Question Of The Day: Why does WD-40 stop hinges from squeaking?

It’s a squeaky clean answer from Connor Skates we’ve got here

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Question Of The Day: Why does WD-40 stop hinges from squeaking?

WD-40 stands for Water Displacement – 40th Attempt. It was originally designed for preventing corrosion by displacing the water that causes it. It was first used to protect missiles from corrosion and became commercially available in 1958.

WD-40’s ingredients are a secret. The makers avoided revealing its ingredients by not filing for a patent, but it is known to consist of oil suspended in a volatile hydrocarbon. When WD-40 is sprayed, the suspended oil can get into crevices where the hydrocarbon evaporates, leaving behind the oil lubricant. Every surface has some degree of imperfection at the molecular level. The long hydrocarbon chains in oils and grease serve to provide a layer between the two surfaces and help them move over each other easily. WD-40 was not originally designed as a lubricant so it is actually not the best lubricant to use on a fast moving mechanical part like a bicycle chain.

Connor Skates, Science Museum

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  • Steve

    Hello! Being from the north of ireland I sadly missed out on the supermoon! The joys of overcast. Will it be another 18 years before i see it again? If so i hope the moon will be in the right phase. As for the father ted episode, what a classic! Enjoying issue 19 a great deal. Keep up the great work!

  • Jonny O’Callaghan

    Hi Steve, it’s a shame you weren’t able to see it in all its glory. Here in Bournemouth we had a fairly decent view, certainly very impressive! Actually, supermoons are much more regular than 18 years, it’s just that this one happened to coincide with a full moon more closely than previous ones. The last supermoon, in 2008, was just 21 miles further away but the moon didn’t turn full for several hours after the point of closest approach, so the effect was less prominent. Here’s a list of past and upcoming supermoons for your perusal:

    * November 10, 1954
    * November 20, 1972
    * January 8, 1974
    * February 26, 1975
    * December 2, 1990
    * January 19, 1992
    * March 8, 1993
    * January 10, 2005
    * December 12, 2008
    * January 30, 2010
    * March 19, 2011
    * November 14, 2016
    * January 2, 2018
    * January 21, 2023
    * November 25, 2034
    * January 13, 2036

    So, just five years to wait! There will also be a full moon on November 14 2016 so chances are that the supermoon should be of a similar size. You can check out when full moons will occur at the following link so you’ll know which year to tune in for the next supermoon!

    Hope I’ve been of help :-)

    Jonny O’Callaghan
    Staff Writer

  • steve

    Thankyou very much for your help. I will be marking some dates on my calender! I was actually watching the moon rise last night while viewing saturn in my scope when i posted my comment. I hope some day i will be reading a page in your magazine on how life works on other planets! Thanks again.

  • Jonny O’Callaghan

    No problem Steve. I too very much hope we will be able to definitively talk about alien life in the not too distant future, be it microbial or otherwise!