Efficient Plant June 2020 - 19

feature | lubrication strategies
Left. If you're using multipurpose (EP 2) grease for your bearings, it's likely
doing more damage than good.

using graphs such as Figure 2, it's important to understand that
minimum does not equate to optimum.
Lubricating a bearing with an oil of the same viscosity as the
minimum viscosity calculated from Figure 2 will achieve a Kappa
value of 1.0, which may seem good in theory but leaves no margin
for error for slight changes in operating load or speed. In practice, aim for a Kappa value in the 2.0 to 4.0 range. This requires a
higher viscosity base oil. To illustrate the importance of the Kappa
value to bearing life and equipment reliability, consider the following two examples.

Fig. 1: Impact of Kappa value on
lubricant film thickness
Kappa = 0.7: Boundary
lubrication conditions-need EP
additives
Kappa = 1.0: Mixed-film
lubrication conditions-need EP
or AW additives
Kappa = 4.0: EHD lubrication
conditions result in maximum
bearing life-no EP additives
required

OVERHEAD CRANE WHEEL-DRIVE BEARING
An injection-molding facility used a series of small overhead
cranes to deliver plastic pellets to specific machines and workstations. Because of the relatively small size of the cranes and their
inaccessibility for routine maintenance, "sealed-for-life" bearings
were installed on all components, including the wheel-drive bearings. Despite being pre-lubricated with grease by the bearing manufacturer, bearing failures were commonplace, often within 3 to
6 months. Based on bearing failure analysis, incorrect lubrication

Kappa = actual viscosity under operating conditions
minimum viscosity under operating conditions
When choosing a grease, the Kappa value determines whether it will
protect your bearings.

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JUNE 2020

EP2006flube.indd 19

EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

19

5/28/20 3:46 PM


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Efficient Plant June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant June 2020

Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover1
Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover2
Efficient Plant June 2020 - 1
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Efficient Plant June 2020 - Cover3
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