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Bel-Ray Specialty Lubricants: Tech Notes, Vol 2, Issue 3

March, 2011


Bel-Ray DesCase Partnership

Bel-Ray Company is pleased to announce our partnership with DesCase Corporation. This partnership is a perfect fit as DesCase products are specialized in keeping the lubricant clean in your equipment. High Performance Bel-Ray lubricants combined with DesCase contamination control solutions mean longer lubricant and equipment life.

As businesses become more competitive there is a greater desire to minimize waste and prolong equipment life. These are economic and environmental reasons for controlling contaminants in lubricants from the time they enter the facility until they are extracted from the equipment. Maintaining clean oil is one of the best investments a company can make although contamination is frequently not addressed which causes premature equipment failure and reduces lubricant life.

Dirt is the most common atmospheric contaminant causing degradation of lubricant quality. Contamination inside equipment will accelerate the generation of new contaminants and accelerate wear. Additionally, water entering an operating system through temperature fluctuations will also compromise lubricant quality. Other sources of water contamination are facility wash down activities or leaks in cooling systems or heat exchangers.

Seventy percent of loss of equipment life is due to loss of surface material (wear). Of that seventy percent caused by surface wear,eighty percent of that loss is caused by mechanical wear. Mechanical wear is normally caused by particle-induced three-body abrasion. If you eliminate the third body, which is normally dirt, you can greatly reduce wear and thereby increase equipment life.

So how do we keep contaminants out of your equipment? It typically costs ten times as much to remove contaminants from a mechanical system as it does to prevent contamination from entering the system. DesCase desiccant filter breathers are an easy and cost effective solution to prevent the ingress of contaminants as the equipment “breathes”. The breathers will remove particulate and moisture contaminants in the air that enters the equipment.

“I do not have water contamination in my oil.” This is commonly heard from maintenance professionals who are referring to their apparent at concentrations of less than 1,000 ppm. SKF recommends maintaining a water concentration of less than 200 ppm in order to increase bearing life. Every time the water concentration doubles over 200 ppm, the bearing life is cut in half. DesCase desiccant filter breathers will remove the water as well as particulate contamination from the air ingested by equipment.  In order to keep your equipment in top operating condition DesCase Corporation also features several FlowGuard Fluid Handling Products. These products are focused on removing contaminants in mechanical systems and filtering lubricants that are introduced to equipment.  Please contact your Bel-Ray Representative for assistance with sizing and specification of DesCase products to reduce contamination in your equipment.


Why Use BEL-RAY EXS, EXP, EXL and Thumper Powersports Motorcycle 4T Oils?

Motorcycle Oil is different than car engine oil. This article explains the mechanism of the oil’s journey and the benefit of using quality products from the Bel-Ray EX and Bel-Ray Thumper range of 4T Powersports oils.

Four stroke engines (4T) use a recirculation oil system.  An engine driven pump forces oil into a filter and then into passages in the engine castings to the main areas of stress within the engine. Oil is fed to the big end and main bearing. A second feed takes oil to the top of the engine where it lubricates the valve-train components before draining back down to the crankcase. In some engines a drilling in the connecting rod or a special jet sprays oil on the piston and cylinder walls to lubricate and cool the parts, otherwise they rely on the oil vapor in the crankcase to protect the moving parts. In the majority of motorcycles the engine oil also lubricates the gearbox and wet clutch. 

Before the oil enters the oil pump it is drawn through a filter. This filter picks up any large particles of swarf, carbon, sealant or gasket before it reaches the pump. The oil is provided at high pressure to the main and big end bearings of the crank shaft. Here anti-wear additives form a protective layer on the surface to provide protection. The anti-wear additives also help to protect the gears and bearings of the gearbox. The circulating oil does an extremely valuable job in transferring heat away from localized high temperature areas of the engine such as the pistons and cylinder wall. To prevent the oil from overheating the engine must be cooled by either air or a water cooling system using a quality cooling additive such as Bel-Ray

Moto Chill Racing Coolant. Some engines incorporate an oil cooler to assist in the transfer of heat through the water system before the oil returns to these pistons and cylinder walls.

The internal moving parts of an engine are machined to a smooth finish to minimize wear. In order to minimize heat and friction build-up, it is necessary to use high quality motorcycle engine oil. Using a low quality oil will fail to protect the engine in a number of ways.

Heat — As many motorcycle engines are high revving, it is important to prevent the engine from overheating. Hot oil, combined with oxygen, oxidizes and forms carbon and varnish. This increases consumption. Compared to car engine oils, motorcycle oils must have better stability to heat and be able to cope with greater fuel dilution.

Wear — If there is high pressure, temperature or load between the two surfaces, low quality oil can rupture or break down causing seizure.

Cleanliness — Poor quality engine oil lacks the necessary detergent to prevent piston ring sticking which causes power loss and piston seizure. Deposit accumulation on moving parts restricts the breathing of the engine, which also increases consumption and affects performance.

Where motorcycles have a wet clutch, using running in oil or unsuitable car oils with friction modifiers can lead to clutch slip or can affect the ease of gear change.

Bel-Ray prides itself in the formulation of the finest, most protective lubricants for extremely demanding conditions.  Our products are tested and used both on and off the track to produce the maximum protection needed for all applications.


