Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication July Aug 2013

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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ML LUBE-TIPS The "Lube-Tips" section of Machinery Lubrication magazine features innovative ideas submitted by our readers. Additional tips can be found in our Lube-Tips email newsletter. If you have a tip to share, email it to us at To receive the Lube-Tips newsletter, subscribe now at Best Practices for Chain Lubrication Effective lubrication of chains operating in a harsh, abrasive atmosphere can be challenging. The objective with chain lubrication is to place a small quantity of lubricant between the pin and the barrel in each link. Because it is impossible to directly inject the lubricant to the correct locations, practitioners try other methods, including running the chain through a bath, spraying, pouring and painting lubricant on the chain's outer surfaces. For slowly turning chains, the oil bath is a practical, useful approach. Some attention is required to maintain an appropriate sump level and clean any excess lubricant off machine surfaces. Chains tend to be lubricated with whatever is handy. Slow-turning, heavily loaded chains require a heavy body of oil. A medium gear oil or heavy circulation oil is a common choice. For intermittent relubrication practices, any lubricant coating on the exterior of the chain creates an opportunity for airborne film additives mixed with a light, evaporating carrier. The light oil penetrates, carrying the solid additives to the contact point. The solid additives remain behind to provide "dry film" protection after the carrier has been displaced. The exterior of the chain also does not accumulate as much atmospheric contamination. Avoiding Contamination in Hydraulic Systems When cutting a new hydraulic hose from a roll of bulk hose, install the new fittings and then flush the hose with a lightweight oil to wash all of the shavings out of the hose. Otherwise, you could introduce rubber and metal braid shavings into the hydraulic system. When flushing a hose with oil, make sure the flushing oil is compatible with the hydraulic fluid used and that the velocity of the flush is about twice that produced by the system's hydraulic pump. Another way to clean hydraulic hoses is to use pneumatic projectiles (sponges) that push through the hose to clean out debris. Advice for Grease Purge Pipes In electric motor bearing applications, long grease purge pipes create backpressure, which increases the chance of grease being forced into windings or excess grease remaining in the bearing. Therefore, drain pipes should be as short as possible and not have any turns if possible. Working Out Grease Gun Problems Occasionally, even the highest quality grease guns will stop dispensing grease. The culprit usually is entrapped air at the gun's head chamber. There are several ways to remove this air. Some guns have a small button valve that allows the air to escape. Others have a small hole that becomes exposed when the head is loosened from the barrel about one-fourth to one-half turn. Work the gun's lever when performing these procedures. You will be able to tell when the air has escaped because the resistance in the lever will change when grease enters the pumping chamber. Another method that sometimes works is to strike the gun's plunger handle on a hard surface several times while holding the gun vertically with the head upward. Tip for Finding Oil Leaks debris to build up and choke off oil flow to the internal components. Additionally, depending on the hardness of the airborne contaminant, this wetted material may act like a grinding compound working against the sprocket and barrel of the chain. These applications are good candidates for lubricants with solid18 | July - August 2013 | Many gearboxes are often in inaccessible or unsafe locations that make finding leaks hard or nearly impossible. This tip may help you locate the source of the oil dripping from the machine. If available, use an infrared camera to look for leaking seals, breathers or plugs. These thermal images will show hot oil or grease oozing from the source.

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