Braycote Grease retains tribological properties for 17 years in controlled storage

A scheduled inspection of the Rudder/Speed Brake actuators on Space Shuttle orbiter OV-103 revealed fretting corrosion, micropitting, wear and discoloration of the lubricant Braycote 601. A decision was made to replace the actuators with the existing spares, a single ship set which had been in controlled storage for the past 17 years. Data did not exist on the lubricity of Braycote 601 grease after extended storage. Based on testing data, there is no significant difference in lubricity due to separated or degraded grease and no evidence that the grease will degrade at steady state in ambient temperatures.

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