Enhanced open Gear Lubricants provide tangible benefits for heavy industry



The maintenance of large open gear systems at mines, power or cement plants present a significant challenge due to the heavy loads and harsh environmental conditions. Common lubrication issues include housekeeping, excessive energy consumption and maintenance issues due to a build‐up of hardened lubricant in the roots of the gears.

Since the late 1980’s a range of new, improved enhanced lubricants were developed in order to address these problems and allow mines or cement plants to reduce their maintenance and operating costs for ball mills and kilns. Since their introduction, these lubricants have established a proven record of providing superior lubrication and wear protection for large open gears.

Following are nine specific benefits from converting open gears to enhanced lubricants:

1. Proprietary Anti‐Wear Additives

These additives provide outstanding wear protection and prevent any possible metal‐to‐metal contact between the gears.

2. Gear Healing Solution

Many large open gears experience damage over time – scoring, pitting or spalling can roughen the gear tooth contact area. High‐performance lubricants provide a healing solution to this expensive maintenance problem.

3. Better Gear Protection

Asphaltic‐based compounds typically have Timken OK Load ratings of 20 to 25 pounds, and so they must be used in excessive quantities to provide adequate protection. The Timken ratings for enhanced lubricants exceed 90 pounds.

4. Easy Visual Inspection

Applied to open gears, several enhanced lubricants appear clear enough to see through, which makes it easy for maintenance personnel to inspect the surface of the gears by using a strobe light while the mills continue to work. No cleaning or downtime is required for inspection, thus reducing maintenance and operating costs.

5. Faster, Safer Cleanup

Cleanup and other housekeeping associated with the use of asphaltic‐based products can be time‐consuming & expensive. Typically, a much smaller quantity of lubricant is now required to provide far superior, less messy gear protection. Ultimately, housekeeping is improved.

6. Less Energy Consumption

The annual electricity cost of ball mills & kilns is a major overhead cost for industrial plants. Due to the superior lubricating qualities of these new lubricants, plants can experience up to a 3% reduction in electrical costs.

7. No More Hazardous Waste

These lubricants can be treated as an ordinary lubricant and can often be added to the fuel or coal burned in the normal operation of many plants.

8. Simple Conversion Process – no downtime required

Converting open gears to Pyroshield lubricants is simple using a proven, effective and safe procedure that does not interrupt production or operation. Effective cleaning and lubricant protection of the gear system occurs throughout the process.

9. Lower Lubrication Costs

Although high‐performance enhanced lubricants cost more initially than the alternatives, the resulting reduction in lubricant & electrical consumption leads to an overall reduction in lubrication costs.

This paper was first presented at 11th International Tribology Conference SAIT TRIBOLOGY 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.10‐12 March 2015 and may be downloaded here with the kind permission of the author and the SAIT.

The silde presentation may be downloaded here.

The author may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Disclaimer: Material included in the CEEC Resource Centre does not imply CEEC endorsement of any particular product, system or methodology.