A novel approach to enclosed gear lubrication on board mining equipment

Abstract Enclosed gear cases on board heavy mining equipment have traditionally been lubricated with regular heavy duty gear oils. However, equipment manufacturers, have recommended the use of an ISO-1000 gear oil for this application to ensure adequate lubricant film strength, especially at the higher end of the working temperature range. The majority of these ISO-1000 gear oils are based either on
residual/asphaltic oil or synthetics, primarily higher viscosity polyalphaolefins. Although the
performance of these lubricants has been satisfactory, they suffered other shortcomings that equipment users have lived with over the years.
The major requirement at the user’s mine was to provide lubrication for the shovel Hoist gear case. Within such a gear case design, the gears and the roller bearings, that have different lubrication requirements, are lubricated with the same lubricant. Several lubricants were used, light gear oils as well as the recommended ISO-1000 heavy gear oils.
On the one hand, the lighter oils performed adequately for the lubrication of the bearings that formed part of the enclosed gear system. These lighter oils did not perform as well for the lubrication of the gears due to their lower viscosities, resulting in shorter gear service lives.
On the other hand, the ISO-1000 gear oils performed well for the lubrication of the gears, but were too viscous to creep into the bearing elements to lubricate them adequately, especially during the cold northern Canadian winters. This resulted in catastrophic bearing failures and secondary damages to the gears.
The challenge, then, was to formulate a lubricant which met the 1000 cSt at 40°C viscosity requirement as stipulated by the equipment manufacturer, while satisfactorily lubricating the bearings at the full working temperature range. This was achieved by the development of a semi-fluid grease lubricant, which has proven in field trials to give adequate performance in this application for the lubrication of both the bearings and gears down to -40°C. This product met the equipment manufacturer’s performance criteria and resolved, to a large extent, leakage of the lubricant through seals experienced with the use of conventional and synthetic gear oils.
Although the main performance criteria of the fluid was its capability to lubricate the “Hoist” gear case, it was also used during the field trial in other gear cases on board the shovel to test its full capabilities. This unusual alternative lubricant was field tested and evaluated for more than two years. Based on this assessment, the product was reformulated to improve its fluidity,
slumpability and the settling of debris/wear metals to the bottom of the gear cases. This reformulated softer grade, a semi-fluid grease, has been performing satisfactorily for more than eight months and is still undergoing longer term assessment.
Keywords: Equipment, Gear lubrication, Bearings, Semi-fluid lubricants, Lubricants, Grease, Apparent viscosity.
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Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): S. K. Schwartz, J. W. Rogers
Keywords: Electrical technology, Safety, Production.
Issue: 1004
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Mark Hollingworth
Issue: 1004
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: This article is directed at plant production, engineering and maintenance personnel. Seldom does any industrial operation take the time to study the costs involved in the generation of what is probably their most expensive plant utility energy source.
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Lanny Pasternak
Keywords: Compressed air, Plant production, Energy management.
Issue: 1004
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: The fair market value of an exploration property is determined by its potential to host a mineral deposit. This potential is gauged by the results of previous exploration, exploration stage, meaningful past expenditures and remaining targets that are not yet tested. Values of exploration properties can be viewed as distinct points in a three-dimensional space defined by orthogonal axes, namely: Exploration Stage (x-axis); Cumulative Expenditures (y-axis); and Property Value (z-axis)....
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Hrayr Agnerian
Keywords: Property valuation, Exploration, Fair market Value, Market value.
Issue: 1004
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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Summary: All mine shaft conveyances in Canada and most of the United States that are supported by a single hoist rope or attachment point and used for transporting persons are required by regulation to be equipped with safety catches and mechanisms. These safety mechanisms, commonly called safety dogs, are designed to stop and hold a free falling conveyance, with a full personnel load, in the event of a hoist rope or attachment component failure. The conveyance’s safety mechanism must be tested under...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Richard A. McIvor
Keywords: Maintenance, Equipment, Hoisting, Safety, Free-fall testing.
Issue: 1004
Volume: 89
Year: 1996
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