Silicone lubricant suggestion?

ArchaeoCat

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Sorry if this isn't the right place to post these questions. But first of all, should we be using silicone lubricant on the o-ring gaskets in light such as the Streamlight ProTac series? And if so, are there any specific ones that can be recommended for safe usage? And finally, good sources for said lubricants?

Many thanks!
 

fulee9999

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I usually use Nyogel 760G or Haynes Lubri-Film ( which is also foodsafe ). You can get Nyogel basically everywhere, I bought some ArmyTek branded ones, but all should be the same, the Haynes can be bought from Malkoffs ( malkoffdevices.com ) for 3-4$.
 

aznsx

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Sorry if this isn't the right place to post these questions. But first of all, should we be using silicone lubricant on the o-ring gaskets in light such as the Streamlight ProTac series? And if so, are there any specific ones that can be recommended for safe usage? And finally, good sources for said lubricants?

Many thanks!
I'm not recommending a specific type of lubricant for flashlight O-rings (there are marathon threads on this site which are periodically reoccurring and go on ad nauseam on the subject if you want something in depth), but since you specified 'silicone' (grease, I assume) specifically: Sil-Glyde is likely the most widely available, and is relatively inexpensive. Been using it for many things since I was very young. It's probably available within walking distance of most locations:)
 

ArchaeoCat

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I'm not recommending a specific type of lubricant for flashlight O-rings (there are marathon threads on this site which are periodically reoccurring and go on ad nauseam on the subject if you want something in depth), but since you specified 'silicone' (grease, I assume) specifically: Sil-Glyde is likely the most widely available, and is relatively inexpensive. Been using it for many things since I was very young. It's probably available within walking distance of most locations:)
Thanks, I assumed it would be silicone grease. Is that something I shouldn't be using with flashlights with o-rings?
 

aznsx

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Thanks, I assumed it would be silicone grease. Is that something I shouldn't be using with flashlights with o-rings?
I'm not recommending a specific type of lubricant for flashlight O-rings (there are marathon threads on this site which are periodically reoccurring and go on ad nauseam on the subject if you want something in depth)
The reason I'm not making a specific recommendation is because I don't have one. If I knew the answer I would gladly pass it along. The answer could even vary with different types of O-ring composition, as there's more than one type.

I happen to use silicone grease myself, but that means nothing. It is based on my ignorance, not knowledge, thus I'm not recommending it. My O-rings could all rot and disintegrate tomorrow for all I know. I try to make sure my recommendations are always based on knowledge / facts, and not speculation / opinion (unless facts do not exist, but there is a problem which must be analyzed, then I will speculate because it's required as part of such fault analysis); however in this case, I don't have those facts and don't want to speculate.

I just looked at the instructions for a typical ProTac, and it only states that it is very important to lubricate them, but not with what. It's one of the only deficiencies(?) I've ever found with their documentation, or it may in fact be a statement that they don't consider the specific lubricant to be critical(?), which may well be the case.

You'll find as many different answers to this on this site than there are stars in the sky, which could suggest that nobody here actually knows. I've never had the time to do the due diligence. If you need more info, and have the time, you could try wading through this. It's a 'sticky' thread near the top of this category. I'm sure there are probably many others. Searching will probably find many other references. It's a favorite perennial topic to pontificate on for some here. You could start here. Happy reading!:)

 

louie

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I used Superlube grease on some silicone O-rings once (bought from the Sandwich Shoppe and described as silicone and red), and they started melting (slowly). I think this Superlube grease was silicone based. Nyogel 760G is NOT silicone based, and seems to work well on everything. People use it because it was supposed to be what Surefire uses.

I now buy Nyogel as sold by Ford Motorcraft as it's definitely the same thing and easier and cheaper to get.
 

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SYZYGY

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simple answer: you likely want a high-viscosity, dielectric lubricant applied to the threads and oring because it will hang around.

the composition of the lube depends entirely on your oring's composition.

unless you have a silicone oring, just use any silicone grease because that has good compatibility with most other materials.

i usually use dow corning high vacuum grease because i just happen to have a lot of it for lab use, but if you don't already have grease and want to get some specifically for orings, i guess you could try this:

 

louie

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As Super Lube's chart says, silicone lube is fine for everything except silicone material. Silicone O-rings are likely to be any color other than black, such as clear, red or blue. Just look at your o-rings.

