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Bel-Ray Specialty Lubricants: Tech Notes, Vol 3, Issue 6

June, 2012

Bel-Ray’s New Biodegradable Marine Products

As we know the environment is important to all of us and is something we need to protect for our future; environmental protection is not what oil companies are well known for. However, Bel-Ray’s new biodegradable marine products are bucking the trend. Bel-Ray has been producing marine products for over 50 years, and these have been used on everything from Navy ships to small outboards. We introduced two biodegradable marine products this year to consumers: Marine Biodegradable 2-Stroke Engine Oil (99700) and Marine Biodegradable Multipurpose Lubricant (99704-aerosol) (99705-bulk). Both of these products address some of the environmental issues associated with boating and the use of marine engines in environmentally sensitive areas that are now under threat from pollution and misuse.

Traditional lubricants once released into the environment by either leakage or through the emissions of 2-stroke engines are very slow to degrade and can be toxic to marine animals and plants. The longer a product takes to degrade, the more the risk of it affecting the environment. The EU Ecolabel Standard shown on the Marine Biodegradable 2-Stroke Engine Oil calls for the product to have an ultimate biodegradation greater than 60% in 28 days. Bel-Ray Bio products meet or exceed the biodegradation standard. The biodegradability test that Bel-Ray uses measures the biodegradability of the lubricant as a whole and not just the biodegradability of the base stocks used to produce the product. This is a closer comparison to what will be experienced in the environment and takes into account all the additives and how they degrade together.

Apart from the environmental benefits, there is also a benefit for your engine. Marine Biodegradable 2-Stroke Engine Oil is full synthetic and solvent-free. It burns extremely clean, helps reduce emissions, and helps to clean your engine to keep it free from deposits, reducing ring-stick and increasing fuel economy. It has superior rust and corrosion additives to help control engine deterioration.

Marine Biodegradable Multipurpose Lubricant is a rapidly biodegradable multipurpose penetrating lubricant that again is greater than 60% biodegradable. This product has high film strength and helps reduce metal-to-metal contact. It has excellent penetration properties to help free locked bolts and cables. Used in many marine applications, it should be the choice for anyone who sprays the outside of their engine or any other metal component on a vessel that will come in contact with water.

Traditionally, the type of lubricant that is used for many applications and sprayed on metal surfaces to protect from rust is silicone-based. These products do a good job of protecting the metal but do not show much concern for the environment. Once worn off during use or washed off into the environment, they take a long time to break down.

Bel-Ray’s new biodegradable marine products go a long way in protecting the precious waterways we use and will ensure that they are there for us to continue using for many years to come.

Exciting News on Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Field Trial

Once again Bel-Ray is at the forefront of lubrication technology, setting the standard of performance for slide and cam lubrication with our next generation of Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant. The Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium performed flawlessly during its field trial.

The slide and cam is a propel system used on Bucyrus 2500 class walking draglines. Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant was tested on a Bucyrus 2570W dragline, which is a huge machine. It weighs about 15,000,000 pounds, that’s 7,500 tons, and it walks! The picture to the right of a Bucyrus 2570W shows the complete slide and cam propel mechanism including the cam roller, frame, link and shoe for the right side of the machine, and the 95 cubic yard bucket and boom assembly.

The picture below to the left is a close-up of the cam roller bearing, its frame and the link between the cam and the shoe. The slide pads that the machine rides on are located at the bottom of the frame in a trough in the shoe. A close-up of the trough and the lower slide pad can be seen in the picture below to the right.

Two lubricants are needed for the slide and cam unit; one lubricant for the 100+ inch cam roller bearing in the frame, and the most critical lubricant for the slide pads. This is where Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant was tested. The basic concept of the slide and cam system is simple and is based on the eccentric cam rotating within the frame. The bottom of the frame is captured in a trough built into the shoe. It is free to slide forward and backward on slide pads within the trough; one pad is steel and the other is manganese bronze. As the cam rotates, the link pin between the cam and the shoe causes the shoe to move backward and forward and up and down. At one point in the cam rotation the shoe contacts the ground and, as rotation continues, the dragline—all 7,500 tons of it—is lifted and moved forward by approximately 8½ feet. The total load of the dragline is carried through the propel mechanism to the slide pads as the dragline moves.

The picture to the right is of the Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium being poured into the trough where it will lubricate the slide pads as well as other parts such as clamps that keep the frame captured in the trough. This is a high volume application. The trough holds four to six drums of Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium, and the onboard bulk tank will hold another eight to ten drums of the product. This may seem like a lot of product, but when the dragline is in the walk mode it is lubricated by injectors that completely surround the trough every 35 to 45 seconds which is the time to complete one step.

When evaluating any dragline propel lubricant, whether it’s a rolling cam compound such as Molylube Walking Cam Compound or a slide and cam lubricant such as Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant, key performance indicators are the level of chatter or stick-slip, vibration and heat. If any one of these things occurs, it will be due to a lubricant problem.

During the field evaluation of the next generation Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium, the dragline took a total of 285 steps walking more than 2,100 feet. This is a long walk for a big dragline. During a walk this long it’s not unusual to have to stop the machine to allow the propel system to cool down. The Bel-Ray Technical Field Representatives reported that there was NO CHATTER, NO VIBRATION and NO HEAT. The temperature remained near ambient, which ranged from 40°F to 72°F during the entire walk.

A real test of any dragline propel lubricant is when the dragline walks on uneven ground. That is when the walkway is uneven from side to side or the machine walks uphill or downhill. During this test the Bucyrus 2570W walked up a steep incline for approximately 35 steps. All reports claim that the machine and Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium performed this feat without a misstep.

