Additive, Viscosity, Cleanliness
Complex gearboxes can have hundreds of interconnected gears with other components of your machinery. High speed rotating shafts make them permanently exposed to friction, heat, and wear.
Gearbox failures can lead to production slowdowns, if not catastrophic shutdowns, not to mention losses of work hours, kilometers or mileage for your mining, transport, or construction business. Such critical operations require lubricants in perfect condition.
In this context, investing in a regular oil analysis program will allow early detection of potential problems before they impact other components and become critical to your entire operation:
Monitoring the condition of the additives will prevent additive depletion (anti-wear additives, corrosion and oxidation inhibitors, anti-foam agents, pour-point depressants, viscosity index improvers, friction modifiers, etc.)
Test the viscosity. Too viscous oil will make gear rotation difficult. If too low, the oil will lose film strength, causing insufficient lubrication, friction, heat, and wear. Direct metal-to-metal contact between gear teeth results in accelerated wear, ultimately resulting in a catastrophic failure.
Keep your lubricant perfectly clean and water free. Gearboxes hate dirty oil. Early detection of dirt and wear metal particles will prevent significant gear tooth damage, whereas water testing will prevent oil oxidation and corrosion of the components.
For additional information, please view our September 2012 Newsletter.