Afton Chemical is a leading supplier of industrial lubricant additives and packages. The Afton Industrial portfolio covers a broad range of technology solutions developed for Wind Turbine, Industrial Gear, Turbine, Hydraulic, Grease, Slideway and Metalworking applications.
Our global coverage allows us to maintain close contact with our customers, OEM partners and industry groups. This gives us a heightened awareness and understanding of global issues within the industry and helps us to stay ahead of the game in anticipating future market needs.
By collaborating with our customers and applying our skills and experience together, we are able to revolutionize conventional thinking, allowing us to produce innovative industrial additives that help our customers meet their profitability objectives.
Our leading-edge technology, and alternative solutions, help our customers stay at the forefront of their industry sectors.
Afton Chemical has created a family of seven friendly and heroic micro-robot characters, known as the Microbotz® to represent each of the seven application groups within the Industrial product portfolio.
The Microbotz® are microscopic self-propelled autonomous robots, who operate in a world deep within the lubricant as it pumps through the veins of Industrial machinery. Their role is to patrol the lubricants, deep inside the chemistry, protecting each application from a variety of potential harms such as oxidation, sludge, corrosion or pitting. They tirelessly work to do whatever is necessary to prolong the life of the oil and improve the performance of the machinery.
The Microbotz® are a visual and symbolic representation of what Afton’s Industrial additives are doing day in and day out, within the lubricants of Industrial equipment worldwide as they protect and enhance performance.
Afton Industrial is in the process of developing a limited-edition box set of Microbotz® Guides to Industrial Lubricants: one for each of the seven major Industrial lubricant categories. Each Guide is designed to help navigate through the complex world of Industrial end-use applications, lubrication needs, key OEMs, significant tests and specifications as well as explain the Afton industrial Product range.
Fiction…too much antifoam/defoamant will throw off the delicate surfactant balance in your fluid and could lead to other problems and to fall out.
The first step would be to identify the root cause of the foam formation which can often be an equipment issue such as incorrect fluid level or poor routing of the lubricant return.
If that doesn’t work, then consult the Afton additive experts. There may be a formulation modification that is more appropriate than overdosing your antifoam.
Finding zinc in equipment where zinc free lubricant has been used is a common occurrence. It can come from a number of sources such as:
Galvanised steel components
Zinc leaching from brass components
Residual system lubricant when switching from zinc to zinc free lubricants
It is extremely unusual for a lubricant classed as zinc free to contain zinc, as modern quality control procedures will ensure that the the correct production and flushing regimes are used to prevent zinc contamination.
Tackifiers are typically used in vertical machine tool slideway application to enhance adhesion properties of the lubricant to the slideway surface. In addition lubricants containing tackifiers may show enhanced performance in applications with a tendency to high levels of water or coolant wash off, effectively prolonging the life of the slideway lubricant.
Tackifiers can also be used in other applications such as preventing lubricant fling-off in wire ropes and chain lubricants, as well as preventing lubricant misting in rockdrills.
In machine tools, a spindle is a rotating axis of the machine, which often has a shaft at its heart. The shaft itself is called a spindle, but also, in shop-floor practice, the word often is used metonymically to refer to the entire rotary unit, including not only the shaft itself, but its bearings and anything attached to it, such as a chuck.
For spindles that are used in a machine shop type environment, then any of our R&O additives are appropriate. In some cases, the customer may want a spindle oil with antiwear performance. Such oils are sometimes used in less expensive or older equipment, particularly where sleeve bearings are used. In this instance customers can use one of our EP turbine packages, or top treat an R&O package with an antiwear additive such as HiTEC® 511T.
The additive used for spindle oils must provide adequate levels of rust and corrosion performance, as well as oxidation stability.
Afton has a range of R&O additive packages such as HiTEC 2607 and HiTEC 566 that can be used in spindle oil application. HiTEC 1505 would be a suitable solution for applications requiring EP/antiwear characteristics.
Multipurpose grease additives benefit the grease manufacture process by:
Reducing multiple component inventories
Introducing a single stage additive introduction process to blending
Ensuring consistent product quality
Afton Chemical has a range of multipurpose Multifunctional Componentry that provides differentiation and defined performance, please contact us to discuss your specific needs.
Water ingress into the turbine sump oil cause an emulsion resembling a milkshake, preventing the lubricants ability to protect the critical bearings and control valves, plugging filters and damaging bearings leading to turbine failure and shutdown. Water ingress is more common in steam turbine systems, but can also manifest itself in gas turbines through cooling systems and condensation formation when the turbine fluctuates in temperature through start-stop operation.
Often this problem is resolved by replacing the lubricant, but this is a short term fix as the problem usually returns quickly. Sometimes a demulsifier top treat is added to the system to resolve the issue, but again this is a short term fix.
A turbine lubricant formulated with a proven additive system and good selection of base oil will provide a lubricant designed to retain its performance attributes, including water separation, throughout its service life will eliminate this type of reoccurring issue.
Turbine lubricants are a critical component of a turbine. Any deterioration in performance could lead to turbine shutdown, and potentially create a huge bill in terms of equipment repairs and lost revenue.
With this in mind, the careful selection of additive chemistry is a critical stage in the formulation of turbine lubricant.
