Notes from the Lab

Internal Combustion Engine

Internal Combustion Engine

The future of the internal combustion engine (ICE) There is a lot of speculation about what will become of the internal combustion engine that has served mankind for over a century. Concerns about climate change, pollution, energy and energy efficiency, resources, while preserving mobility, industry, and personal freedoms. States such as California and several foreign countries have banned the sale of ICE after 2035 and are pushing total electric vehicles. A recent IMLA (Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association) townhall discussed a meeting between [...]


Which Grease do I use?

Which Grease works Best for YOUR bearing application? Bearings are everywhere and used in a wide variety of applications. The same question is asked when presented with a new or different application, “Which Grease do I use?” Food Grade: The choices are limited to SWEPCO 115 and 116, depending upon the speed, load and temperature range. High Temperature: For extreme temperatures above 400°F (204°C) and areas where a non-melt grease is preferred then SWEPCO 101, 102, or 104 grease depending upon whether the [...]



SWEPCO traditionally has been focused on industrial and fleet lubrication where high performance and specialty lubricants are needed. Value added products generally were viewed as unnecessary for everyday personal transportation and leisure vehicles. But what about SWEPCO and RACING? Over time, week-end racers, off-roaders, and even racing professionals were hearing about these awesome products from an unknown company in Texas that were outperforming the well-known brands. Word of mouth spread the stories of high-performance lubricants that work in the most [...]

Changing Lubricants on Open Gears

Changing Lubricants on Open Gears

All open gears need lubrication to operate properly and prevent damage to the gear teeth. These gear sets are found on ball mills, rod mills, grinders, draglines, power shovels, and crushers. There is usually a bull gear with 1 or more pinion gears that drive the larger bull gear. One of the objections that come up when changing to SWEPCO lubricants is cleaning the old lubricant off the gear sets. Many open lubricants are asphaltic based that build up on [...]



Industrial gears are used everywhere to change speed, direction, and torque of a drive from a power source such as electric motors or engines. Gears have been used since the 1500’s and originally made of wood and lubricated with animal fat. In the 1700’s iron was introduced which allowed the gearboxes to handle greater loads with significant reduction in size and weight. That trend continues today. A gear box made today is one-third the weight and size of one made [...]

Wet Brake Systems

Wet Brake Systems

Construction equipment, farm equipment, forklifts, heavy duty trucks, and mining equipment have been utilizing wet brake systems for years. Wet brakes are a system where the braking surfaces are operated, lubricated, and cooled with oil. The advantages of this system are the brakes are not exposed to dirt, water, or other contaminates, they are cooled during braking operations to prevent warping and are lubricated to reduce wear. If well maintained and not damaged, they can last the life of [...]

Oil Filters

The primary function of oil filters are to trap and remove contaminates and particulates, so they are not carried to the bearings and other surfaces and orifices with close tolerances. Proper installation and maintenance are required for the filter to work as designed. In hydraulic, circulating, and large compressors systems cartage type filters are commonly used prior to a pump or in a kidney loop to filter the oil. Filters may be built into the system or made portable to [...]

Air compressor

Air Compressor Maintenance

Air compressors do more than provide air for the low tire on your car. They are a major piece of equipment in most manufacturing, processing, and production facilities. You will find them in repair shops, farms, and dentist offices just to name a few. All of them need routine maintenance to keep them in top working order. Air compressor maintenance is essential for your daily operations. Air Compressor Maintenance First, check the owner’s manual, there you will find a list of [...]


Care and Maintenance of Hydraulic Systems

Care and Maintenance of Hydraulic Systems is essential. You see or are affected by hydraulic systems all the time. Most construction and farm equipment use hydraulics. Many buildings 4 stories or less use hydraulic elevators. Hydraulic cranes, lifts, and tow trucks all use hydraulics. This list quite long and they all use the same common parts: A reservoir or sump to supply fluid for the system, cooling and deairing of the return fluid. Pumps of various types to supply pressure for [...]

SWEPCO 709 Universal Tractor Transmission/Hydraulic Oil

Trends in biodegradable lubricants

Trends in biodegradable lubricants Biodegradable lubricants such as animal fats and seed oils were used for centuries prior to the discovery of oil. Whale oil was a popular lubricant of choice until the 1900’s. There were several issues with using animal fats and seed oils, they lacked oxidative stability and low temperature properties. Interest in biodegradables became popular during World War I and II due to oil rationing and shortages, then again during the 1978 OPEC oil embargo. Advantages of Biodegradables Biodegradables offer [...]