Lubricants News and Updates

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Lubricants

Cold Weather Awareness- Doug's Tip of the Month

 

Situational awareness and common sense are crucial for proper lubrication, especially in harsh environments. This applies to automotive, commercial, and industrial applications alike. Understand your equipment, its needs, and the surrounding environment for optimal performance and longevity.

Consider the following points:

  1. Ambient Temperatures:
    • Note the temperatures your equipment operates in, as they impact lubricant performance.
  2. Environmental Conditions:
    • Assess cleanliness and debris levels; adjust filtration or use desiccant breathers accordingly.
  3. Greasing Practices:
    • Adapt greasing frequency for cold seasons; choose the right NLGI for the application.
    • Follow the "5 Rights of Lubrication" to avoid over-greasing. 
      1. Right Product
      2. Right Application
      3. Right Amount
      4. Right Place
      5. Right Time
  1. Gear Box Inspection:
    • Monitor for vibrations or noise; early detection can prevent bearing or gear issues.
  2. Hydraulic Systems:
    • Ensure systems are sealed and free from dirt and moisture to prolong hydraulic fluid life.
    • Follow the rule of thumb: cleaner and drier hydraulic fluid lasts longer.

Considerations for specific applications:

Automotive:

  • Engine Oil: Choose the correct type (conventional, synthetic blend, synthetic) for the vehicle and environment.
  • Grease and Gear Lubes: Select based on NLGI, Base Oil Viscosity, and Viscosity grade.
  • Antifreeze: Maintain a 50/50 mix with De-Ionized/De-Mineralized Water.
  • Tires: All Season or Snow

Commercial (On and Off-Road) Equipment:

  • Similar lubricant considerations as Automotive, with additional attention to Hydraulic Fluids and Antifreeze for heavy-duty applications.

Industrial:

  • Hydraulic Fluids: choose the correct fluid for the application (AW, HVI, R&O, Turbine)
  • Gear Fluids: choose the correct fluid for the application (EP, Non-EP)
  • Heat Transfer Fluids: choose the correct fluid for the application (Flash Points, Operating Temperatures, Skin Boiler Temperatures)
  • Coolants: Metal Working Fluids – choose the correct fluid, what is being done? (Drilling, Stamping, Broaching, Forging), Neat Oils – Mineral base oils, Water Soluble (Conventional, Semi Synthetic, Synthetic).

In summary, the environment and ambient temperature significantly impact lubricant performance and equipment life. Choosing the right lubricant for the specific application and conditions is essential for optimal results.

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Fluid Management: Hydraulic Oils - Doug's Tip of the Month

Fluid Management – Hydraulic Oils

A common question amongst maintenance personnel is around the life expectancy of our Hydraulic Oils in their machines. For the most part, many maintenance personnel reply that they expect a very short time because of the aggressive environment surrounding the manufacturing equipment.

And this is true if we recognize that the oil will suffer just two adverse effects in the equipment: Contamination & Degradation.

Premium hydraulic oils are capable of maintaining their initial characteristics and protect the equipment for a very long time…..even several years in a properly designed hydraulic system and with a proactive maintenance program.

Rule of thumb: The cleaner and dryer that you can keep your Hydraulic Fluid, the longer it can stay in service and this will also help keep equipment in service.

6 areas to help extend the life of Hydraulic fluid while protecting equipment:

1. Choose the Right Product: Premium Hydraulic Fluids such as:

  • Fleetline AW Hydraulic Fluid
  • Kendall Four Seasons, Hyken or Megaflow AW HVI Hydraulic Fluids
  • Phillips 66 Syndustrial or Powerflow NZ
  • Petro-Canada Hydrex, Environ or Purity Food Grade Hydraulic Fluids.

