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

March, 2012


Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant

Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant, also known as Molylube SF100 Open Gear Lubricant, has an exceptional performance history. Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant was one of the first successful multi-service lubricants offered to the international mining industry for dragline and electric shovel service. Some may remember that Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant was the result of a long evolution of open gear lubricants and new Bel-Ray technology starting with Molylube Unee Lubricant D in the mid 1980’s. Molylube Unee Lubricant D was a high base oil viscosity, clay thickened open gear compound. Eventually the move from the clay thickener to Bel-Ray’s premier aluminum complex thickener resulted in Molylube Unee Lubricant 7060. In addition to using the aluminum complex thickener, Molylube Unee Lubricant 7060 included a lower base oil viscosity making it more suitable for anti-friction bearing use. Molylube Unee Lubricant 7060 was the first open gear grease to boast an 800 kilogram Four Ball EP Test Weld Load and a Load Wear Index of approximately 150 kilograms, 50-60 kilograms higher than the competition of the time. Molylube Unee Lubricant 7060, now known as Molylube Semi-Fluid Open Gear Lubricant, is still used by many customers today.

Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant was introduced in the mid-1990’s as a multi-service lubricant. Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant was originally recommended for use in all traditional dragline and shovel open gear type applications including hoist, drag, crowd and propel gears, house rollers and rails, shovel dipper sticks and handles, bushings and some propel systems. Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant was also recommended for low to moderate speed anti-friction bearings such as drum bearings. This consolidated the two products, open gear lubricant and multipurpose grease system, to a single, multiservice product system. As years passed and the machine manufactures returned to the two product system for lubricating draglines and electric shovels, Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant was used less often in anti-friction bearings. However, it continued to excel in the traditional open gear lubricant applications. With seven grades in the Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant line, there is a grade for every machine operating condition within the ambient temperature range of -50°C to +50°C or -58°F to +122°F.

The Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant line was just upgraded to meet the new Caterpillar specification released in June 2011. One of the more important upgrades to the product is the increase in molybdenum disulfide, or moly, content to reduce the friction properties of the product’s lubricating film. Reduced friction means lower friction and temperature and improved gear teeth protection.

The proven value of Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant is seen in nearly every application where it is applied. Whether its through extended component life or reduced lubricant consumption, there are saving to be realized that go right to your bottom line when Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant is used.

Call your Bel-Ray representative today to find out how Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant can benefit your operations.

The photograph above is of Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant on an open gear set aboard a Marion 8200 dragline in South Africa. The lubricant has been in use on this machine for 10 years and the gears are original. The calculated theoretical open gear lubricant consumption rate for this dragline is 0.37 kilograms per hour or 0.82 pounds per hour during dig and 1.6 kilograms per hour or 3.5 pounds per hour during propel.






Bel-Ray 101: Powersports Lubricants Explained

The following is a brief explanation of the basic functions, components and advantages of Bel-Ray Powersports lubricants.


Five primary functions of oil:

  1. Lubricity – oil reduces friction and wear by serving as a layer of protection between moving parts.
  2. Dispersant – good oil will hold damaging particles like dirt, metal, carbon, sludge and varnish and suspend them in the oil itself, so they can be removed by the oil filter. Otherwise those particles would settle to the bottom of the engine and be re-circulated through the engine.
  3. Coolant – even in liquid cooled engines, oil dissipates heat away from hot spots inside the engine that coolant passages do not reach. Motorcycle clutches and transmissions rely on oil to regulate temperatures.
  4. Protection – prevents the internal metals from damage due to oxidation and corrosion.
  5. Detergent – clean engine internals prevent rings from sticking in the piston lands and prevent deposits from forming on the valves.

Types of Additives:

  1. Viscosity Modifiers – polymers that increase the viscosity as the oil warms up and reduce the viscosity as the oil cools down. Viscosity modifiers can shear down causing the oil to lose viscosity at higher temperatures.
  2. Anti-Wear and Extreme Pressure Additives – protect engine internals from metal-to-metal wear. They are activated by heat and pressure.
  3. Friction Modifiers – Moly (molybdenum disulphide) - a friction modifier used in JASO MB low friction oils is not intended to be used with wet clutches. Friction modifiers are used in automobile oils to increase gas mileage.
  4. Antioxidants – prevent gum and sludge (thickening/oxidation) that will occur when hot oil (at piston, rings and cylinder walls during combustion) is exposed to oxygen in air.
  5. Detergents – release sludge and deposits that have built up or prevent sludge from building up inside the engine. They will help prevent piston rings from sticking in their grooves.
  6. Acid Neutralizers – neutralize acid created during combustion, protecting engine components from corrosion and extending the oil’s life.
  7. Dispersants – ensure that foreign matter (dirt, wear particles, carbon, sludge) stays suspended so it can be removed in the filtration system.
  8. Anti-Rust/Corrosion Inhibitors – moisture and acids are generated in engines; these additives attach themselves to internal steel surfaces, preventing moisture from getting to the steel, thus preventing corrosion.
  9. Anti-Foam Agents – silicone additives prevent foaming that starves bearings of the lubrication needed. Anti-foam agents create inclusions on air bubbles, which reduces surface tension, causing them to collapse.
  10. Pour Point Depressants – used to help oil flow better in extreme cold temperatures.

