Lubricants Lubrication Reliability & Maintenance Center

Protect Assets From Extreme Conditions

EP Editorial Staff | February 1, 2021

Assets that must operate in extreme weather conditions often require specialized lubricant products.

Though winter is the current focus, extreme environmental conditions occur throughout the year.

Maintaining machinery so it can operate properly when exposed to harsh environments is critical. Here are some factors to consider when the weather gets extreme.

Moisture

Whether it’s rain, snow, or sleet, rust can result, and preventing and/or removing it is an important maintenance function. Rust and corrosion can cause costly downtime or the need to replace critical and expensive equipment. Invest in long-lasting lubricants/coatings that protect metal parts by blocking rust and corrosion. If corrosion is present, choose a rust penetrant that can travel deep into crevices, threads, and seams to break the bonds that hold parts together. A good penetrant will also leave behind a protective layer that prevents future rust.

Extreme temperatures

If equipment is exposed to extreme heat or cold, everyday lubricants may fail. Instead, use a silicone lubricant that will withstand extreme temperatures. Silicone lubricants can also waterproof and protect surfaces from rust to reduce unplanned downtime and
increase time between maintenance intervals. If you need to lubricate high-speed bearings or heavy-duty equipment, select a high-temperature grease with a drop point of 625 F.

Dry conditions

In a dry climate, your lubricant may have a short shelf life. To reduce the labor and time required for frequent reapplication, select a thick gel lubricant that will provide longer-lasting lubrication. Since a gel lubricant goes on thick, it will stay where it’s applied, making it ideal for use on vertical surfaces. A silicone lubricant can also be used in dry temperatures to prevent hoses, gaskets, and other rubber parts from drying out and cracking.

Excessive dust

Dust, dirt, and/or sand can cause equipment issues. Unfortunately, some lubricants, required to keep equipment moving, can also attract those contaminants. A dry lubricant will prevent buildup and keep your equipment running smoothly. Dry lubricants are best used where cleanliness and maximum performance are required as they dry quickly, leaving behind a lubricating film that resists dirt, dust, and oil buildup. Dry lubricants are also good for reducing friction and wear on blades and bits, slides, conveyor belts, rollers, hinges, and power tools.

Humidity

Humid weather can cause numerous problems, especially for electrical equipment. A good electrical contact cleaner will blast away oil and dirt and help remove condensation from sensitive electronics and electrical equipment. Make sure the contact cleaner you select is safe for use on a variety of electrical components, including printed-circuit boards, controls, battery terminals, switches, precision instruments, and electric panels. Also, look for one that dries quickly so dirt and dust cannot accumulate. EP

Learn how WD-40 Brand, San Diego (wd40.com), products can reduce unplanned downtime and increase time between maintenance intervals by downloading a facility-maintenance guide at wd40.com/industrialsolutions/.

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