A few Premium Hydraulic fluids characteristics:

  • Advanced Technologies in Base Oils and Additives:
    1. Keep the oil and system clean
    2. Have outstanding contamination control
    3. Have exceptional protection against wear
    4. Control demulsibility

2. Prevent Contamination:

  • Keep strict housekeeping control.
  • Change from metal screen breathers to a desiccant breather.
  • Use proper filtration and filters with an Absolute Ratio β according to your needs.
  • Segregate type of lubricants to prevent compatibility concerns.
  • Consolidate Inventory of Lubricants.
  • Fix leaks and the air intrusion in the equipment.
  • Do not use after-market additives or mix products.
  • Identify and ‘Lube Tag’ the equipment and the oil being used.

3. Avoid Waste

  • Repair leaks
  • Use the golden rule: The right product in the right place with the right amount.

4. Protect against deterioration:

  • Maintain proper storage and handling of hydraulic fluids.
  • In outside storage, stack drums horizontally or upside down to prevent water contamination
  • Monitor equipment operation to avoid: high temperatures, excessive air exposure, static or electric discharges.

5. Extend Useful Life

  • Purchase Premium products to meet your equipment’s needs.
  • Determine the optimum practical drain interval.
  • Establish a system of simple checks in the field to assure the integrity of the oil and its operations – Send in routine used oil samples to a laboratory. Monitor ISO Cleanliness,
  • Try to maintain and ISO Code of less than 18/16/12.

6. Personnel Training on Lubricants

  • Training generates experience and this is the base of an optimum use and preservation of the lubricants and the benefits that can be achieved.
  • Do not let unauthorized/inexperienced personnel handle lubricants.
  • Hydraulic lube oils are the heart and soul of your equipment - maintaining a staff that can take proper oil samples and interpret the laboratory testing results will pay huge dividends back to any operation.
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Differences in the RV Antifreeze Market & Stocking Up for Winter

Here at Dennis K. Burke Inc. we strive to only sell the best products to our customers. There has been a lot of confusion in the marketplace with RV Antifreeze and manufacturers have intentionally blurred the lines by labeling very different products all as “-50 RV Antifreeze”. This issue became much more prevalent around the beginning of the pandemic as propylene glycol became scarce and prices soared.

RV Antifreezes can typically be grouped into 1 of 3 categories:

The first category is alcohol based products (commonly referred to as ethanol based) which contain a variety of alcohols such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, methanol, glycerin, and methyl isobutyl ketone. While these products are common to see on store shelves everywhere, rarely will you see the ingredients prominently listed on the label. Not only are these products flammable due to the alcohol content, but they will also dry out the seals, hoses and gaskets. They can also corrode and leach chemicals from many types of piping. 

The second category is alcohol blended with propylene glycol. The ratio of alcohol to propylene glycol will vary product to product and can also vary batch to batch for the same product. Because there is no set standard for these products, they often cause the same issues as alcohol based products.

The third category is propylene glycol based products which are 25-30% propylene glycol and water to make -50 RV Antifreeze. Propylene glycol does not have the fire risk of alcohol containing products, nor will it damage the hoses, seals, gaskets and piping. In fact, propylene glycol acts as a lubricant that can extend the life of your seals. For these reasons, this is the only type of RV Antifreeze that Dennis K. Burke Inc. sells so you know your equipment will run Better with Burke. 

Alongside PEAK RV & Marine Antifreeze, stock up on other winter accessories with DKB! As the temperature drops, vehicles and machines require a little extra attention to ensure they run smoothly and reliably throughout the season. 

