Dow Corning launches improved gear oils

Related tags Lubricant

Dow Corning has launched a line of synthetic gear oils that is said
to extend drain intervals by three times over conventional mineral
oils while reducing power consumption by as much as 17 per cent.

Dow Corning has launched a line of synthetic gear oils that is said to extend drain intervals by three times over conventional mineral oils while reducing power consumption by as much as 17 per cent.

Dow says that the extended drain interval of Molykote Brand gear oils is possible due to proprietary anti-oxidant additives and a manufacturing process that eliminates impurities that lead to degradation of the oil. Power savings result from the more efficient lubricating properties of synthetic oils, which typically reduces the amount of horsepower that is required to achieve the desired level of torque.

The Molykote synthetic gear oils are designed for use in worm, helical, spur, bevel, hypoid, and rack & pinion applications-virtually any gearbox application-and meet or exceed most equipment OEM lubrication requirements. These oils are part of the company's family of gear oils that are comprised of polyalpha olefin (PAO) oils, PAO blends with ultra-high purity (UHP) mineral oils, and neat UHP mineral oils.

This family of engineered oils is said to provide superior performance under heavy loads, frequent startups, and applications with high mechanical shock. Due to their chemistry and a proprietary anti-oxidant additive package, Molykote gear oils resist emulsification better than conventional lubricants-particularly in hot, humid climates or wet operating environments such as those found in the food processing or pulp & paper industries. The result is lower overall maintenance costs and effort vs. typical mineral oil based lubricants.

Dow claims that its Molykote gear oils provide better performance in gearbox applications because they are produced differently from conventional fluids. Mineral oils are typically produced using a solvent-based refining process, which retain a significant amount of impurities that can provide many sites for oxidation to occur, as well as cause acid development and premature aging of the oil. With these considerations in mind, at the operating temperature range of 60-71o (140-160 o F), the lifetime of a mineral-based lubricant is cut in half by every 11 oC (20 oF) increase in temperature. And, as a mineral oil degrades, the by-products of its breakdown may cause varnish build-up on the internal metal surfaces, which reduces lubricity.

By comparison, Molykote synthetic lubricants and ultra-high purity mineral oils are made by chemically building complex molecules from hydrocarbon "building blocks" that feature identical, strong molecular bonds in a saturated molecular structure. This structure produces ultra-high purity oils that provide increased resistance to oxygen attack and reduced heat-generated friction. In addition, the saturated molecules that result from this process have no sites to attract water, so the oil is better able to resist emulsification in high-moisture environments than competitive fluids. As a result, the resistance to oxidation and emulsification offered by the gear oils results in longer service life, more efficient lubrication, and reduced formation of undesirable by-products in the lubricant.

The improved lubricant performance and increased gearbox efficiencies associated with the performance of these synthetic lubricants offers several benefits. They reduce component wear by achieving full lubrication at start-up more quickly than mineral oils. The energy that would have been lost to friction is saved, which reduces costs due to lower power consumption. And, reduced friction results in lower operating temperatures so gearboxes operate cooler, which means that the lubricant may last even longer than its rated lifetime.

Molykote gear oils are available in grades that are formulated in accordance with FDA Regulation 21 CFR 178.3570 for food-grade lubricants with incidental food contact. Additionally, the Molykote family has an extensive listing of Kosher-approved oils. These gear lubricants are available in pour points down to -35°C (-31°F), with a range of viscosities from ISO 100 to ISO 460 (SAE 80 to 140).

The gear oils are part of the "Dow Corning Industrial Lubrication Solutions Programme." Introduced early in 2002, the programme offers a comprehensive package of lubricants and related services designed to help customers reduce overall maintenance costs, extend equipment life, and simplify the purchasing process by consolidating all lubrication-related activities with one supplier.

The programme features the introduction of 42 new industrial fluids that are marketed under the Molykote brand name; an oil-analysis service; and lubrication-management software. The new offering complements the company's traditional line of Dow Corning industrial lubricants and related services to that meet virtually every plant lubrication need.

Molykote​ is a global leader in solutions for plant lubrication problems. Products include the industry's most complete line of multi-purpose oils; synthetic and/or ultra-high-purity mineral-oil fluids for hydraulic systems, compressors, vacuum pumps, gear boxes and chains; specialty lubricant compounds, greases, pastes, anti-friction coatings, and dispersions. Services include oil analysis, lubrication management, and analytical training and consultation. Molykote solutions are available through a network of more than 3,000 channel partners.

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