Marine grease is a jelly or semisolid lubricant derived from minerals, soap or bio-based materials with added chemicals that make it hydrophobic. Marine grease has high viscosity index, high thermal resistance and hence does not oxidize easily. Marine greases are useful to machinery that can only be lubricated rarely and wherever lubricating oil would not dwell in position such as heavy loaded sliding and rolling motion found in marine application. It acts as sealants to avoid entrance of water. Grease-lubricated bearings possess superior frictional characteristics owing to their high viscosity index.
Based on the technology of manufacturing, marine grease can be classified as mixture of mineral oil and solid materials, heavy, asphaltic type oil blended with lighter oils, extreme pressure grease, roll-neck grease, soap-thickened mineral oil and multipurpose grease. Further these can be broadly categorized in soap based marine grease, mineral based marine grease and bio-based or vegetable oil based marine grease.
The various application of marine grease is found in winches, seacock, deck gear, blocks, bearings, wire rope protection and folding propellers. Europe is the largest market for marine grease attributed to their high dependency on waterways, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. With growing economy and growing trade through waterways the marine grease market in Asia Pacific is growing at high pace and expected to grow further during forecasted period. The bio-based or vegetable oil and mineral based marine grease segments are expected to experience the highest growth rate in Europe and North America due to the government regulatory involved with aquatic environment in these region. Emerging economies of Brazil, Chile and South Africa are expected to drive the growth in rest of the world (RoW) segment.
The major drivers for marine grease include increasing demand of shipping due to growing economy of the costal (sea surrounded) countries around the world, increasing international trade, development in the field of new waterways and growing naval defense budget around the globe. According to "International Chamber of Shipping" (ICS) around 90 % of the global trade is carried by the shipping industries, there are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo and registered in over 150 nations.
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Environment related regulation corresponding to vulnerability associated with spillage of marine grease in aquatics has led to strict environmental regulations in western countries and posing significant restraints for the global marine grease market
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Some of the major players operating in the marine grease market include Lubmarine (Total Group), Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Chevron, ExxonMobil Corporation, , BP Marine, Sinopec Corporation, Castrol, LUKOIL Marine Lubricants, QUEPET Lubricants, Gulf Marine and Industrial Supplies Inc., JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. and IKO Marine Lubricant Supply Co. Ltd,