Lubricant experts are doing more than ever to make their products less toxic and harmful to everything from the environment to the people using them — which comes with plenty of extra benefits for productivity, too!
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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.
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.
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.
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.