Advantages of Synthetic base stocks:

First off, synthetic oils are just that, synthetic, or, in simple terms man-made. One of the major advantages of being man made is that the oil molecules are much more uniform in their make-up. No matter how many times crude oil is refined, the finished mineral base oil can never obtain the molecular consistency of synthetic oils. How does this consistency help an engine’s performance?

  1. Synthetics have better oxidation resistance, allowing you to extend the drain intervals of the oil because synthetics are completely saturated, that is to say there are no double or triple bonds. Double and triple bonds are the weak spots or first bonds to break, which allow oxidation to occur.
  2. Synthetics have much lower pour points, which means the oil flows better in cold weather to more quickly deliver protection to critical engine components. Because of the speed at which oil is delivered to these engine parts, wear from cold starting will be minimized.
  3. Synthetics have higher film strength, or in other terms they “carry the load” better. What does that mean? At high operating temperatures, and during full throttle accelerations, there is more load placed on your motor. For example, esters are polar and can actually adhere to metal, decreasing the likelihood of metal-to-metal contact. Modified motors with higher compression enhanced protection. An additional benefit of higher film strength is that oil will stay in place longer, better coating the engine parts it is there to protect.
  4. Synthetic oils have very high Viscosity Indexes and maintain their viscosity over a wide temperature range.
  5. Synthetics provide better temperature resistance. Due to the molecular uniformity of synthetics, they resist thinning at high temperatures and thickening at low temperatures. Because synthetics retain thickness at high temperatures they are better suited for air cooled engines and warmer climates. Mineral oils will begin to fail at 250° to 300°F. Synthetics can handle closer to 400°F and can even be pushed to over 600°F before failure.

Bel-Ray Motorcycle Oils:

Bel-Ray motorcycle oils meeting the latest API SM and JASO MA2 specifications are available as synthetics, synthetic blends and mineral-based oils. The Bel-Ray product line also meets SAE viscosity grades for motor oils J300. The viscosity requirements of the major motorcycle manufacturers call for engine oil grades that meet the SAE J300 specification.

When you look for the best function and performance a lubricant can offer for your Powersports application, look to Bel-Ray. To maximize the life span and performance of your machine, rely on Bel-Ray Total Performance Lubricants.

For your specific application needs, see Bel-Ray’s Lubricant Advisor


“LETS” Select the Correct Bel-Ray Lubricant

Maintenance personnel face unique challenges when deciding on the best lubricant to use for any given application. Factors such as exposure to extreme cold or high heat, equipment wash down procedures, high speed bearing applications and highly loaded bearings should all be considered when choosing the proper lubricant. Your Bel-Ray representative will need certain information to determine the proper lubricant for your application. The more detail you can provide, the better he can understand your application which will result in the proper lubricant being selected. Use the acronym “LETS” (Load, Environment, Temperature, Speed) to determine application details.

Load - The first factor to consider when selecting a lubricant is load. In bearing applications, you should determine the rated load capacity of the bearing you are going to lubricate. If your application exceeds 25% of the rated load capacity, it is considered heavily loaded, 15% - 25% is moderately loaded and below 15% is lightly loaded. This is an important factor because it will help Bel-Ray Technical Support determine if the lubricant you need requires a higher base oil viscosity or an Extreme Pressure (EP) additive.

Environment - Consider the application’s immediate surroundings and the elements that will come in contact with the lubricant. Some factors to consider include exposure to fine particulate dust, cleaning solutions, and humidity. In most food processing facilities, extreme washdown procedures are commonplace and even lubricants in sealed bearings can become exposed to water and cleaning chemicals. When oil seals fail on gearboxes, or they come in contact with water from high pressure washing, the lubricant inside the gearboxes will ultimately become contaminated.

Temperature – Determine the operating temperature of the bearing, chain or gearbox. Be as accurate as possible. While a good quality mineral oil-based lubricant can provide adequate lubrication in many applications, it may be necessary to select synthetic oil in high temperature applications such as oven chains or gearboxes exposed to excessive heat or very cold temperatures. Be prepared to provide your Bel-Ray representative with the high and low extremes of the application’s operating temperature.

Speed – The operational speed of the bearing, chain or gear is a major factor in lubricant selection. Typically, higher speeds require lower viscosity oils. This is true for the base oil of greases as well. Higher speed bearings require lower viscosity base oil. To determine the minimum base oil viscosity at operating temperature of a rolling element bearing, you will first need to determine the DN value of the bearing. The DN is calculated by the following formula: DN = (rpm) X (bearing bore). After you calculate the DN value, you can determine the minimum viscosity of the base oil by using the chart below. The actual viscosity that provides the best bearing life is determined by dividing the viscosity of the selected oil at operating temperature by the minimum oil viscosity determined in the chart shown below. A value of 2 or greater will provide the viscosity needed for the application.

Your Bel-Ray representative can assist you with any lubrication issues you are having at your facility and help you extend the service life of your equipment while decreasing your maintenance costs. Proper lubricant selection is part of this process. Contact your Bel-Ray representative to learn more.

The photograph above is of Molylube SF100 Semi-Synthetic

Open Gear Lubricant on an open gear set aboard a

Marion 8200 dragline in South Africa. The lubricant has

been in use on this machine for 10 years and the gears

are original. The calculated theoretical open gear lubricant

consumption rate for this dragline is 0.37 kilograms per

hour or 0.82 pounds per hour during dig and 1.6 kilograms

per hour or 3.5 pounds per hour during propel.