  • Dyed Ultra Low Sulfur Kerosene: A winter-ready, high-performance energy solution. Available in 5 gallon pails and 55 gallon drums.
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF): DEF is an essential component for diesel-powered vehicles equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. During winter, it is crucial to have an ample supply of DEF, as its freezing point is around 12°F (-11°C). Available in 2.5 gallon cases, 5 gallon cases, and 55 gallon drums.
  • Kendall Hyken Glacial Blu Hyd: Maintaining proper hydraulic system performance is vital, especially during winter. This fluid's low-temperature properties ensure smooth hydraulic operation, preventing any potential damage caused by freezing or thickening. It is a great solution for snow plow hydraulic systems. Available in 5 gallon pails and 55 gallon drums.
  • Fleetline Washer Fluid Premix -25: Driving in winter means dealing with snow, ice, and dirty roads. Fleetline Washer Fluid is an excellent choice with its antifreeze properties, it prevents the fluid from freezing on the windshield while effectively removing dirt and grime. Available in 4 gallon cases and 55 gallon drums.
  • PFC Undercoating Kit: Winter conditions often mean exposure to salt, slush, and other corrosive elements on the roads. The PFC Undercoating Kit provides a durable protective barrier, shielding your vehicle from the harsh winter elements and extending its lifespan. Available in 1 gallon cases.
  • Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement: A must-have during winter. This product prevents fuel gelling and lowers the cold filter plugging point (CFPP) to ensure reliable engine performance in colder temperatures. Available in 32 oz. cases and 55 gallon drums.
  • Kost DefendAl Global Auto ELC RTU 50/50: Keeping your vehicle's coolant system in good condition is crucial, especially in winter. Kost DefendAl Global Auto ELC RTU 50/50 is a ready-to-use coolant that provides excellent freeze protection and corrosion prevention. Available in 3 gallon cases and 55 gallon drums.
  • Power Service Diesel 911: This emergency anti-gel treatment quickly dissolves wax and ice crystals that form in the fuel line, preventing blockages and restoring fuel flow in no time. Available in 32 oz. cases.

Preparing for winter is a task that should not be overlooked. By stocking up on essential winter shop supplies with Dennis K. Burke Inc., you can ensure that your business runs smoothly and avoids potential winter-related issues. So, don't wait until the first snowfall! Get your winter supplies ready and enjoy a safe and trouble-free winter experience. Stay warm and stay safe! Contact us today: ContactUs@burkeoil.com.

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Preparing Your HD Fleet for Fall and Winter

As the leaves change colors and the cold winds blow in, it's time to gear up and prepare your heavy-duty fleet for the fall and winter seasons!

  • Think Colder:
    • Preparing for cold weather operation is a combination of several facts.
      • Verifying coolants are in optimal condition.
      • Verifying the correct engine oil and viscosity for cold seasons according to OEM recommendations. Lighter viscosity engine oils allow for easier startups in cold weather.
    • Training equipment operators and drivers of proper cold weather start-up and warm-up procedures. Keep in mind excessive idle time is as detrimental to equipment and lubricates as no warm-up time.
    • Thickening fluid can create resistance to flow through a filter which could result in filter damage or bypass.
  • Why Warm-up and Consider Using Lighter Viscosity Engine Oils:
    • Most of the wear in engines, up to 80% of wear, can be attributed to cold start-ups.
    • Using the proper or lighter viscosity grade of oil can significantly reduce wear because the lubricant can flow to moving parts of the engine much quicker.
    • Warm-up cycles for an engine should be long enough to bring the engine up to normal operating temperature which will minimize wear and improves the service life of parts, such as turbochargers, bearings, and piston rings. The need for DPF cleaning can be impacted positively by a warm-up procedure.    
  • Things To Test Before The Colder Weather Is Here:
    • Block heaters, which keep the coolant at a warm temperature when the vehicle is parked.
    • Proper sizing of a heating element is very important for ultimate coolant temperature. Also, just because the engine temperature is warm at start-up does not mean all the other parts in the vehicle have been warmed as well. Letting all components warm-up to normal operating temperature before working at 100% is very important.
    • With Diesel engines, the DPF checked and/or cleaned as it can impact the warm-up procedure.  
    • Testing DEF heaters for cold operation should be part of the schedule maintenance as DEF can freeze and could cause engine shut down.

Hopefully these tips will help you prepare your heavy-duty fleet for the colder weather! As always, if you have any questions or would like to go more in depth, feel free to reach out to us.

