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When it comes to purchasing gear lubricants, many people on both the sales and purchasing side decide to play the numbers game. The person with the most numbers, or the biggest numbers, or the lowest numbers, must have the best product - right? Wrong; gear oil selection is not a game, and numbers alone cannot determine the right product for an application.
Surface measurement of any metal gear tooth contact surface will indicate some degree of peaks and valleys. When gears are placed in mesh, irregular contact surfaces are brought together in the typical combination of rolling and sliding motion. The surface peaks, or asperities, of one tooth randomly contact the asperities of the mating tooth. Under the right conditions, the asperities form momentary welds that are broken off as the gear tooth action continues. Increased friction and higher temperatures, plus wear debris introduced into the system are the result of this action.
The effect of various lubricant factors on wormgear efficiency has been evaluated using a variety of gear types and conditions. In particular, the significant efficiency improvements afforded by certain types of synthetic lubricants have been investigated to determine the cause of these improvements. This paper describes broad wormgear testing, both in the laboratory and in service, and describes the extent to which efficiency can be affected by changes in the lubricant; the effects of viscosity, viscosity index improvers and, finally, synthetic lubricants are discussed. The work concludes that lubricant tractional properties can play a significant role in determining gear efficiency characteristics.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
Mineral-oil-base lubricants show a significant decrease of kinematic viscosity with rising temperature, as exemplified in Figure 1 by lubricants for vehicle gears. An important attribute of lubricants is their viscosity index (VI), according to DIN/ISO 2909 (Ref. 4). Viscosity index is a calculated coefficient, which characterizes the change of viscosity of lubricants as a function of temperature. A high viscosity index represents a low variation of viscosity due to temperature and vice versa. A low viscosity-temperature-dependence is required for lubricants that are operated at significantly varying temperature conditions, such as vehicle engine and gear lubricants in summer and winter time. This way, the oils remain flowing and pumpable at low temperatures on the one hand; and on the other hand, sufficiently thick lubricant films can be formed at higher temperatures for a safe separation of the surfaces.
Myth No. 1: Oil Is Oil. Using the wrong oil is a common cause of gear failure. Gears require lubricants blended specifically for the application. For example, slow-speed spur gears, high-speed helical gears, hypoid gears and worm gears all require different lubricants. Application parameters, such as operating speeds, transmitted loads, temperature extremes and contamination risks, must be considered when choosing an oil. Using the right oil can improve efficiency and extend gear life.
We talked energy efficiency with some major players in the lubricants industry— but with a focus on their products’ impact regarding energy efficiency of gears and gearboxes in wind turbines.
Editor's Note: The following article details the advantages of synthetic lubricants in certain applications. However, the user should be aware of certain design issues arising from the extract chemistry of the synthetic. For example, some synthetics may have low solvency for additives. Others may not be compatible with mineral oils or nonmetallic components such as seals and paints. Some synthetics may absorb water and may not have the same corrosion resistance as mineral oils. Finally, the user should consider biodegradability or toxicity before switching to any new lubricant. Many of these concerns are present in petroleum-based lubricants as well, so consult a lubrication specialist before specifying a lubricant.
Understanding the morphology of micropitting is critical in determining the root cause of failure. Examples of micropitting in gears and rolling-element bearings are presented to illustrate morphological variations that can occur in practice.
Today gear drive operations have several options when selecting the proper lubricant for their gearboxes. As in the past, the primary lubricant used for gearbox lubrication is mineral oil. But with the advances in technology, synthetic hydrocarbons (PAOs) and polyglycols show very specific advantages in certain applications. With gear drives becoming more and more precise, it is now also to the benefit of the gear operator to verify that he or she has the proper additive package and viscosity in the lubricant selected. Fig. 1 shoes that a gear oil is a combination of a base oil and specific additives. The base oils can be either mineral oil, a synthetic or even in some cases a combination of the two.
This article discusses the potential effects observed for different antiwear and EP chemistry on the micropitting of cylindrical gears.
Not long ago, many manufacturing managers thought sensitivity to environmental protection standards meant additional expenses, decreased productivity, and a plethora of headaches and hassles.
The type of lubricant and the method of applying it to the tooth flanks of large open gears is very important from the point of view of lubrication technology and maintenance. When selecting the type of lubricant and the application method, it is important to check whether it is possible to feed the required lubricant quantity to the load-carrying tooth flanks, This is necessary to avoid deficient lubrication, damage to the gear and operational malfunctions. It is important to determine the type of lubricant, which may be fluid or grease-like. The consistency of the lubricant will have a direct impact on the ability of the lubrication system to feed adequately the lubricant to the gear. The interactions between the common types of lubricant and the lubrication application methods for open gear drives are shown in Fig. 1.
Aircraft transmissions for helicopters, turboprops and geared turbofan aircraft require high reliability and provide several thousand hours of operation between overhauls. In addition, They should be lightweight and have very high efficiency to minimize operating costs for the aircraft.
