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How Temperature Can Affect Your Industrial Gearbox

Thursday - 10/09/2020 13:38
How Temperature Can Affect Your Industrial Gearbox

Understanding the impact that the environment has on an industrial gearbox is important to its operation efficiency.
Most experts feel that the outside environment should be factored in when determining the service life of this equipment. Doing this could also play a significant role in lowering associated maintenance costs.
Fluctuations in indoor and outdoor temperatures can affect the production quality of an industrial gearbox. Implementing a few simple preventative measures could help to decrease the chances of your gearbox overheating.
Preventing overheating issues can help stop malfunctions that can affect how the gearbox operates on a daily basis. You can do this by choosing the best lubricant, understanding its characteristics, and knowing how temperatures affect your equipment.
Choosing the right lubricant
When choosing a lubricant for your industrial gearbox, consider which viscosity works best under normal and extreme conditions. With proper viscosity, oil can create a film that covers the gear-tooth and bearings, protecting them during the entire operating process.
When the equipment is in a “cold state,” the lubricant’s viscosity must be strong enough to allow the system to force oil throughout the gearbox. If the oil is too thick, the lubricant system will have trouble supplying it to the machine’s most crucial areas.
Understanding oil characteristics
When selecting a gearbox, it is important to know about the oil characteristics in relationship to application and temperature. Some formulas have a flatter temperature index rate than others in association to temperature increases. For example, most synthetic oils have a flatter temperature index rate than other mineral-based oils. Even at a lower temperature, synthetic oil will be less viscous than its counterparts.
Outdoor temperature changes can affect your industrial gearbox
Many areas experience severe temperature swings throughout the year. The temperature fluctuations can have a dramatic affect on your gearbox oil viscosity. Sometimes, companies have to change from different oil grades as the year progresses or run the risk of damaging their equipment.
In the hot summer months, oil tends to run thin through the lubrication system and thicker on cold, frigid winter days. Either extreme weather scenario puts the working condition of an industrial gearbox at risk. An oil heater and cooler is often used to control the lubricant’s operating temperature, depending on the ambient and operating temperatures.
Temperatures can change inside an industrial gearbox
Temperature fluctuations inside your industrial gearbox can also have an impact on the oil’s viscosity. If the operational temperature is erratic, the oil should be filtered or possibly changed to promote better quality operations. Getting temperature readings and oil samples can help to determine whether a thorough examination of the gearbox is needed. Sometimes, a minor adjustment can prevent an expensive repair and shutdown from taking place.
When an industrial gearbox operates efficiently, it will run at a higher temperature than other machinery. This forces mineral-based oils to break down and quickly lose their lubricating capacity at the same time. This type of deterioration can cause the mix to separate into different carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen combinations.
Carbon can manifest into a fine grit and quickly introduce itself into the oil. If this condition persists, a thick sludge will develop between the gear-tooth and bearings, which often causes metal-to-metal contact inside the machine. This is a common issue that leads to industrial gearbox failure.

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