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Enhancing Efficiency Saves in the Long Term: Petro-Canada Lubricants

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting with Petro-Canada to discuss the benefits of their Duron line of Heavy Duty engine oils. There are a lot of resources available that we thought might be helpful for fleet managers and operators, so we are going to share some of the tools and info below and hopefully its helpful as you are looking at the numbers for your fleet and deciding on products and service intervals.

A large part of the group discussion centered around how using a premium engine oils can benefit end users ultimately by offering superior engine protection that extends the life of your equipment, extending drain intervals to keep your equipment operational a higher percentage of the time (versus downtime in the shop) and improving fuel efficiency, which both lessens non-work time spent fueling, and has a real measurable impact to your budget. There is a calculator available here :  Petro-Canada Duron Calculator that can give you an overview on fuel cost and idle time savings. If you would like to factor more variables in, give us a shout we have a scaled up version we can run through with you.

One of the interesting takeaways for me personally was discussing how too often we get caught up in the per gallon variances among lubricants themselves, where taking a minute to zoom out and consider all of the factors involved, the numbers work out differently. When we are talking about equipment that has landed costs in the hundreds of thousands, and consider that fuel costs are generally a huge variable line item for equipment operators, it really does seem like the longer term numbers make a little more sense to focus on, versus the order to order amounts on particular products.

One of the other resources to work with the calculator that maps out what products best optimized efficiency for different equipment tied to schematics of that equipment, which was helpful to look at for us. You can find those schematics here: Equipment Schematics

Hopefully these resources will be helpful to you. As always, if you have questions or would like to go more in depth on any of the products, feel free to reach out to us.

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Marine Engine Lubrication Basics: Tech Tip of the Month

 

Lubrication is essential for any kind of machinery onboard ships. The lubricant’s function in a Marine Engine is reduce friction, cool the internal parts, and assist in removing any debris or impurities.

There are a few main types of lubrication systems used:

  • Hydrodynamic Lubrication: In this type of lubrication, the oil forms a continuous oil film of adequate thickness between the moving surfaces. The film is formed due to the motion of the moving parts and the self-generated pressure. For example, journal bearings of Main Engine have hydrodynamic lubrication. A film is formed between the main bearing and the journal of the crankshaft with the help of a wedge formed by the rotating shaft. Thrust bearings with a tilted pad design also have this type of lubrication as they form a converging wedge to obtain hydrodynamic lubrication.
  • Hydrostatic Lubrication: Where oil film cannot be formed due to the motion of moving parts, the oil pressure has to be supplied externally. Such type of lubrication is known as Hydrostatic lubrication. For slow-moving heavy parts, their relative motion is not enough to provide self-generated pressure for lubrication and hence pressure is provided externally with the help of a pump. For example, many crosshead bearings design requires an additional crosshead lubrication pump to boost the pressure for crosshead bearing lubrication because the pressure cannot be self-generated.
  • Boundary Lubrication: In this type, there is a thin film between two rubbing surfaces, which might have a surface contact. Boundary lubrication is used because of relatively slow speeds, high contact pressure and rough surfaces. For example, boundary lubrication in main engines occur during starting and stopping due to the above-mentioned conditions.
  • Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication: In this type of lubrication, the lubricating film thickness considerably changes with elastic deformation of surfaces. This is seen in-line or at the point of contact between rolling or sliding surfaces, for example, rolling contact bearings and meshing gear teeth. Elastic deformation of metal occurs and there is an effect of high pressure on the lubricant.

 

The ability of an oil to react with an acidic reagent, which indicates the alkalinity, is expressed as TBN. It stands for Total Base Number. It should correspond to the sulphur percentage of fuel oil to neutralise the acidic effect of combustion. When high sulphur fuel oil is used for Main engines, a high TBN grade of cylinder oil needs to be used. When the main engine is a “change-over” to Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (LSFO) or Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil (LSMGO), low TBN cylinder oil needs to be used.

