Why Are There Different Types of Gear Oil?


There are five “families” of products in the LuBest product line that can be used in gear situations. They are the Severe Service Gear Oils, Worm Gear Oils, Industrial Gear Oils, Turbine Oils, and the Ivory-Sol Oils. Each one is specifically formulated to meet the lubrication needs as determined by the gearbox designer.
By Eddie Hatchett | Posted: Jul 27, 2012 | Views: 7683

There are five “families” of products in the LuBest product line that can be used in gear situations. They are the Severe Service Gear Oils, Worm Gear Oils, Industrial Gear Oils, Turbine Oils, and the Ivory-Sol Oils. Each one is specifically formulated to meet the lubrication needs as determined by the gearbox designer. The materials used to make the gearbox, gear design, and operating conditions all influence the choice of lubricant. For this reason, it is important to use the correct type of oil. For example, using a Turbine Oil in a situation that calls for a Severe Service Gear Oil would likely result in gear tooth failure because the Turbine Oil does not have the extreme pressure (EP) additives necessary to protect the gears. Conversely, if you were to use the Severe Service Gear Oil in the place of a Turbine Oil gear tooth failure would likely occur as well as the EP additives would be corrosive to the system.

The first family is the Severe Service Gear Oils. These oils are formulated to meet the specifications of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) classification of GL-5. As the name implies, this oil is for the most severe operating conditions. Usually the gear design will incorporate the use of hypoid and spiral bevel gears and shock loading is present in the system. Severe Service Gear Oils are formulated with extreme pressure and anti-wear additives. These products contain Molybdenum Disulfide (“Moly”) to provide extended boundary lubrication to the gears. The Moly bonds with the metal to provide a physical barrier between the gear mating surfaces to provide protection if the oil film breaks down. These products also contain a tackifier to help the oil resist sling-off. This keeps the oil where it is needed, on the gears not sitting in the reservoir.

The second family is the Worm Gear Oils. A Worm Gear is a type of gear consisting of a worm (or screw) and a toothed gear. The worm is generally comprised of brass or bronze and the toothed gear is steel. They are primarily used in applications where an extremely compact gearbox is needed. Special oil is needed for this application because of the continuous sliding friction that occurs as the worm turns the toothed gear, the different metals involved, and the small size of the gearbox. LuBest Worm Gear Oil Team products are formulated especially for this application. They contain special friction modifying additives to handle the sliding friction, additives to protect both the worm and the toothed gear from rust and corrosion, and anti-oxidants to protect the oil from the heat generated by a small gearbox.

The third family is the Industrial Gear Oils. These oils are formulated to meet U.S. Steel 224 specifications. This specification has become the standard for EP gear lubrication in the industrial setting. It has a high load carrying capacity and a high degree of thermal stability. The Industrial Gear Oils’ EP agent is milder than the Severe Service Gear Oils’ so it can be used with a wider variety of metals. If your industrial customer is not sure of what type of gear oil to use in a particular gearbox, it will most likely be one from this family of oils.

The fourth family is the Turbine Oils. These oils are formulated to be used when a “turbine quality” lubricant is specified for use in a gearbox. This type of lubricant will be specified when the gearbox contains metals that are sensitive to extreme pressure additives. This type of gearbox is usually lightly loaded and operates at high speeds.

The final family is the Ivory-Sol products. These oils are formulated to be used in food contact areas. They conform to FDA Title 21 section 178.3570 specifications and contain both anti-wear and extreme pressure additives. This makes them suitable not only for use in gearboxes, but hydraulic, and general lubrication applications, as well.

Using the right lubricant is critical to extending the life of machinery. As you can see, the LuBest line of products has gear oils for every kind of application.

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