Top five things to consider when selecting gearbox oil

When making a gearbox purchase decision, oil is a seemingly small detail but can make a huge difference in your gearbox’s life.

no oil required

STOBER knows oil may seem like a small detail, but makes a huge difference in the life of a gearbox.  That’s why we evaluate our lubrication thoroughly—our Exxon Mobil lubrication has undergone substantial testing and analysis to ensure your application requirements are met.  Our oil plugs use neodymium magnets, which remove any contaminants.

Here are the top five things to consider when selecting gearbox oil:

  • What type of oil do I need for my application?

Synthetic oils generally have a wider operating temperature and oxidation rate, but mineral oils are suitable for most applications.  Oil can be formulated for specific applications such as food and beverage.  Synthetic lubrication can have an increased life expectancy over mineral oil. Make sure to also consider the oil’s viscosity, operating temperature, oxidation rates, and application requirements during selection.

  • What tests are done on the oil?

As the gearbox operates and the oil expands, pressure builds inside the unit.  The user must ventilate the gearbox if the unit is unable to compensate for thermal expansion.  

Most oil companies will perform a Flender Test to determine if antifoaming additives are needed.  Compatibility with bearings and seals should be tested as oil can harden the seal material and cause leaks between the seal and gearbox shaft.  

  • What is the oil’s composition?

An oil’s composition should always account for application considerations.  Certain applications may need extreme pressure additives, oxidation stabilizers, corrosion protection, or friction and wear reducing characteristics to avoid premature failure.

  • Who controls the oil composition?

Oil manufacturers should be responsible for the composition of oil by inserting additives to a base oil.  Be sure to ask if the gearbox manufacturer makes any changes to the oil and if it is rated for the intended application specs.

  • How is the oil filtered?

Some contaminants have the potential to remain after parts are machined and washed.  Metal shavings can float in the oil and reach the seals, which can cause seal damage and cause potential leaks.  Some companies use magnetic oil plugs to extract these contaminants from the oil.

Oil is one of the most vital parts of a gearbox, yet many manufacturers treat it as an afterthought.  Leaking gearboxes are a maintenance nightmare – especially in food or beverage applications. 

When you use STOBER products, you can rest assured that your gearbox oil is fully evaluated to match your application and product needs. Plus, no oil changes are required on STOBER products, saving you time and money.

Check out our free download to see why oil differences matter.