 

Correct lubrication is essential for efficient engine operation, minimize lubricating oil costs, and optimize maintenance costs. It is essential that the cylinder lubricators are correctly set and that the correct cylinder lubricating oil is used for the fuel being burned.

 

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Grease Compatibility - Doug's Tip of the Month

 

Grease compatibility is often a consideration for end users and suppliers when switching from one grease to another. Grease compatibility should be based on several factors: Base Oil, Thickener Type and Additives. The reason all three should be considered is due to the fact that grease consists of three main components – Base oil, thickeners and additives. Charts for grease compatibility can be contradictory and misleading because they base compatibility on thickener only. It is also recommended to know the application; seal material and metallurgy should be considered.

Compatibility studies are usually in accordance with ASTM D6185 test procedure. In this procedure grease is mixed in following at 90:10, 50:50 and 10:90 mixtures of the two greases are prepared by the prescribed methodology and tested for primary tests (i.e., drop point, shear stability and storage stability at elevated temperatures). Additional secondary testing may need to be done based on results of the primary testing.

Switching from one grease to another, even if incompatible, can be done with the proper steps and care. Although incompatible grease can be very detrimental to equipment and seals, following proper steps can help to eliminate damage or issues. Either a clean and dry component, new component or increase in greasing intervals, or emptying the system and recharging with new grease are just a few ways to switch from one grease to another. The term “Grease Incompatibility” can be somewhat over-rated and scary to the end user. With proper steps and consideration switching grease brands or types can be done without damage or concern for equipment.

In conclusion, following OEM recommendations should be first consideration. Always assume that greases are incompatible and follow proper steps to ensure equipment life. Using your supplier’s knowledge of their products can help to switch and even consolidate grease.

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Elevated Copper Levels in Oil Analysis Reports-Doug's Tip of the Month

What can High Copper Levels mean?

Recently I have reviewed many Used Oil Analysis reports that indicated elevated Copper levels. Although Copper is considered a Wear Metal, there are instances or situations that can occur where higher than normal levels of copper can exist. This can also be true with other Wear Metals like iron, lead, aluminum, and chromium, where the analysis readings were raised or lower than normal.

Back to Copper. There are many reasons why copper could be high, but it usually comes down to either wear, or the copper is leaching into the oil from cooler lines or components due to new equipment break in. By looking at other wear metals and elements such as tin and/or zinc for instance, equipment wear can be rules out or confirmed. If the other wear mechanisms are not present in the oil sample analysis, then most likely the culprit for high copper levels is in fact the oil cooler and components.

The break in or leaching of copper levels into the oil can be either slowed or increased depending on Diesel Engine Oil formulations. Sometimes, converting from one brand to another these levels of copper would increase or decrease. Therefore, it is always important to look at the analysis reports and the elements in it’s entirety before drawing any conclusions.

Most often we have seen these issues with Caterpillar equipment. In 2003 CAT issued bulletin SEBD9318-00 to address this issue. It says in part “These elevated copper levels can be dramatic. Customers that observe these elevated copper levels are very concerned about excessive wear or component failure. In most cases, the customer should not be concerned about these elevated copper levels: the condition does not usually indicate excessive wear and/or component failure. However, it is important to understand the cause of the condition.”   Again, it is important to review the UOA Reports completely to have a better understanding of the oil and equipment condition.

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Hydraulic Systems & Equipment  - Doug's Tip of the Month

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Quality hydraulic fluids have advanced formulations, high VI and the most advance additive packages to provide operating and maintenance benefits for increased productivity and less downtime. T

wo rules of thumb for hydraulic fluid are to keep it - “Clean and Dry”, because research and testing has proven that over 80% of hydraulic pumps wear and system failures are due to particulates and water contamination. Production downtime and labor costs for repairs often outweigh the cost of replacement of hydraulic components or systems. 

