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Some things really are "rocket science", and WD-40 is one of them. The basic formula was devised in 1953 by the Rocket Chemical Company of San Diego for Convair, who needed something to protect the paper-thin fuel tanks of the Atlas missile from corrosion. The formula proved to have a thousand and one uses, so it was made available to the public in 1958 and popularised round the world after being taken up by airlines like Boeing and United Airlines.
Originally, the formula was considered too secret to be patented, and even today the exact formulation of WD-40 lubricant remains a trade secret of the WD-40 Company, a direct descendant of the Rocket Chemical Company that invented it.
Today the original WD-40 lubricant has diversified into numerous WD-40 aerosols specialised for particular purposes.
Original WD-40 was designed primarily as a water excluder, which makes it highly effective in cleaning damp from electrical contacts and protecting metal parts from water-instigated corrosion. It is also an effective lubricant. Elaborations of the original formula have been developed mainly to improve its lubricant, water-exclusion and anti-friction qualities. Although the product is often referred to as WD-40 spray grease, there are also varieties available in this section designed for degreasing.
Formulae improved for lubrication purposes include WD40 Specialist High Performance Silicone Lubricant, WD40 Specialist High Performance PTFE Lubricant, WD40 Specialist High Performance White Lithium Grease and WD40 Specialist Multi-Purpose Cutting Oil.
Cutting oil is intended primarily to maximise the life of drilling machinery and cutting equipment by reducing tip welding. WD40 silicone provides excellent lubrication without staining, while WD40 PTFE leaves a light white film excellent for mould release purposes as well as general lubrication.
The products most deserving of the description WD-40 spray grease are WD40 Specialist Long Lasting Grease Aerosol Spray and WD40 Specialist High Performance White Lithium Grease Aerosol Spray. They are heavier long-lasting lubricants ideal for reducing friction in moving machine parts.
WD40 Specialist Fast Drying Contact Cleaner is optimised for banishing damp and other contaminants from between electrical contacts. WD40 Specialist Fast Acting Degreaser can serve a similar purpose when the contaminant is grease or for general cleaning purposes. WD40 Specialist Fast Release Penetrant is optimised to release seized bolts, locks or rusted components.
As with most aerosols, there are tight regulations about the transportation of WD-40 aerosols. As a result, Simply Bearings cannot offer our usual free shipping service for them, so a carrier charge may be levied at checkout. Additionally, WD-40 aerosols cannot be flown beyond the British mainland because of restrictions set by the International Civil Aviation Authority.
Also please be aware that WD-40 lubricant is flammable and can irritate the skin after repeated exposure. Nitrile gloves and safety glasses are recommended with these products (we have these products available in other sections).