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What Do You Need to Know When Selecting Industrial Gear Oils?

When it comes to selecting oils or lubricants for industrial gears, you should take many factors into consideration. Some of those factors are viscosity, additives, and type of base oil. We will uncover each aspect in great detail and also find out the significance of each factor. The more educated you are about the selection process, the better the choices you will make. Now, without further ado, let’s have a look at the selection criteria!

What Are The Criteria For Selecting The Best Gear Oil?

As discussed, there are three crucial factors you should consider before choosing the appropriate gear oil. They are as follows:

  • Viscosity – This is often considered one of the most important parameters of good gear oil.
  • Additives – The additives used in the gear oil indicates the lubricant’s general category wither its extreme pressure or non-extreme pressure which also depends on operating conditions.
  • Base oil type – The type of the base oil used wither it is mineral or synthetic must be determined by the operating conditions and gear type.


There are various grades and choosing the appropriate viscosity grade is the key. First of all, find out the manufacturer requirements mentioned in the operating manual or manufacturer website. There are several viscosity grades available the selection also depends on operating conditions. The table below shows the different viscosity grades available:

Additive Selection

After selecting the viscosity grade, the basic type of lubricant must be chosen. While there are many variations, gear lubricants can generally be placed into two categories: R & O and EP.

This stands for rust and oxidation, extreme pressure respectively. Rust and oxidation inhibited (R&O) gear lubricants do not contain extreme pressure additives. R&O gear oils generally perform well in the categories of chemical stability, demulsibility, corrosion prevention and foam suppression. These products were designed for use in gearing operating under relatively high speeds, low loads, and with uniform loading. They do not perform well or prevent wear under high pressure high temperature lubrication conditions.

Extreme pressure gear oils have some performance capabilities that exceed those for R&O oils. In addition to the properties listed for R&O lubricants, EP lubricants contain special additives that enhance their film strength or load-carrying ability.

The most common EP additives are sulfur phosphorous, which are chemically active compounds that alter the chemistry of machine surfaces to prevent wear due to friction under high load conditions.

Base Oil Selection

gear oil

High-quality mineral base oils perform well in most applications. In fact, mineral base oils typically have higher pressure-viscosity coefficients than common synthetics, allowing for greater film thickness at given operating viscosity. There are, however, situations where synthetic base oils are preferable.

Many synthetic base stocks have greater resistance to oxidation and thermal degradation making them preferable for applications with high operating temperatures and, in some cases, allowing for extended service intervals. Additionally, synthetics perform better in machines subjected to low temperatures due to their high viscosity index and low pour points.

The high viscosity index also makes synthetic products suitable for a wider range of temperatures, eliminating the need for seasonal oil changes. Some synthetics may also offer greater lubricity which reduces friction in sliding surfaces.

At Shield Lubricants we know what our clients look for. So if you are searching for the best manufacturer then you have come to the right place. Get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you meet your requirements.

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