I sent off some questions to the safety rep. at the company that makes the dry graphite lubricant to get some further understanding about using spray graphite inside a pinball machine.
Pop bumpers and flippers use an electro-magnetic coil that is lined with a plastic anti-friction sleeve. A steel plunger is constantly reciprocating inside this friction sleeve many times during game action. Over time, the plunger can shed minute particles of steel (fines?) that have a way of getting distributed far and wide inside a pinball machine.
If an application of spray graphite is applied to referenced steel plunger in an effort to reduce friction even more than offered by the plastic friction sleeve, will this graphite stay in place? Or will the graphite lose any bonding ability, turn to dust, or powder, and start settling over the insides of the pinball?
------Answer: (I Think he misunderstood me as asking about applying dry lube to the sleeve which I was not).
Eventually, as the plastic sleeve flexes, the graphite will be displaced. I’m not sure how fine the residue would be, but it won’t stay on forever.
Question 2) Is Graphite flammable? There are many open switches spewing voltage arcs during game play inside a pinball machine. What are the odds that that spray graphite could lead to a fire starting inside a pinball cabinet?
Answer: Once the propellant has evaporated, there is zero chance that the graphite would lead to a fire.
Question 3) The other area in a pinball that could benefit from dry spray graphite are the slingshot kickers. These are bell cranks that rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise in extremely fast motion. Usually the the bell crank pivot rod and sleeve measure at 1/4" diameter and since pinball machine were designed with a short life in mind, these bell cranks are metal-to-metal contact.
There is a lot of friction in the bell crank pivot rod and sleeve. It is a high wear area. How effective would dry spray graphite in this situation?
Answer: Metal to metal, graphite is a great product for long lasting friction reduction.
Question 4) There are also 3,4,5, or maybe even 6 printed circuit boards that live inside a pinball cabinet. Since the Blaster dry graphite is electrically conductive, what are the odds or possibilities, and cautions or dangers of using dry spray graphite in this sort of environment? Would we be in danger of stray dry graphite bridging between some electrically charged circuit board connections and either causing electrical shorting and damage to the pin, and is there any risk of circuit boards shorting and causing a fire?
Answer: Casual contact will not short out a circuit board.
Feel free to agree or disagree, I guess. Now, either this company's safety rep is an idiot and giving me crap information, or he knows what his product is about. I'll go with the "he knows what he is talking about" option.
1)In short, spray graphite dry lube IS NOT going to set your pin on fire as was stated (and illustrated ??) above.
2) It is not going to blow out your circuit boards.
3) It is not going to turn your pin into a crispy critter---just make sure you let the propellent dry before you apply power.
4) It is probably not needed on a flipper or pop plunger but I"m not sure it would hurt anything.
Is it going to "gunk" your pinball up? I suppose that is possible, but we are talking a very small amount of dry lubricant.
Are there better products to use? Possibly. I have learned about some other products from this thread.
Are there any other reasons why dry graphite spray lube should not be used? I don't know. If you have some other reason graphite should not be used I'd like to learn about it and know your reasoning.