Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication Jan Feb 2016

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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Page 52 of 89

The Right Visual Inspections Besides monitoring the oil level, a sight glass should be regarded as a window into the oil's condition. This may include visual checks for unusual oil darkening (a sign of oxidation), visible sludge, solid particles and moisture. These inspections can be performed more efficiently when the sight glass is extended out from the gear housing so light can be passed through it, as in the sight glass shown on the left. If possible, a bottom sediment and water bowl should also be used. This will help capture any solid particles or liquids that are heavier than the oil and provide a daily visual inspection point. The Right Choice The goal of any chosen lubricant should be to protect the worm drive from undesir- able levels of friction, the dangerous effects of corrosion and inefficient operation. Assessing and achieving the optimum refer- ence state for every style of worm drive in accordance with its operating and environ- mental conditions will come down to one thing: justifying the costs of improved lubri- cation practices to minimize the risk and potential consequences of failure. Fortu- nately, improving lubrication practices for worm drives should not be costly and may be as simple as confirming that the lubri- cant meets the minimum requirements while performing visual inspections and even oil analysis for effective condition monitoring. Just as worm drives are some of the most simplistic and beneficial gear designs, the lubrication practices that they require are equally unique and essential. About the Author Bennett Fitch is a technical consultant with Noria Corporation. He is a mechanical engi- neer who holds a Machine Lubricant Analyst (ML A) Level III certification and a Machine Lubrication Technician (MLT) Level II certi - fication through the International Council for Machinery Lubrication (ICML). Contact Bennett at POSITION Worm-under (worm on the bottom) Worm-over (worm on the top) Vertical (worm on the side) OIL LEVEL Wheel immersed at approximately one-third of its diameter Wheel immersed to approximately the center of the meshing zone Half the wheel immersed to at least worm height 48 | January - February 2016 | LESSONS IN LUBRICATION Figure 10. The three most common worm drive positions (Ref: The Lubrication Engineers Manual) Photos cour tesy Agnee Transmissions

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