Gears help to move the world

Gears help to move the world

Gears help to move the world regardless of the power source or application, gears and gearboxes are everywhere. From transportation to manufacturing and general industrial use gears are part of everyday life and using the correct lubricant is critical for long equipment life. Most applications fall under automotive or industrial use, open gears will be discussed later.

Automotive gear oils face many challenges and have several levels of performance defined for use.

  1. The first level of specifications come from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and are listed as GL-1 through GL-6 and MT-1. API GL-1 was intended for manual transmission operating under mild conditions and generally do not contain extreme pressure additives (EP). GL-2 contains mild EP additives for use with automotive worm gears.
  2. GL-3 is an intermediate between GL-1 and GL-4 and intended for manual transmissions operating under mild to severe conditions and spiral bevel axles.
  3. GL-4 is designed for axles with spiral bevel gears operating under moderate to severe conditions of speed and load. It is also used for hypoid gears operating under moderate speed and load conditions. This was the original military specification Mil-L-2015.
  4. GL-5 is intended for hypoid gears that operate over various conditions of speed and load. This requirement evolved into Mil-PRF-2105D.
  5. GL-6 was designed for gear sets with very high pinion offsets, these gears required extra protection from scuffing and scoring beyond GL-5.
  6. Finally, MT-1 is intended for non-synchronized manual transmissions used in busses and heavy-duty trucks. MT-1 lubricant contains extra protections against thermal degradation, component wear and seal deterioration. GL-1, GL-2, GL-3 and GL-6 are classified inactive and no longer in use. API GL-5 testing includes Yellow Metal compatibility, Foam Inhibition, L-60 Gear Oxidation Test, L-42 High Speed / High Shock Load Test, L-37 Low Speed / High Torque Test and L-33 corrosion Tests.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2360 Specification uses the API GL-5 as a starting point and adds on L-60-1 Oxidation and Deposit Test, A Seal Compatibility Test, Storage Stability and Compatibility with other gear oils study, the SAE J-2360 Fleet Test where the gear oil is used in actual equipment under specified conditions and duration, and a Lubricant Review Institute evaluation of all the test data.

The Highest level is the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) specification. The OEM’s take SAE J2360 qualified lubricants and perform Specific Fleet Testing, Extended Life Testing, Component Validation, and Application Specific Testing. Automotive viscosity specifications are usually listed as SAE Viscosity Grades such at 75W90, 80W140, 90, etc.

SWEPCO 201, 202, 203, 210, and 212 all meet or exceed SAE J2360 and many OEM specifications.

Industrial Gear Lubricants have a different set of specifications to meet. Industrial oils are usually specified by the ISO Viscosity Grade such as ISO 150, 220, 320, 460 and can run from ISO 2 through ISO 3200.

Performance specifications include recommended test and performance requirements from American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), the German DIN 151517 CLP, AIST 224 (formerly USS 224), ISO 12925-1 and OEM’s. These specifications spell out requirements for extreme pressure, wear, scuffing, scoring, oxidation, foam, yellow metal and seal compatibility, in mixed friction, load, and environmental conditions. Industrial gear lubricants must be able to handle a variety of loads, environments, contaminates, and configurations.

SWEPCO Gear Lubricants meet or exceed these industrial requirements including several OEM and DIN 151517 CPL Part III.

STRATSON is here to help you make the proper recommendation, remember to always check the OEM recommendation first.

Source: SWEPCO’s Senior Scientist

For more information about various SWEPCO’s extraordniary performing gear oils see:

Please contact us and we will send you case studies of the Gear Lubes you would like to receive. We will show you the difference that truly high performance gear oils will bring you. Gears help to move the world!

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