Temperature Affect on Your Industrial Gearbox

Outdoor temperature changes can affect your industrial gearbox

Many areas in the United States experience severe temperature swings throughout the year. The temperature fluctuations can have a dramatic affect on your gearbox oil viscosity. Sometimes, companies have to change from different oil grades as the year progresses or run the risk of damaging their equipment.

In the hot summer months, oil tends to run thin through the lubrication system and thicker on cold, frigid winter days. Either extreme weather scenario puts the working condition of an industrial gearbox at risk. An oil heater and cooler is often used to control the lubricant’s operating temperature, depending on the ambient and operating temperatures.

Temperatures can change inside an industrial gearbox

Temperature fluctuations inside your industrial gearbox can also have an impact on the oil’s viscosity. If the operational temperature is erratic, the oil should be filtered or possibly changed to promote better quality operations. Getting temperature readings and oil samples can help to determine whether a thorough examination of the gearbox is needed. Sometimes, a minor adjustment can prevent an expensive repair and shutdown from taking place.

When an industrial gearbox operates efficiently, it will run at a higher temperature than other machinery. This forces mineral-based oils to break down and quickly lose their lubricating capacity at the same time. This type of deterioration can cause the mix to separate into different carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen combinations. Carbon can manifest into a fine grit and quickly introduce itself into the oil. If this condition persists, a thick sludge will develop between the gear-tooth and bearings, which often causes metal-to-metal contact inside the machine. This is a common issue that leads to industrial gearbox failure.