Molykote meeting the challenge of vibration
- Customer: Strescon Industries
- Location: Odenton, Maryland
- Problem: Vibrators used to de-air concrete were shaking off grease, causing premature bearing failure
- Product Selected: Molykote® BR2-Plus Multi-Purpose E.P. Grease
Strescon Industries needed a grease that could hold on. The company makes a precast hollow-core concrete roofing/flooring plank system with the trade name FlexicoreTM. The system is used in hotels, motels, schools, prisons and other commercial construction. The planks are manufactured by pouring concrete into forms 54 feet long, 2 feet wide and 8 inches thick. Each form sits on four pedestal vibrators about 2 feet tall.
Once a form is filled, the vibrators, powered by 15 HP motors, start up and shake the form for 4 minutes until all the air is removed and the concrete is consolidated.
The problem was, the air wasn’t the only thing being removed. Every time the vibrators started up, they threw off grease needed to lubricate the bearings. This caused excessive wear and premature bearing failures. Then operations had to stop while the bearings were replaced.
Plant Superintendent George D. Butler called his local Molykote distributor looking for a grease that would hold on. They recommended Molykote® BR2-Plus Multi-Purpose E.P. Grease.
Molykote BR2-Plus is a lithium-soap grease containing an optimum percentage of solid lubricants, including molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), in combination with other highly effective extreme-pressure additives.
It performs equally well under high loads at high speeds or low speeds and with reciprocating motion. This suits it particularly well for the vibrating motion of the Strescon machinery.
A Strescon worker cuts the end of a prestressing strand from a precast hollow-core plank. The plank is formed by pouring concrete into a form and vibrating it to consolidate the concrete. The vibrator is lubricated with Molykote® BR2-Plus Multi-Purpose E.P. Grease.
The Strescon application also imposes heavy loads on the gearbox and bearings. Molykote BR2-Plus is formulated to perform under heavy loads, reducing the coefficient of friction and metal-to-metal contact, minimizing wear and improving running-in conditions.
Under load, a boundary lubricating film containing MoS2 is deposited from the grease to the sliding surfaces so that emergency lubrication is available. Unlike the previous material used by Strescon, Molykote BR2-Plus holds on, which results in bearings that last longer.
The vibrators at Strescon run for 4 out of every 8 minutes and are greased every day. The company uses a 120-lb keg of the material every month. Strescon enjoys significant cost savings since switching to the Molykote® brand grease. Why? Butler estimates that bearing life is extended an astonishing 600%. Molykote BR2-Plus truly adds value and generates savings by reducing bearing costs and downtime required for bearing replacement.