Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication May - June 2018

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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10 | May - June 2018 | www . COVER STORY fire-suppression kits, stainless-steel tank upgrades for corrosion resistance and a fire-safety compliance kit. TRANSFER e transfer stage of the lubricant's journey too often tilts toward disaster. A galvanized oil container might be better than a coffee can or soda bottle, but it still invites cross-contamination and misapplication. First, start with sealable, dedicated containers for trans- ferring lubricant. Assigning a color-coding schematic to storage and transfer containers can further mistake- proof the process. Single-use, disposable funnels also eliminate another common source of particulate and cross-contamination. ISO 4406:99 is the reporting standard for fluid cleanliness. It calls out particle size (4, 6 and 14 microns) and a range for the permissible number of particles in 1 milliliter of fluid. Cleanliness studies examining poor practices show that each stage of a lubricant's journey provides an opportunity for contaminant ingression, progressively driving up the code number (higher is worse). For every increase in the ISO code, it poten- tially doubles the amount of particulate in the oil. e transfer stage is frequently where the highest amount of contamination occurs. However, without baseline testing, there would be no way to rule out the contribu- tion made by poor distributor practices. (If a distributor balks at taking reference samples, it may be time to push back.) Contamination control is key to maintaining the lubricating properties of an oil. Once water has entered the lubricant, it can exist in the form of dissolved moisture, emulsification or free water. Water damages oil and subsequently the machine surfaces the oil is designed to protect. To remove water and particulate contamination from oil, use a filtration system and/or filter carts. Desiccants and desiccant breathers can also remove moisture and prevent it from entering the oil. APPLICATION A bearing is not just a bearing, and a gear is not just a gear. Product designs may differ as much as the speeds and loads, not to mention the operating environment differences between Houston, Phoenix and Alaska. Gaining some "oil intelligence" from a lubricant analysis lab that has experience with thou- sands of installations can help an in-house reliability engineer and/or maintenance professional to evaluate applications and select the appropriate lubricant. It's not necessarily that a particular lubricant is a poor choice, but rather that a better option often exists. Of course, selecting the right lubricant for the application means nothing if it ends up in the wrong place. Again, it helps to use a color-coding system (or other unique identifier) that connects a lubricant with its application(s). Once delivered, the lubricant must be protected. Vented constant-level oilers remain the most popular choice, but a closed-system oiler can completely isolate the lubricant from the external environment. at said, pumps and bearing housings are inherently exposed to liquid. As much as possible, control ingression points with labyrinth seals and bearing isolators. Also, Vacuum pumps extract an oil sample from a sample port. When used in combination with a sample port adapter and disposable containers and tubing, they can extract contamination-free oil samples from the most representative locations. Use color-coded transfer containers, color-coded tags and disposable funnels to reduce the chance of misapplication and cross-contamination.

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