During the last decade, industrial gear manufacturers, particularly in Europe, began to require documentation of micropitting performance before approving a gear oil for use in their equipment. The development of micropitting resistant lubricants has been limited both by a lack of understanding of the mechanism by which certain lubricant chemistry promotes micropitting and by a lack of readily available testing for evaluation of the micropitting resistance of lubricants. This paper reports results of two types of testing: (1) the use of a roller disk machine to conduct small scale laboratory studies of the effects of individual additives and combinations of additives on micropitting and (2) a helical gear test used to study micropitting performance of formulated gear oils.
Pitting and micropitting resistance of case-carburized gears depends on lubricants and lubrication conditions. Pitting is a form of fatigue damage. On this account a short time test was developed. The test procedure is described. The "pitting test" was developed as a short time test to examine the influence of lubricants on micropitting. Test results showing the influence of case-carburized gears on pitting and micropitting are presented.
Worm gear speed reducers give the design engineer considerable options, but these gear systems present a challenge to the lubrication engineer. Heat energy generated by the high rate of sliding and friction in the contact zone causes worm gears to be relatively inefficient compared to other gear types. Because worm gears operate under a boundary or near-boundary lubrication regime, a satisfactory lubricant should contain a friction modifier to alleviate these conditions.
A main limiting factor in extending the use of hard coatings to machine component application is the lack of knowledge about how these inert coatings perform under lubricated conditions using today's lubricants.
High speed gearing, operating with low viscosity lubricants, is prone to a failure mode called scoring. In contrast to the classic failure modes, pitting and breakage, which generally take time to develop, scoring occurs early in the operation of a gear set and can be the limiting factor in the gear's power capability.
Except for higher-end gear applications found in automotive and aerospace transmissions, for example, high-performance, sintered-steel gears match wrought-steel gears in strength and geometrical quality. The enhanced P/M performance is due largely to advances in powder metallurgy over last two decades, such as selective surface densification, new materials and lubricants for high density and warm-die pressing. This paper is a review of the results of a decade of research and development of high- performance, sintered-steel gear prototypes.
Design Problem: Develop a gear drive for a pedal-powered water craft that will be easy to manufacture, use and maintain; that will be lightweight enough for the boat to be portable; and that will eliminate the environmental risk of lubricants leaking into the water.
Several trends in mechanical engineering are leading to greater surface stress on components and thus to unacceptable wear. These trends include greater stresses due to increased power densities; the need to maintain high precision of components throughout their service life; and the environmental imperative to reduce use of lubricants and additives.
Gears are currently run at high speed and under high load. It is a significant problem to develop lubricants and gears with high load-carrying capacity against scoring. The particles of molybdenum disulfide have been considered to increase the scoring resistance of the gears. The wear characteristics and the scoring resistance of the gears lubricated with MoS2 paste and MoS2 powder have been investigated. (1) However, there are few investigations on the performance of the gears coated with MoS2 film with respect to scoring.
This is the final part of a three-part series on the basics of gear lubrication. It covers selection of lubricant types and viscosities, the application of lubricants, and a case history
Chicago- Results of recent studies on residual stress in gear hobbing, hobbing without lubricants and heat treating were reported by representatives of INFAC (Instrumented Factory for Gears) at an industry briefing in March of this year.
Primitive gears were known and used well over 2,000 years ago, and gears have taken their place as one of the basic machine mechanisms; yet, our knowledge and understanding of gearing principles is by no means complete. We see the development of faster and more reliable gear quality assessment and new, more productive manufacture of gears in higher materials hardness states. We have also seen improvement in gear applications and design, lubricants, coolants, finishes and noise and vibration control. All these advances push development in the direction of smaller, more compact applications, better material utilization and improved quietness, smoothness of operation and gear life. At the same time, we try to improve manufacturing cost-effectiveness, making use of highly repetitive and efficient gear manufacturing methods.
News Items About lubricants
1 ExxonMobil Releases Advanced Gear Lubricants (January 9, 2012)
ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties announced the introduction of its new lineup of high-performance, fully-synthetic indus... Read News
2 Acculube Distributes New Bio-Based Lubricants (October 29, 2012)
Acculube, distributor for Castrol, Exxon Mobil, and other leading global brands of industrial fluids, has been appointed one of just a fe... Read News
3 Shell Lubricants Joins MFG Day as Sponsor (September 2, 2014)
Shell Lubricants has joined Manufacturing Day 2014 as the event’s exclusive Platinum Sponsor, supplying the national initiative wit... Read News
4 Oelheld Boasts DiaMill HEF 100 is 'Ideal Alternative to Water Soluble Cooling Lubricants' (March 3, 2015)
DiaMill HEF 1100 is a high performance product based on hydrocrack oils. It has nearly no odor, has high shearing stability, is resistant... Read News