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Guide for Picking the Best Gear Oil

In short, you should determine the gear oil based on four main factors: viscosity, speed, supplier, and manufacturer.

Industrial equipment operates in several different locations. Conditions can be hot, cold, damp, dry, dusty, or a combination of all of the all-. The recent gearboxes are frequently smaller and lighter than their predecessors, yet they may be pushed to transmit more power while also being more robust and dependable. Plant managers anticipate increased profitability through improved performance, reduced downtime, and increased production.

Smaller gearboxes need less oil to lubricate and protect the gears. Combined with larger loads, this results in higher oil temperatures and faster oxidation. Oxidation damages industrial gear oils by forming sludge, reducing oil and gear life. Friction and heat are also produced by constant gear rolling and sliding. In addition, contaminants such as water and dust can compromise a gear system.


Selecting the right product

When choosing an industrial gear oil, several things must be addressed.

The relevant viscosity grade may be found in the equipment maintenance handbook. However, the manual may not be available, or the operating circumstances may not be per the manufacturer’s instructions. The viscosity of gear oil is mainly adjusted to produce the necessary film thickness between interacting surfaces at a particular speed and load. Because the load is assumed and establishing it is difficult, the determining factor becomes speed.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) standard ANSI/AGMA 9005-E02 is one of the most often used techniques for assessing viscosity. The lubricant’s load, viscosity index, and pressure-viscosity coefficient are assumed and paired with the gear set, gear geometry, operating temperature, and slow-speed gear speed. (Source: GearTechnology)

Highly viscous oils produce more heat due to internal fluid friction and may require more force to spin the gears. Less thick lubricants can pass through the filtering system more readily. Contaminants are efficiently eliminated, lowering the chance of gear and bearing damage and extending the life of the equipment.


Addressing your needs and selecting the best type-

Next, decide if you want inhibited rust and oxidation (R&O), extreme pressure (EP), or compounded gear oil. The operating circumstances will determine the appropriate gear lubricant type for a specific application. Chemical stability, demulsibility, corrosion prevention, and foam suppression are characteristics of R&O gear oils. They are employed in gearboxes that operate at relatively high speeds, modest and uniform loads. However, they do not work effectively or prevent wear when subjected to load.

EP gear oils contain compounds that improve film strength or load-bearing capacity by reducing adhesive wear under load. Antiwear additives may be used in less severe applications to prevent wear under load and pressure conditions. Heavy loads, sluggish speeds, and shock loads are all conditions that call for EP gear oils.

A synthetic fatty acid is added to compounded gear oil to improve lubricity and film strength. Because of the unfavorable effects of EP additives and sliding contact, they are generally employed in worm gear applications.

Most gear oils benefit from high-quality base oils. They often have larger pressure-viscosity coefficients than standard base oils, resulting in a thicker coating at specific operational viscosities. On the other hand, many synthetic base oils have higher intrinsic resistance to oxidation and thermal degradation, making them desirable for applications requiring high operating temperatures and/or longer service intervals.

Synthetic gear oils with a high viscosity index and a low pour point operate better at low ambient temperatures. They may be more suited to a larger range of ambient temperatures, obviating the requirement for seasonal oil changes. Some synthetic oils may also be more lubricious, reducing friction in sliding contacts.

Water may enter a gearbox in various ways, potentially causing corrosion. Gear oils must have strong demulsibility capabilities for any water to separate quickly. The capacity to quickly remove water from the system contributes to the longevity of the gearbox and the oil.



When selecting a gear oil, please ask your supplier whether it has been authorized or suggested by the equipment maker. In addition, request performance data against international or national requirements. To work optimally, the fluid should be used pure and water-free. It is critical to do used oil analysis as indicated by the supplier to identify when the oil requires repair or replacement.

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