A good turbine lubricant must:
Create a hydrodynamic oil film to prevent destructive metal-to-metal contact between the turbine shaft and bearings
Protect internal surfaces from rust and corrosion
Quickly transport excess heat away from bearings to the oil coolers and maintain even heat distribution
Transport particulate material to filters for removal
Transport moisture to the dryers
Prevent by-products of oxidation being deposited on any lubricated parts
Neutralize acid by-products of oil oxidation
Protect any integral gear surfaces and bearings from wear
Act as the hydraulic control fluid to control the turbine’s speed and power
Lubricate oil circulation and jacking (lift) pumps
Protect all parts of the turbine system under all operating conditions from cold start to hot shut down
Good turbine lubricant additive systems are formulated to provide maximum protection to critical turbine systems, with emphasis on control of oxidation and its by products.
Zinc additive chemistry typically zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) have traditionally been use as an antiwear additive in hydraulic lubricants. It is often thought the zinc component of the ZDDP offers the antiwear protection; however this is not the case. It is the phosphorus containing component which forms a surface layer which, under pressure, forms a phosphorous glass on the metal surface that provides antiwear protection.
In zinc-free anti-wear hydraulic oils an alternative carrier delivers the phosphorous compound to the metal surface allowing the formulation of antiwear hydraulic oils without the presence of zinc.
Hydraulic lubricants based on zinc additive technology have been the mainstay of hydraulic circuits for decades and remain a popular choice today. This said the number hydraulic lubricants containing alternative (and often better) zinc free chemistries are on the rise.
Compatibility of lubricants with gear box seals is required to avoid both lubricant leaking from the gear box, as well as to prevent external contaminants entering the gear box. Both static seal immersion tests and dynamic rotating shaft seal evaluations are performed to ensure lubricant compatibility, on a wide variety of seal materials. Commonly nitrile (NBR) and fluoroelastomer (FKM) materials are found in the gear box, and tests focus attention on these materials.
STATIC SEALS TESTING
Static seal tests reflect the lubricant interaction with a non-dynamic seal such as a casing gasket. A typical test method used for static seals testing both by OEMs and in industry standards is ISO 1817. In this test method, test samples of a specified shape and thickness are first cut from a sheet of seal material, and examined for:
Elongation at break
Following immersion in lubricant for a specified temperature and duration, the seal material is re-examined and the change in these parameters reported.
Most specifications define maximum and minimum change limits for these seal characteristics.
DYNAMIC SEAL TESTING
Dynamic seals testing examines compatibility of lubricants with radial shaft seals and is designed to examine seal compatibility in an environment closely related to that of a gear box input and output shafts. An example test method for dynamic seals testing is DIN 3761, the test method used by seals manufacturer Freudenburg. In this test method either two or three radial shaft seals (Simmerrings) are tested depending on the seal type under examination.
The test chamber is filled with lubricant to half way up the shaft. The shaft is rotated, at a speed, and time period with the oil held at a set temperature dependent on the seal and lubricant type under examination. Shaft speed is typically in the range of 2000 – 3000 rpm, with test duration being between 768 hours and 1008 hours. Typical test temperatures are 80°C for NBR seals and 90°C to 110°C for FKM seals.
At the end of the test the seal will usually undergo a visual examination of the radial shaft seal lip by microscope, as well as documentation if leakage has occurred, and measurement of running track width at sealing edge, depth of shaft run in, radial force, and interference.
Each OEM has their own specific limits and requirements for this test and in general results are best discussed with the OEM.
A good additive system will enable an industrial gear lubricant to protect both dynamic and static seals from damage and prevent excessive swelling or shrinkage that could lead to lubricant leakage during use.
Water or particulate contamination can be potentially serious, but the effect of contamination depends largely on its nature:
'Soft’ particulates such as sludge are less likely to cause wear or direct damage to metal parts, but these can clog filters and lubrication systems causing insufficient flow and lubricant starvation
'Hard’ particles such as rust and abrasive wear products can be abrasive, causing a high rate of wear to gears, bearings and other metal parts
Water can cause corrosion and oxidation of metallic parts, and can also create reaction products (e.g. acids) which affect the system adversely
A lubricant formulated with a good additive system will help reduce the causes of contamination, as well as improve filterability to further reduce the presence of soft and hard particulate matter. Contamination can be further mitigated by proper filtration, sealing and maintenance procedures.
Industrial Gear lubricants primarily protect gearboxes against:
• Micropitting (grey staining)
Industrial gear lubricants also protect gears from damage by:
Inhibiting foam formation
Clearing away contaminants or wear particles
Preventing lacquer or carbon deposits
Resisting oxidation and keeps degradation products in suspension
Lubricating and protecting seals and bearings
Gear lubricants stand apart from other industrial lubricants because of their ability to carry extreme pressure (EP) loads with minimal gear damage. Good industrial gear lubricants can achieve a failure load stage 14 in the FZG scuffing test (which is an industry standard measure of wear), near the upper limit of test capability.
The lubricant chemistry is a critical component in any industrial gearbox, but its vital role is often underestimated. A well formulated industrial gear lubricant will protect the gearbox from the effects of high loads, heat and air entrainment, while also protecting seals, coatings and other plastic materials from chemical attack. The choice of lubricant chemistry can make the difference between reliable performance and equipment failure.