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Surface Engineering Associates Wear Resistant Coatings
Energy Mining

This simple formula is what makes the world go round. We pay for the energy and we get the work done. But we also pay for the heat, and that is the "Energy Mining" thesis. From power plants to steel mills to automobiles, heat is the ubiquitous parasite clinging to all of the mechanical work we do, and this "heat out" is the result of frictional wear. The exact relationship between wear and frictional heating varies from machine to machine, but we can show that reducing the cause will reduce the effect, with a net reduction in energy consumed, reduced "heat out" and as an added consequence, a net increase in service life.

The example below illustrates the energy loss problem for a power transmission application involving gearing used in a steel mill drive shaft, consuming about 5000 hp at 1000 rpm, reversing duty. These gear sets ran for 6 months but the damage shown below was not discovered until disassembly.

Most industrial applications will not exhibit the severe differences in boundary layer lubrication shown in this example, but all applications have some boundary layer friction and energy losses which can be re-captured with our technology.

These gears were on opposite ends of the same drive shaft, so loads and speeds were identical.

excessive wear and heat
Here we have work plus excessive wear and heat. These gear teeth failed catastrophically in 24 hours. The spalled pattern is the footprint of the initial failure, and the wider polished area is the contact patch that evolved after the introduction of the ACS additized lubricant, which ran for 6 months over these teeth. High contact stresses plus debris penetration caused failure of the lubricant film.
Coated Gear
Here we have the same amount of work done with no lost energy. These teeth had the ACS additized lube installed at the beginning of the test and ran under identical conditions to the upper gear for 6 months. Surface polishing is the only evidence of break-in wear. Superior boundary layer lubrication is the only answer for the difference in performance. Note that the risk of secondary damage from wear particles has been eliminated.

Every machine which transmits power is a candidate for energy mining analysis. Gear drives and worm gear drives are the low hanging fruit because of their sliding friction component. Making the switch from mineral oils to synthetics is touted by some as the answer, and this is a valid strategy, but our approach is simpler and more effective. A more complete report with a field trial methodology for new applications is available on request.

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