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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.
A reader asks: Is the ISO VG 320 adequate, or should a higher viscosity grade be used? How can we stop macropitting in gear teeth?
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.
This paper addresses the lubrication of helical gears - especially those factors influencing lubricant film thickness and pressure. Contact between gear teeth is protected by the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) mechanism that occurs between nonconforming contact when pressure is high enough to cause large increases in lubricant viscosity due to the pressure-viscosity effect, and changes of component shape due to elastic deflection. Acting together, these effects lead to oil films that are stiff enough to separate the contacting surfaces and thus prevent significant metal-to-metal contact occurring in a well-designed gear pair.
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.
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 paper outlines the comparison of efficiencies for worm gearboxes with a center distance ranging from 28 - 150 mm that have single reduction from 5 to 100:1. Efficiencies are calculated using several standards (AGMA, ISO, DIN, BS) or by methods defined in other bibliographic references. It also deals with the measurement of torque and temperature on a test rig — required for the calibration of an analytical model to predict worm gearbox efficiency and temperature. And finally, there are examples of experimental activity (wear and friction measurements on a blockon- ring tribometer and the measurements of dynamic viscosity) regarding the effort of improving the efficiency for worm gear drivers by adding nanoparticles of fullerene shape to standard PEG lubricant
News Items About viscosity
1 Vectron's Viscosity Sensor Detects Oil Change in Gearbox (May 29, 2007)
The low shear ViSmart™ viscosity sensor from Vectron International was recently used to collect real-time viscosity data in an oil-aging ... Read News
2 Dayton DayLube Grease Designed to Maintain Viscosity After 100,000 Strokes (July 9, 2015)
Dayton Lamina recently introduced their DayLube high-performance nano-ceramic grease. The grease is designed to maintain its original vis... Read News