Vac Kote Lubricants
As Ball Aerospace entered into the space age in the 1950s, several technologies emerged as offshoots of satellites and their hardware. One of those technologies was Vac Kote, developed in 1959.
Vac Kote became the first long-life, space-demonstrated lubrication system when used on the Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO-1) in 1962.
Since then, Ball Aerospace has developed more than 200 Vac Kote lubrication systems and continues to manufacture several of them for customers in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Vac Kote’s fluid and dry lubricants evaporate 1 million to 100 million times slower than conventional lubricants and can be found in military and commercial aircraft, spacecraft, and in the medical and computer industries.
Ball Aerospace offers lubricants for space and vacuum applications, commercial applications, as well as analytical testing and services related to those applications.
Vac Kote systems produce thin films of fluid or dry lubricants as the moving interface. Unique additives provide antiwear properties, corrosion resistance, and creep resistance. In general, the fluid lubrication systems (oils and greases) provide the longest life, while the dry systems have a lower molecular contamination threat and operate at both lower and higher temperatures.
Dry Vac Kote systems are typically used when temperatures exceed the limits for fluid systems, molecular optical contamination is extremely critical, or radiation exposure is excessive. When necessary, new lubricants are formulated to meet unique performance requirements for specific hardware applications.
Lubricants are applied using special vacuum processes that bond thin films in vacuum to clean surfaces.