Nyogel 760G has been fine for me, as it's good for all o-rings, and advertises as specifically for electrical contacts. Other users have other favorite products, of course.


It can be a little hard to find since you can't find it at the common stores. Some flashlight vendors sell it. Good luck if you try Nye's "request a sample," - I tried that some years ago, and they flat out refused based on my not being a company with the potential to order thousands of dollars worth each year. They referred me to an online industrial retailer with very high prices.
 

aznsx

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As Super Lube's chart says, silicone lube is fine for everything except silicone material. Silicone O-rings are likely to be any color other than black, such as clear, red or blue. Just look at your o-rings.

Nyogel 760G has been fine for me, as it's good for all o-rings, and advertises as specifically for electrical contacts. Other users have other favorite products, of course.


It can be a little hard to find since you can't find it at the common stores. Some flashlight vendors sell it. Good luck if you try Nye's "request a sample," - I tried that some years ago, and they flat out refused based on my not being a company with the potential to order thousands of dollars worth each year. They referred me to an online industrial retailer with very high prices.
Thanx for that info! I just re-checked a couple of my ProTac series lights (as specifically referenced by the OP), and unlike many / most of my other lights, they use red ones. They may be some sort of 'nitrile rubber' compound, although that's speculation. Not my expertise. I've never lubed either (they aren't very old and still feel low-resistance), but I'll likely use something other than Sil-Glyde on those specifically after reading this. I'm not sure I'll go with 'automotive electrical connector grease', although I might. I'm familiar with that, and its primary purpose is to inhibit water ingress (and its effects such as corrosion), and I'm not sure about its lubrication properties with parts that move. It's very good for the application it was designed for, but for actual lubrication characteristics, I may look around for a different option (which might exist). In any case, thanx again!
 
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KITROBASKIN

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Nyogel, there are different viscosities and such.

Certain flashlight makers also sell their own brand like Nitecore, Oveready (Nyogel), and XTAR also has a silicone type. Hardware stores have possibilities.
 

ArchaeoCat

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I have several of the metal body Streamlight ProTac lights, such as the 1L-1AA and others. There are also some Maglites in my collection, as well as some polycarbonate body lights with O-rings. I never thought that silicone grease would react with anything, let alone with silicone O-rings!

I can confirm that Streamlight uses a red O-ring with the metal body lights. The plastic body ones, like the military series use a black O-ring. I guess I will have to get several different greases or find a "universal" solution. I'm learning quite a bit, thank you, this is very interesting..
 

aznsx

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I have several of the metal body Streamlight ProTac lights, such as the 1L-1AA and others. There are also some Maglites in my collection, as well as some polycarbonate body lights with O-rings. I never thought that silicone grease would react with anything, let alone with silicone O-rings!

I can confirm that Streamlight uses a red O-ring with the metal body lights. The plastic body ones, like the military series use a black O-ring. I guess I will have to get several different greases or find a "universal" solution. I'm learning quite a bit, thank you, this is very interesting..
The answer could even vary with different types of O-ring composition, as there's more than one type.

Me too. I imagine two may cover things for us (hopefully). Learn things here all the time, and often they're even true!:)
 

aznsx

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simple answer: you likely want a high-viscosity, dielectric lubricant applied to the threads and oring because it will hang around.

the composition of the lube depends entirely on your oring's composition.

unless you have a silicone oring, just use any silicone grease because that has good compatibility with most other materials.

i usually use dow corning high vacuum grease because i just happen to have a lot of it for lab use, but if you don't already have grease and want to get some specifically for orings, i guess you could try this:

Thanx! This may be my choice for an 'alternate' for the Sil-Glyde for use where appropriate. There's no ambiguity about what it's designed for, and that's always a positive!
 

louie

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I am not too concerned about the grease properties, but 760G is rated as NLGI grade 2 - the same as all my tubs of marine axle bearing grease. I figure turning some threads on a flashlight should be fine.
 

aznsx

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Far be it for me (of all people) to participate in the proliferation of yet another thread about O-rings, lubricants, and chemistry (none of which are not in my wheelhouse at all), but there is an electrical element to some terminology here, and that's dead center of my wheelhouse.

The grease that is optimized for and commonly used in automotive multi-pin connectors, is called 'dielectric grease' for a good reason, because in addition to its properties to inhibit water / moisture ingress and guard against resultant corrosion, it's other essential property is just that: it is dielectric because of its NON-conductive properties, which is also optimal for such multi-pin electrical connectors in difficult environmental conditions.

What I use on flashlight O-rings is going to inevitably also be found on my threaded, conducting electrical connections, where 2 flashlight components join, and where if anything, conductivity is essential, and something which would enhance conductivity would, if anything, be a positive (the opposite of 'dielectric'). I'm primarily concerned with the lubrication and health of my O-rings and not necessarily enhancing conductivity, but neither would I want insulating properties. That property might be considered opposite of / counter to my objectives in this particular application.

Just sayin'.

I'm not sure anyone has specifically pointed this out, although I freely admit I've never read the zillion pages of the thread I referred to OP to. That might exceed my current life expectancy.
 

SYZYGY

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conductivity in an electrical connection is essential of course :)
nevertheless, use of dielectric grease is indicated here
which is also optimal for such multi-pin electrical connectors in difficult environmental conditions.

yes, but it's good for single-pin connectors as well

it's true that dielectric grease is an electrical insulator (dielectric material), but believe it or not, its use on electrical terminals is the correct application of the product. on a terminal, the grease is displaced enough at high pressure areas of mechanical contact to form a low resistance electrical connection.

using conductive grease on a flashlight cap/oring won't hurt, but it won't help either. conductive greases are gross, though. they stain everything. why use that?
 

aznsx

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using conductive grease on a flashlight cap/oring won't hurt, but it won't help either. conductive greases are gross, though. they stain everything. why use that?
I'm primarily concerned with the lubrication and health of my O-rings and not necessarily enhancing conductivity, but neither would I want insulating properties.
Not looking to enhance conductivity, but certainly not looking to inhibit it either- that's all I'm saying. Enhancing and inhibiting aren't just different, they are opposite. I agree that conductive greases are gross.

Yeah, single conductor as well. I work on cars too (hobby), although I don't claim to be good at it. The reason multi-pin connectors are top of mind for me is due to the possible potential difference between pins in the same connector housing. That makes the dielectric property even more important in those applications, which is why I mentioned them specifically. I also don't think electrolysis is an issue in single conductor applications either, as that requires a potential difference, so there's that. That said, one still doesn't want single conductor connectors getting wet inside.
 
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SYZYGY

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i really don't think that using dielectric grease on a terminal gets in the way of conduction. like i don't think it's going to increase resistance or decrease ampacity for the reason i stated – the grease gets displaced at high pressure (the points of real mechanical contact). if you can find info about how much dielectric grease affects the connection characteristics and in what application / under what conditions, i'd be interested in hearing about that just for curiosity's sake.

oxide film, on the other hand, typically does not get displaced at pressures seen in a normal mechanical connection, and that does impact things.

plating prevents oxide film.

grease helps prevent oxide on unplated connectors, and it also preserves the plating in at least a couple of ways. it keeps moisture out, and it mechanically lubricates the connection so the plating doesn't get worn away as easily (e.g. adhesive wear) over many insertion cycles.

as i'm sure you already know. just mentioning it for completeness.
 

Poppy

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I am not too concerned about the grease properties, but 760G is rated as NLGI grade 2 - the same as all my tubs of marine axle bearing grease. I figure turning some threads on a flashlight should be fine.
@louie
I recently replaced a boat trailer wheel bearing. I packed it with red high temperature grease. I cleaned away much, but not all of the black softer grease that was in the hub before I put it all together.
Once finished, I read somewhere that not all greases play well together.
I'm not too concerned, the boat lives about 1/2 mile from the boat ramp, and will hopefully be trailered once to put it in, and once to take it out of the lake, each year.

If you have the time, please educate me.
Thanks
 

louie

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I'm no expert on grease I'm afraid. I now see that NLGI grades just rate the physical consistency, grade 2 being compared to peanut butter. But from what little I've seen, there are certainly many different chemicals that can go into a grease and I have little doubt that some may not mix well. When in doubt, I just try to clean out the old and apply the new.

While I wouldn't use Nyogel 760G in my wheel bearings, I have no problem using it for flashlight threads.

The web is full of dielectric (nonconductive) grease manufacturers stating it's a myth that dielectric grease harms electrical conductivity, complete with YouTube video tests. I'm inclined to believe them, as apparently all of the major auto and machinery manufacturers do.
 
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