Using Oils To Extend The Life Of Your Gear Reducers

Using Oils To Extend The Life Of Your Gear Reducers

Date: June 22, 2016

Correct lubricating procedures have an important role in providing maximum performance and lengthening the lifespan of gear reducers. The main purpose of using lubricant oils is to lessen the amount of friction created by the gear’s rotating action and to prevent overheating. The oils perform this task by coating the shifting components with a protective layer. The following information will help you understand the types of gear oils and how to maintain you gear reducers, ultimately helping you extend their life.

Types of gear oils

One major part of achieving high gear performance is selecting the right lubricating oil. Currently there are two common types known as mineral-sourced and synthetic oils. The type you should choose depends on the four unique attributes of viscosity, viscosity index, pouring point, and chemical additive content.

The viscosity indicates an oil’s capacity for restricted flow when a machine is exposed to pressure. This factor also tells you the density of the lubricant coating so that you can select the right type for your machine’s anticipated working temperatures. Viscosity index signifies the oil’s ability to maintain the same viscosity, even while its temperature is changing. The greater the viscosity index of an oil, the more its working temperatures can vary while it continues to preserve its original viscosity.

Pouring point is simply the coldest temperature that an oil can be poured at. Temperatures that fall below the oil’s pouring point will make it congeal. For adequate oiling, a lubricant’s pouring point should be about 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit below a machine’s coldest anticipated environmental temperature.

Mineral additives like graphite, sulfur, and phosphorus are extremely useful for minimizing gear friction. However, gear oils with additives should not be applied to gears with rotation reversal backstops or brakes, which depend on friction for smooth operation. You should contact the manufacturing company of your gear reducers if you are unsure about using oils with extreme pressure additives.

Maintaining your gear reducers

The proper volume of oil should be kept in gear reducers at all times to make sure they perform as efficiently as possible. If a gear reducer is run with inadequate lubrication levels, it can break down early.

Over-oiling a gear reducer can lead to increased bubbling due to too much air being trapped in the liquid. When this issue happens, overheating is almost sure to follow because of the lowered capability of the combined oil and air to eliminate heat. For an exact reading, oil levels must be inspected while the reducer is turned off and after it has had enough time to cool down.

Looking at lubricant lifespan

While gear reducers run, the oils inside start breaking down and oxidizing. This action creates slime, varnish, and acidic deposits that accumulate and corrode yellow metals like those in bronze gears. The deposits also impede proper lubrication by attacking the fluid film and may result in metal-on-metal friction between operating parts.

Similar to other kinds of industrial machinery, gear reducers require a preventive maintenance plan for swapping out the oil. The frequency depends on the conditions the gear reducer works in and the kind of lubricant you have chosen. Generally, the oil needs to be changed once every 2,500 working hours in standard operating environments. In very severe weather conditions, the oil will need to be changed more often.

In coiled gear reducers, the amount of working time between oil changes may be lengthened by using synthetic oils. Usually, when very hot or cold environmental conditions are present, synthetic oils are preferable. One advantage of synthetic oils is that they can often lower the running temperatures of gear reducers. For worm gear reducers, polyalkylene glycol oils work well for minimizing friction and increasing the gear’s operating time between changes.

For more information on gearbox maintenance

At Amarillo Gear Service, we work with our clients to ensure their industrial gearboxes remain operational for the duration of their intended lifespan. We ensure that every unit we refurbish and repair leaves our facilities in near-new condition. If we notice potential causes of failure during the repair stage, we notify clients immediately. The result is that many of our industrial gearboxes perform better once they are returned and are less prone to damage and further problems.

Amarillo Gear Service is a division of Amarillo Gear Company, which has been in continuous operation since 1917. The name “Amarillo” has become a global benchmark for quality gears and drives that companies rely upon. For more information, give us a call at (806) 622-1273. You can also Contact Us by email and view the regions we service. We will be glad to tell you more about the quality workmanship we can bring to the renewal of your drive.

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