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Key points

  • Lubricants must protect a machine’s components and moving parts
  • Shell Gadus grease for large bearings is highly resistant to water
  • Industrial greases need to operate in both subzero and hot conditions
  • Synthetic lubricants help to deliver a variety of operational benefits

The latest ’synthetic’ lubricant technology is increasingly helping to deliver enhanced performance and contribute towards greater equipment availability in a variety of industrial processes.

Every maintenance engineer wants to be certain a lubricant does the basic job of providing protection to a piece of machinery’s vital components and moving parts. The lubricant must reduce friction, as well as protect against acids, deposits, water contamination and wear in a range of harsh operating conditions.

The construction industry, for example, relies on lubricants to keep heavy-duty equipment working in extreme temperatures, in wet conditions and over long periods. Equipment failure, and the associated downtime, can result in significant costs and loss of revenue.

In recent years, however, the development of synthetic technology has led to the production of lubricants that can offer greater reliability, enhance durability and even reduce fuel consumption.

Recently, Consorcio Camargo Correa (CCC), a construction company based in Brazil, was engaged in the construction of a large dam in Venezuela. A significant part of the operation involved excavating stone from the river that feeds the dam.

In the early stages, CCC repeatedly found that the bucket pins in its heavy-lift excavators were wearing out much faster than normal. This meant that an increasing amount of time was thus being spent on equipment maintenance, slowing down the progress of the project and adding to the overheads.
Knowing that lubricants play a key role in protecting vital components such as bucket pins, CCC enlisted the help of technical specialists at Shell Lubricants to help find a more durable alternative.

It is critical that lubricants and greases are able to do their jobs in the most arduous conditions

Shell began by dispatching a field team to examine CCC’s operating environment at the dam. Noting that the machinery spent a lot of time submersed in the river, the team identified water contamination as the source of the problem.

The extreme condition had been watering down the existing lubricant, and the bucket pins had to be replaced every 250 hours. Once the ’challenge’ had been identified, Shell’s product application specialists worked to find a water-resistant alternative. A new grease, Shell Gadus S3 V460 2, was selected.

This high-performance, high-temperature grease is designed for slow-moving, heavily loaded large bearings subject to shock loads. It is highly water resistant, making it ideal for the CCC operation. The product is based on a high-viscosity index mineral oil and contains a lithium-complex soap thickener.

With Shell Gadus S3 V460 2, CCC identified several distinct operational benefits. Excavator component life (including the bucket pins) was extended from 250 to 350 hours an increase of approximately 40 per cent. In addition, there was a noted productivity increase thanks to the enhanced availability of equipment and a reduction in unscheduled downtime.

In financial terms, the introduction of the new grease resulted in an estimated 28 per cent reduction in operational costs, which equates to an estimated annual saving of $3.8m (£2.3m) for CCC.

This project showed that water resistance is an important property for industrial lubricants. The latest lubricant technology enables operation not only around water, but also under water in some cases, such as in turbines of hydro electricity facilities, some of which are found 180m below water level.

In an industrial setting, it is critical that lubricants and greases are able to do their jobs in the most arduous conditions without compromising protection. For instance, mine operators in Russia may require a product to perform in sub-zero conditions, while steel manufacturers need their lubricants to cope with temperatures in excess of 180°C. This is where the real science of lubricants comes into play with the use of synthetic components and additives, products such as Shell Gadus can be designed to behave a certain way in extreme conditions, such as not solidifying in low temperatures.

This advanced generation of lubricants could help even more industrial sectors deliver significant operational benefits.

Synthetic lubricants improve equipment durability in construction and mining

Key points

  • Lubricants must protect a machine’s components and moving parts
  • Shell Gadus grease for large bearings is highly resistant to water
  • Industrial greases need to operate in both subzero and hot conditions
  • Synthetic lubricants help to deliver a variety of operational benefits

The latest ’synthetic’ lubricant technology is increasingly helping to deliver enhanced performance and contribute towards greater equipment availability in a variety of industrial processes.

Every maintenance engineer wants to be certain a lubricant does the basic job of providing protection to a piece of machinery’s vital components and moving parts. The lubricant must reduce friction, as well as protect against acids, deposits, water contamination and wear in a range of harsh operating conditions.

The construction industry, for example, relies on lubricants to keep heavy-duty equipment working in extreme temperatures, in wet conditions and over long periods. Equipment failure, and the associated downtime, can result in significant costs and loss of revenue.

In recent years, however, the development of synthetic technology has led to the production of lubricants that can offer greater reliability, enhance durability and even reduce fuel consumption.

Recently, Consorcio Camargo Correa (CCC), a construction company based in Brazil, was engaged in the construction of a large dam in Venezuela. A significant part of the operation involved excavating stone from the river that feeds the dam.

In the early stages, CCC repeatedly found that the bucket pins in its heavy-lift excavators were wearing out much faster than normal. This meant that an increasing amount of time was thus being spent on equipment maintenance, slowing down the progress of the project and adding to the overheads.
Knowing that lubricants play a key role in protecting vital components such as bucket pins, CCC enlisted the help of technical specialists at Shell Lubricants to help find a more durable alternative.

It is critical that lubricants and greases are able to do their jobs in the most arduous conditions

Shell began by dispatching a field team to examine CCC’s operating environment at the dam. Noting that the machinery spent a lot of time submersed in the river, the team identified water contamination as the source of the problem.

The extreme condition had been watering down the existing lubricant, and the bucket pins had to be replaced every 250 hours. Once the ’challenge’ had been identified, Shell’s product application specialists worked to find a water-resistant alternative. A new grease, Shell Gadus S3 V460 2, was selected.

This high-performance, high-temperature grease is designed for slow-moving, heavily loaded large bearings subject to shock loads. It is highly water resistant, making it ideal for the CCC operation. The product is based on a high-viscosity index mineral oil and contains a lithium-complex soap thickener.

With Shell Gadus S3 V460 2, CCC identified several distinct operational benefits. Excavator component life (including the bucket pins) was extended from 250 to 350 hours an increase of approximately 40 per cent. In addition, there was a noted productivity increase thanks to the enhanced availability of equipment and a reduction in unscheduled downtime.

In financial terms, the introduction of the new grease resulted in an estimated 28 per cent reduction in operational costs, which equates to an estimated annual saving of $3.8m (£2.3m) for CCC.

This project showed that water resistance is an important property for industrial lubricants. The latest lubricant technology enables operation not only around water, but also under water in some cases, such as in turbines of hydro electricity facilities, some of which are found 180m below water level.

In an industrial setting, it is critical that lubricants and greases are able to do their jobs in the most arduous conditions without compromising protection. For instance, mine operators in Russia may require a product to perform in sub-zero conditions, while steel manufacturers need their lubricants to cope with temperatures in excess of 180°C. This is where the real science of lubricants comes into play with the use of synthetic components and additives, products such as Shell Gadus can be designed to behave a certain way in extreme conditions, such as not solidifying in low temperatures.

This advanced generation of lubricants could help even more industrial sectors deliver significant operational benefits.

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