Rotary Screw and Reciprocating Compressor Lubrication

Improving the Bottom Line: Changing from Mineral Oil to NSF H1 Synthetic Oil

Maintenance departments in food processing plants are always looking for ways to improve the bottom line.  Sure they can buy lower cost parts, cut back on overtime, lessen the work force and lubricate their equipment with non-food grade oils and greases. In most clean industry facilities today the lubrication practices are changing rapidly. The majority of facilities Bel-Ray visits have converted or are in the process of converting to NSF registered H1 lubricants. These same plants are asking us to help them consolidate the number of H1 lubricants used, assist with improving equipment efficiency and performance, and are willing to change from mineral oils to NSF H1 synthetic oils.

Illustration of Rotary Screw Breathers

Star Product – Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube

Bel-Ray is world renown for our comprehensive line of NSF registered No-Tox H1 mineral and synthetic oils and greases. Included in this group of H1 lubricants is a shining star that does not carry the Bel-Ray No-Tox name. This star product is known as Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube, capable of performing well in multiple applications. It is a fully synthetic PAO (poly-alpha-olefin) H1 food grade oil available in four ISO grades, 32, 46, 68 and 115.

Most H1 food grade mineral compressor oils deliver 500 to1,000 hours of service before it is time to drain and fill. Most H2 (non-food grade) mineral oils deliver 1,000 to 2,500 hours of service prior to drain and fill. In either case the serviceability of the mineral oil depends on compressor operating temperatures, circulation rates, sump capacity, fluid level, sources of contamination and the overall condition of the compressor.

Normal compressor operating temperatures average between 70°C to 88°C (160°F to 190°F). The pistons and valves can reach temperatures of 220°C to 300°C (427°F to 571°F). It is critical that the oil film on these components does not form carbon at high temperatures.  Lesser quality mineral oils may not have low carbon-forming properties and will allow a hard carbon residue to build up. This build-up forces the valves open causing a rapid increase in air delivery temperature.

What happens to the viscosity of mineral oils at elevated temperatures?

Common sense tells us that in heated conditions the viscosity has thinned out.

Oxidation is increasing along with thermal breakdown. As oxidation increases the viscosity increases and so does the acidic level. The oil starts to smell like a burnt clutch or over-heated brakes. This leads to the deposit formations of gums and varnishes. If these conditions are allowed to continue, then you can bet that it will not be long before the compressor will have to be torn down, cleaned and rebuilt.

How does Bel-Ray offer improved service and performance?

It is quite simple. Suggest to your customer that they use Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube instead of a low quality mineral oil compressor lubricant. They will save money in the long run.

What is the proven value of Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube?

The first cost savings opportunity for Bel-Ray customers in switching to Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube is indicated through increased service intervals.  Under normal circumstances the service interval usually increases to an average of 2,000 to 4,000 hours. With a properly maintained compressor and the use of oil analysis, the hours of service have been as high as 4,000 to 6,000 hours. To achieve these extended levels of useful service, our complete Oil Analysis Program must be in place. The higher cost of Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube is more than justified when you consider that you are using half the amount of lubricant and half the labor cost for changeout and service.

Even more importantly, the customer will see longer equipment service life and that is where the money really starts to add up. Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube synthetic base fluid with its high Viscosity Index insures thermal stability, better oxidation resistance, cleaner performance, i.e., no gum or varnish formation and little or no carbon build-up that can damage components.

What are the benefits of Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube?

Low volatility, reduced oil consumption, extended separator life, better bearing and gear protection, no tear-down for cleaning every three years, improved lubricity, fewer oil changes (with an Oil Analysis Program), less used oil disposal, fewer filters, power and energy savings as well as lower operating temperatures. Since this star product is built for multiple applications, it easily jump-starts the consolidation process, not only in the clean industry, but all industries interested in improving their compressor performance and other applications.

Last, but not least, this star product, Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube, is formulated with the highest quality synthetic oil and food grade additives, meets NSF H1 and FDA requirements for materials that may have incidental contact with food as defined under Title 21 CFR,178.3570. It is Kosher and Pareve approved, as well as Halal certified.

What is it worth to the customer that uses Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube?

Help your customer add up the $$$$ benefits. Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube definitely exceeds the cost of conventional mineral compressor oils, however, its superior performance more than makes up for the difference in bottom line value. Imagine the labor cost savings offered to a plant that is used to changing oil every 500 hours. That would be eight oil changes to one for 4,000 hours of service. 

What are some of the multiple applications suited to Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube in a consolidation plan?

See OEM specifications for correct Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Oil viscosity. 

A)   Ammonia compressors usually require a wax-free, low temperature performing ISO 68 oil

B)   Hydraulic oil systems usually require an ISO 32, 46 or 68 oil

C)   Circulating oil systems. ISO grades 32 thru 115

D)   Pump bearings usually require an ISO 68 oil

E)   Lightly loaded and/or low temperature gear reducers may require an AGMA 2 ISO 68 thru AGMA 4 ISO 150

F)    Some blowers require an ISO 100 or an SAE 30 oil. SC1 Compressor Lube 115

G)   Low temperature chains such as those found in spiral freezers. SC1 Compressor Lube 32

H)   Vacuum pumps usually require an ISO 100 or an SAE 30. SC1 Compressor Lube 115


Bel-Ray SC1 Compressor Lube Product Data Sheet is available on the Bel-Ray website at

Bel-Ray SC-1 Compressor Lube Item #
32 63530
46 63550
68 63560
115 63570