A hydraulic system can be complex with very high pressures. Most hydraulic system components have very tight tolerances ranging from 0.1 to 40 microns. Particles larger then allow tolerances can weaken the lubricant film and cause premature wear. Ingression of particulates (contaminates) usually enters the hydraulic system reservoirs or tanks through the breather cap. This is because a hydraulic reservoir will “breathe” every time the fluid is pumped in and out of an actuator or cylinder. Most particulate starts off as just airborne dust or dirt, then it finds its way into hydraulic reservoirs. From the reservoirs the particulates can find their way to the hydraulic pump and out to valves, bushings, seals, bearings, and other components. It is here that premature wear begins.

Filtration and quality breather elements are key to minimizing airborne contamination. Filtration and filter elements should be specific to the hydraulic system and its tolerances. This also holds true for a reservoir/tank breather element. Like a quality filter, a quality desiccant breather is one that: achieves the target level for “cleanliness and dryness”, has the capacity to hold and filter contaminants between fluid change-outs, but also should be easily visible for routine inspection during preventive maintenance.

Preventing the ingression of contaminants and water with quality filters, breather and hydraulic fluid is easier and costs much less then downtime or labor to replace a hydraulic system or components.

To summarize: Keeping hydraulic fluid “Clean and Dry” will extend the life of the fluid and the equipment.

 

 

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Doug's Tip of the Month - Oil Analysis Flagging Limits

An oil analysis report contains results on as many as 40 different parameters that each have acceptable ranges identified. The type of oil, its formulation, how it should be maintained, and the operating conditions all are considered when evaluating an oil sample and setting acceptable ranges. Also considering the type of equipment and the operating environment is just as important.

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An acceptable oil analysis program should consist of these basic components; standard processes for the establishment of normal ranges, along with the identification of limits and a reliable system for recognizing failure modes. Most labs offer comments and recommendations in the form of flags that are patterned after green, yellow and red traffic lights. Yellow and red flagged parameters indicate that a threshold has been passed and further action is required on the part of the end user; green flagged information indicates an item is within range, and is archived for trending. Some parameters, such as particle counts, only have upper limits. Other parameters, such as oxidative stability, only have lower limits. Parameters such as viscosity, that measure stability, have both upper and lower limits. There is not a universal approach for setting alarm limits. Also, some parameters and stats on the lab report are not critical to that specific piece of equipment, so not every oil analysis parameter needs an alarm limit.

Because oil analysis is as much expertise as formulae and there are so many considerations involved, most labs do not publish limit information. The issue for end-users is who sets the range and who to believe—formulator, OEM, lab, industry, association such as ASTM—and why.

There are four traditional absolute methods for determining oil analysis ranges and flagging limits.

 

These methods are:

  1. Industry standards. These are generic limits placed on machines that are grouped according to working pressure or type (e.g., gearboxes or hydraulic systems). These standards are generally considered baseline. Limits set by industries and associations often involve equipment with strict safety and reliability requirements. These limit values should be carefully considered.
  2. Statistical alarms. These are based on common distribution functions that are usually built into software.
  3. Trend-based or rate-of-change limits. These define an unacceptable departure from a usual level. There are three ways of developing trend or rate of-change alarms:
    1. Relative magnitudes. This identifies a significant change in magnitude.
    2. Rolling average. This compares the current value to the average of several historical measurements.
    3. Weighted delta settings. This uses a weighting method that requires a very large change to occur before an alarm is tripped for a small measured value. As the measured value increases, the required percentage change decreases.
  4. No predefined limits. These are judgment-based and rely on the availability of experienced analysts familiar with the type of machinery being monitored. A qualified technical data analyst will have relevant industry experience and bring value to the recommendations by considering a multitude of factors rather than focusing on a single test result and evaluating it without consideration of other key data. In addition to statistical anomalies, a data analyst reviews rates of change and the amount of time on both the equipment and fluid.

 

Consider working with your Technical Advisor and a Lab to help determine any changes to flagging limits for the end-user.

 

 

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