Industrial gearboxes are subject to harsh conditions, including high pressures and extreme heat. These machines are designed to operate under pressure. However, operating under a temperature even a few degrees too high can cause significant damage to your equipment. This post will go over the causes of overheating in your industrial gearbox and what you can do to prevent this issue.
What causes overheating in an industrial gearbox?
There are many common factors that cause overheating in your industrial gearbox. These include operating temperature, ambient temperature, viscosity index, load conditions, contamination levels, lubrication requirements, humidity, air velocity, and air temperature. You must investigate each of these factors to establish a baseline temperature and find the cause of overheating. Remember, many of these are out of your control. So, it is difficult to know the “maximum” surface temperature of your gearbox.
Lubricant film strength is one of the most important factors that ensures longer operational life for your industrial gearbox. The lubricant needs to have enough strength to separate the metal surfaces of the components. The strength is determined by temperature, so it is the most important factor in measuring overheating issues.
For example, overheating could be happening because you are using a lubricant with the incorrect viscosity for your specific gearbox operations. A common cause of overheating is friction caused by an imbalance between lubricant and viscosity levels.
Another common issue is if your lubricant is oxidizing and breaking down. You can tell the oil is oxidizing if it has a foul odor. It may easiest to hire a technician to conduct an oil analysis to measure oxidation levels. You can also use a lubrication filtration system to do this yourself. Oil oxidation could be caused by a variety of factors including ambient temperature, poor environmental conditions, and even using the wrong lubricant.