Lubricants Lubrication Reliability & Maintenance Center

Grease Spec Helps Protect Assets

EP Editorial Staff | April 1, 2021

The High-Performance Multiuse grease certification provides a foundation for selecting grease needed to meet the goal of maintaining your equipment assets.

Most industrial-grease applications require more performance than can be provided by the wide range of general-purpose greases available on the market.

The challenge in identifying and manufacturing high-performance greases is that, until now, no independent entity had established a performance specification. In August 2019, NLGI, formerly known as the National Lubricating Grease Institute, Liberty, MO (, assembled a global team of grease and application experts to create the needed industry specification.

NLGI’s team set “challenging but achievable” performance requirements for its High-Performance Multiuse (HPM) grease specification, which was approved by NLGI’s 23-member board in the fall of 2020. The HPM specification changes the landscape for grease users.

How the HPM grease specification benefits your maintenance activities.

Eliminating downtime and reducing operating costs are critical to your operations. A first step to protecting your assets will be to use a product certified to the HPM grease specification. The HPM grease specification provides a level of trust since greases certified to the performance standard are tested to the stringent requirements set by NLGI, an organization that has served the grease industry since 1933. Before a grease is certified and a HPM trademark applied, a series of tests is performed by an independent, third-party laboratory. Once certified, an annual audit process assures that formulations continue to meet specifications.

Does HPM certification cover all applications?

Because lubricating applications are complex, creators of the HPM grease specification recommend working with a technical grease expert. There are specialty applications where HPM-certified grease may not be applicable, i.e., excessive loads or extremely low temperature environments. Equipment manufacturers may also have specific performance requirements that can be compared to the HPM grease specification.

Since your plant environment may have special considerations that sometimes affect a lubricating grease, the HPM grease specification defines enhancement tags, such as corrosion resistance to salt water, operation at low temperatures, high load conditions, and resistance to water washout or spray off. The enhancements are available to grease manufacturers as an addition to the core HPM grease certification process.

What is next for HPM-certified greases?

NLGI has started accepting applications from grease manufacturers and marketers for the HPM certification program and expects several companies to offer grease with the HPM trademark as the year progresses. EP

Learn more about NLGI’s programs, educational events, and HPM certifications at


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