Obviously, with such a successful field trial completed, we are very excited about the tremendous potential future sales of Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant. What are the key selling features of the product?

  1. With particular attention paid to ambient temperature requirements, there is a grade of Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant for virtually all ambient temperatures.
  2. With careful selection of viscosity, Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant has excellent flow back that ensures that the slide pads are fully immersed in the quality, high performance lubricant before each step.
  3. Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant is fortified with proprietary friction modifiers, Extreme Pressure additives and super pure lubricating solids to enhance the product’s lubricating film, to provide maximum protection of slide pads against excessive wear and to reduce the friction between the slide pads for smooth, vibration-free operation despite the extreme loads that they are subjected to.

Needless to say, after such a successful field trial, the customer was very pleased with the quality and performance of the Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium and the level of service provided by Bel-Ray and our local distributor, GCR, and is ready to sign off on Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant as his standard propel lubricant.

Bel-Ray Slide & Cam Lubricant Medium (64310)

Preventing Pneumatic Component Failure

Many pneumatic component failures can be traced back to the source of the compressed air. For reliable operation and long tool life, the components of process equipment require clean, moisture-free air at the proper pressure and flow rate.

How do you protect compressed air processing equipment such as air driven knives, saws, deboners, etc. used in meat and poultry processing plants? Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant (62050), a NSF H1 food grade oil, is formulated specifically for air line and pneumatic tools. This versatile, colorless ISO VG 22 lubricant maximizes air tool life while optimizing pneumatic system performance.

First and foremost, it is very important to install and take care of an FRL (Filter, Regulator, Lubricator), available in modular or conventional design. There are different sizes, styles and flow-rates available.

What actually is an FRL and how does it work?

An FRL is a device that conditions air for use in pneumatic systems. Let’s start with the (F) Filter which doubles as a water separator and filter. If the compressed air has not been de-hydrated, a considerable amount of water will be collected in the filter. The filter will hold back most of the physical contaminants. The standard filter is rated at 5 microns. As the air enters the filter with great velocity, there is a centrifugal air rotation created, throwing the water to the outside of the filter bowl where it runs downward below a baffle collecting at the bottom of the bowl. Many times during plant surveys we have seen discolored filter bowls full of rusty water and sludge from the lack of maintenance to the air system beyond the compressor or down line. One very noticeable clue is the discoloration of the filter bowl, usually an indication of rusty/contaminated standing water. This has always been a clue that little to no service has been performed and it is definitely an indication that Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant is long overdue for this system. It is simple to drain the water out of the filter bowl on a regular basis. Filter bowls have a drain valve/pit cock in which all you have to do is turn the pit cock a quarter turn and the water drains out. In fact, there is even an automatic drain type available. Sometimes the drain valve is or will become plugged up with a gooey slime. Schedule the filter to be taken apart, cleaned and flush it out.

If walking through a plant you see the FRL, take a moment to look at the filter bowl which is usually clear plastic. When you see brown rusty water in the bowl, you have a golden opportunity to point this out to your customer and inquire as to the type of oil being used for their air line lubrication. There is a good chance you will hear… “ISO VG 32 hydraulic oil, is that a problem?” Yes it is.

When we survey industrial plant equipment, mining equipment, etc. it is quite common to uncover the use of ISO VG 32 hydraulic oil as an airline lubricant. So you ask yourself, what is wrong with using ISO VG 32 hydraulic oil for airline lubrication? ISO VG 32 hydraulic oil is demulsifying, water does not mix with it. Because moisture is denser than the hydraulic oil, the moisture will contact the metal surfaces causing corrosion. The moisture stays below the hydraulic oil film, settling in and attacking the metal surface of the air lines and the moving components of pneumatic tools, inducing rust, gum, sludge and power-robbing deposits.

The (R) Regulator is used to maintain/regulate constant air supply pressure to the pneumatic components of the processing equipment. There is usually a pressure gauge installed for at-a-glance monitoring.

The (L) Lubricator, which looks similar to the filter canister, is the third piece of the FRL system. The lubricator is used to mix the proper amount of Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant with the air.

The oil-to-air volume ratio can be adjusted on the lubricator, preventing over- or under-lubrication of the pneumatic tools. The outlet air, which is an atomized mixture of oil and air, is suspended as a mist, which not only lubricates the tools, it protects the air lines and all components of the air tool system.

Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant is not only used for meat and poultry processing equipment, it is also used in pharmaceutical, beverage and other “clean” industries. Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant is also recommended and used in the mining industry, general construction and manufacturing facilities around the world.

Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant is designed to maximize air tool life and optimize pneumatic system performance. What are the advantages and benefits?

  • Excellent film strength
  • Superior Anti-Wear properties
  • The unique feature of emulsifying with water

The emulsifying feature of Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant aids in absorbing a significant amount of moisture present in all airlines. The moisture is generated by the expansion and cooling of compressed air. Thus, rust and oxidation, tool sticking and clogging are eliminated.

Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Air Line Lubricant is at the head of the pack when it comes to the maintenance and care of FRLs, airline systems and the lubrication of pneumatic tools.

Remember, when you are servicing and preparing a lubricant consolidation plan for the “clean” industry, it is important to convert all oils and greases to Bel-Ray No-Tox Food Grade Lubricants. Overall, there are more applications for grease, gear oil, hydraulic oil and compressor lubes.

Just don’t forget airline lubrication — it is your golden opportunity.