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NLGI operating classes of greases

NLGI Performance Classification of Greases


NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) has a program for certifying greases by level of performance.

NLGI Grease Classification

Specification Description
GC-LB High-quality automotive greases for wheel and chassis bearings.
Intended for wheel bearings of passenger cars, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles, especially bearings that are heated to high temperatures. These are vehicles with disc brakes that operate in stop-start mode (cabs, buses, urban delivery, etc.) or in heavy braking mode (towing, heavy-duty mountain driving, etc.).

They are also used for lubrication of chassis elements and joints (supports, rods, levers, struts, etc.) of cars and trucks and other vehicles operating under severe conditions (extended drain interval, heavy loads, vibrations, exposure to water or other contaminants).

HPM High-Performance Multiuse greases that provide higher performance than GC-LB specification greases and also have broader industry applications.
The specification requires basic requirements such as pressure wear (4-ball wear test) and other basic grease requirements (water washout resistance, seawater corrosion resistance and oil separation resistance). In addition, the HPM grease specification includes requirements for structural stability, ability of the grease to move at low temperatures, compatibility with nitrile rubber, which is a common material for seals used for bearings.

Typical applications for greases are: conveyor bearings, hinges, electric motor bearings, fan support block bearings, support bearings, industrial gearbox bearings, presses, pump bearings, ball screws, winches, bushings, guides, plain and rolling bearings, etc.

HPM + WR Lubricants with basic level of HPM service properties and with WR – Water resistance properties.
HPM + CR Greases with basic level of HPM performance and increased Corrosion Resistance (CR) properties.
HPM + HL High load (HL) greases with HPM base performance level and increased EP (High Load) resistance.
HPM + LT Greases with HPM base performance level and increased low-temperature (LT) properties.


If an HPM grease is simultaneously a multi-purpose high-performance grease with improved anti-seize and water-repellent properties, it can be designated e.g. HPM + HL + WR.

For complete and up-to-date information about NLGI’s lubricant licensing program, go to: