade and technical super-fine grade. Some companies will create a custom formula of molybdenum grease according to a customer’s specifications.
One type of molybdenum disulfide or molybdenum grease is mixed with a non-flammable solvent. Upon application, the solvent carries the moly throughout the area in need of lubrication and then evaporates, leaving a thin, uniform coating of moly behind. This type of treatment or product is sometimes called moly dry plating.
Another type of molybdenum grease is made from a mixture of molybdenum disulfide mixed with graphite and a synthetic, non-melting carrier to disperse the material. The mixture plates surfaces with a layer of lubrication that can withstand extreme temperatures, rust, and corrosion. It is also water resistant. This type of moly is used in industrial applications when reactive metals must be treated to prevent galling.
As an aerosol or spray, molybdenum grease can be purchased in a container that resembles a typical can of spray paint. This type of product is called moly spray or dry film lubricant. The advantages of the spray form include ease of application and quick dry time. Molybdenum grease also comes in a thick paste called metal assembly paste. This form is also generally sold for industrial use and is intended for extreme pressure during metal assembly, such as press fitting or breaking in bearings.
One of the oldest forms of molybdenum grease is the natural mineral molybdenite. This form was discovered by prospectors and settlers moving across the American West; these individuals recognized its unique lubricating properties. It was commonly used as axel grease for wagons.
Craft and hobby stores sell molybdenum grease in small, plastic tubes. In this form, it is generally used as a lubricant for toy trains, rockets, and other miniature mechanical devices. These small tubes of moly lube are sold with removable lids that are replaced with a pointy, screw on applicator, similar to glue.