Case Study: Lubricating Bearings with Molykote® BG-20 Grease

In this article, we explore how Molykote BG-20 was used to successfully lubricate the bearings of the Great American Scream Machine rollercoaster owned by Six Flags Great Adventure.

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great american scream machine lubricated with molykote® bg-20

Case Study: Lubricating Bearings with Molykote BG-20 Grease

In order to understand how industrial experts were successful in lubricating bearings with Molykote® BG-20 High-Performance Grease, we will explore the context, the problem and the way it was solved.

The Client

The client for this project was a large theme park operator. They have various rollercoasters which require frequent maintenance to ensure safety and quality. One such rollercoaster, which was the focus of this project, was a well-renowned rollercoaster among enthusiasts.

The Problem

A 3,600-foot-long roller coaster required its bearings to be lubricated throughout the heat of summer and the cold of winter, in order to stay smooth and pass safety standards. Originally the bearings were put in an oil bath; however, the oil caps sometimes came off as a result of the pressure, causing leakages. The oil baths were therefore replaced by manually pumped grease. This grease required to be replenished once every seven to ten days, due to occasional leakages. As this grease was very expensive, it caused a financial concern for the client.

They, therefore, required a more cost-effective grease that was able to withstand a wide range of temperatures, flow easily between the inside and outside bearings and not exert any drag force on the wheels.

The Solution

The operator contacted Molykote® representatives about this problem, who suggested Molykote® BG-20 High-Performance Synthetic Grease as a solution.

Molykote® BG-20 is a polyester grease with lithium complex thickener. It has the temperature resilience of silicone grease, effective between -45°C to 180°C, in addition to the high load-carrying capacity of solid lubricant-containing organic greases. This grease is ideal for applications that undergo high temperatures, extreme pressure or high speed.

The Benefits

Molykote® BG-20 provided effective lubrication, over a large temperature range, to the rollercoaster at one fifth the price of the original grease used. The park operators tried out this material in one-half of a 7-car train for one season, during which they had no failures, additional drag forces or unnecessary costs.

In addition, Molykote® BG-20 contains no lead or nickel, provides long-term lubrication due to low oil evaporation and low tendency towards oxidation, and is suitable for very high rotational speeds (DN value 750,000).

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