Regain Services : Lubrication & Filtration Upgrade

Regain Services process spent carbon taken from the aluminium smelting process at Alcoa Pt Henry, grinding the product down to a fine powder via means of an industrial ball mill.

The ball mill runs on large hydrodynamic bearings that are lubricated with VG 220 industrial gear oil pumped via a hydraulic power unit with gravity feed drain lines from the bearing housings back to tank.

Unfortunately the original system was supplied with insufficient cooling and filtration for Regain’s specific requirements, requiring filter changes almost every month and shutdowns of the mill due to excessive bearing temperatures on moderately warm days. The unit was also not installed with sufficient fall rates on the drain lines resulting in significant amounts of fluid pumped out of the main bearing seals on cold start ups.

Hydraulics Australia were commissioned to iron out all these issues. The power unit was relocated to a cooler position outside the mill enclosure and much larger 2.5″ hard piped drain lines were installed with a fall rate in excess of the required 1:6 rate required. An off line “Stand alone” cooler pump unit was also installed and filter sizes doubled.

Flow to the bearing units could now be increased to the maximum system flow available of 20 L/min without any loss of fluid on cold start up. The maximum tank temperature of the lubricating oil can now be maintained below 40C, even on days where the ambient temp reaches 40C and the filter changes pushed out to four months!