Plant & Works Engineering
Solution for leaking gearbox problems
Published:  06 April, 2007

Castrol has launched a gear oil that is effective for leaking gearboxes in metals operations, particularly where heavy-duty overhead cranes are used.

Castrol Molub-Alloy 969 is a leak-resistant gear compound specifically designed for equipment that is prone to leaks in oil seals and casing flange joints due to flexing caused by the extreme loads experienced in arduous working environments.

Such leaks are potentially very serious in overhead and bridge cranes, and can lead to a number of problems. Spills landing on machinery can cause environmental problems, oil spilling onto the steel strip can lead to quality issues from staining, and oil spills on floors can create health and safety (H&S) concerns if operator safety is affected.

Changing seals can result in hours of downtime and ignoring the problem can result in gearbox failure. Maintenance teams often respond either by increasing oil top-ups to ensure that gearbox lubrication is maintained; or possibly substituting the oil for a 00-grade grease.

The first approach may provide adequate gearbox lubrication, but it doesn't address the problem of leaks or spills and overall, can be costly to maintain. The second is even more of a risk because greases can channel and are not very efficient at dissipating heat away from meshing gears and gear cases. It also eliminates the opportunity to perform vital wear debris analysis on a 00-grade grease, which could mean that potential equipment problems are not detected, leading to gearbox failure or excessive wear.

Castrol Molub-Alloy 969 leak resistant gear compound  is claimed to offer an alternative that not only solves the problem but also reduces the total cost of gearbox ownership.

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