Gearboxes are utilized in industry in order to provide speed reductions (increasing torques), and to allow a change in direction of rotation of shafts. It utilizes gears, or machine elements that mesh together via teeth and are used to transmit rotary motion from one shaft to another.
Applications may be found in steel mills, sugar mills, and all general industry. Gearbox applications are typically considered to be difficult, lubrication-wise, owing to high-loads, elevated temperatures, and the negative impact of the environment in factories (moisture, dust, temperature).
The gear oils in the gearbox are required to perform the following functions:
- Reduce friction and wear of the gears (prolong gear life and ensure smooth operations),
- Impart a cushioning film against extremely high loads and/or shock loads,
- Cool and absorb heat,
- Provide rust and corrosion protection, and,
- Keep the lubricating systems clean
In selecting the correct gear oil, it is important to consider that are four (4) general types of gear oils,