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Truth or Myth: Using heavier oil/grease will extend remaining life of bearings/gears with known defects.

Or should we just use snake oil instead?

I have, in the past, seen maintenance managers, engineers, millwrights, or planners put heavier oil or grease into a component (gearbox, pump, bearings) that has a known bearing or gear defect. They did this in an attempt to nurse it along until a planned outage where they could repair or replace the component.

I am not talking about putting grease in a gearbox because the seal is leaking and you want to wait for an outage to repair.

My question is does this even help? I'm looking for some real research or studies that show it helps. I really don't think it does. The only thing that would help is an increase in the EP (extreme pressure) characteristics so that the film thickness in the lubricant would be thicker than the roughness of the spalled bearing or gear contact surfaces.

My question is this: Is there a study that shows using increased viscosity helps increase the remaining life of bearings or gears with wear defects? Or a study that shows this won't help.

Tags: extend, bearings, Truth or Myth, heavier, gears

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