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Lubrication is a misunderstood yet essential part of mining operations

Lubrication is often the most misunderstood part of mining operations. However, it is one of the most important areas as it is essential to ensure mining equipment remains safe and fully operational.

Take wire rope lubrication, for example. Traditional wire rope lubricants are toxic and difficult to apply, often requiring complex and hazardous processes just to prepare the lubricant. Furthermore, wire rope lubricants often fling off during use and drip onto floors and surfaces, causing health and safety risks.

Poor-performing wire rope lubricants do not penetrate and lubricate to the core of the wire rope where frictional wear and corrosion is most dangerous, as it is often not visible to the naked eye. This can lead to rope breakages, with serious implications for operational costs, production output and the safety of mining personnel.

However, not all wire rope lubricants are made equal. There are in fact dramatic differences in performance in these key areas between the different wire rope lubricant manufacturers, notes Bearings International (BI) Offer Marketing Manager Victor Strobel.

Wire rope lubricants from ROCOL®, distributed by BI, solve important issues for mining customers, such as reducing toxicity, making application of the wire rope lubricant much simpler and safer, reducing fling off and dripping and, most importantly, penetrating to the core of the rope to stop internal corrosion and wear.

Other ROCOL® products ideal for the mining industry are dust-resistant bearing greases, as well as high-load greases for crushers, shakers, bucket pins and open gears and conveyors. For gearboxes that run at high temperatures, a high-performance gearbox oil has been designed to reduce frictional heat and wear and reduce gearbox temperature and noise.

BI recently added a ROCOL® product designed to eliminate re-torquing of all types of fasteners on mining and earthmoving equipment. Known as Cross Check, this visual inspection method can assist engineers, operators and foremen quickly identify loose bolts and nuts, as opposed to the conventional method of checking bolts with a torque wrench, which is time-consuming and labour-intensive.

Another ROCOL® product for mining and similar dusty environments is LPS 1, a superior and fast-acting penetrating and lubricating spray that does not attract dust or dirt, unlike traditional multi-purpose penetrating sprays.

With washing hands and cleaning surfaces more important than ever before due to the Covid-19 pandemic, SCRUBS® is a large ultra-heavy duty industrial disposable wipe ideal for the mining industry, as no water, soap or drying is required. It can be used to clean hands, surfaces and tools prior to using a disinfectant.

“Customers receive the perfect combination of both superior product performance from 140 years of technological advancement in lubrications from ROCOL®, combined with BI’s superb aftersales support and stockholding, available nationally through a comprehensive network of branches. This ensures direct support between the customer and manufacturer, while reducing on-site stockholding and stores management,” Strobel concludes.


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