NASA Spinoff

New Lubricants Protect Machines and the Environment

“It was unbelievable,” said Dan Elliott when speaking of the results. “We’ve worked for 2 weeks to gain 2 horsepower, and here we just poured the X-1R in, and picked up 8 horsepower. But, besides the horsepower, you are picking up fuel mileage, and that plays such a critical role also, because races are won and lost on fuel mileage. What a bonus!”

Fully aware that not everybody is an automotive mechanic or an engine builder, The X-1R Corporation markets “handy packs” for simple jobs around the house. Consisting of multipurpose, multiuse lubricant and grease, these handy packs stop squeaks, reduce friction, protect against rust and corrosion, free up stuck parts, and repel moisture. They are ideal for doors, garage doors, locks, windows, hinges, washing machines, ceiling fans, electric shavers, exercise equipment, shop tools, and lawn equipment, among many other items.

In 2003, The X-1R Corporation teamed up with Philadelphia-based PENN Tackle Manufacturing Company, a leading manufacturer of fishing tackle since 1932, to jointly develop and market a line of advanced lubrication products for saltwater and freshwater anglers, under the familiar PENN name. PENN Precision Reel Grease, Synthetic Reel Oil, and Rod & Reel Cleaner are now providing optimum lubrication for longer casting and smoother retrieval, plus protection against corrosion and rust.

“The challenge was formulating the products for the marine environment, for both fresh and saltwater applications,” said Edwin “E.T.” Longo, executive director of special projects development at The X-1R Corporation. “Most marine equipment is subjected to a variety of extreme conditions, such as prolonged exposure to the sun and the corrosive nature of salt and water. The lubricants we developed for NASA had to meet the same stringent demands, so we were able to develop products for PENN that are far superior to anything on the market today.”

Following rigorous testing over a 2-year span, PENN committed to using the specially designed X-1R grease as the PENN Precision Reel Grease in early 2006. It is now applied to all reels leaving the company’s factory.

The decision came after extensive research to identify the best possible option. “We removed the plate, which houses the gears and bearings, from a number of 965 International Baitcaster reels. A team of engineers cleaned them and coated each one with a different grease out of a selection of five well-known potentials, then we put them through a torture test,” said Brent Kane, PENN’s national sales manager.

“Torture included repeated dunk-and-dry cycles in saltwater baths, saltwater spray tests, and long days on the roof in the punishing summer sun,” Kane continued. “We wanted to put an accelerated life span on the reels.”