Greasing Equipment at Some of the World's Coldest Mining Sites

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Posted: 06/14/2011
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13 June 2011 - Shell Lubricants has launched a new, improved range of Shell Gadus greases. The range is designed to meet the challenges of the biggest, fastest and largest equipment in operation today, in some of the coldest, hottest and most extreme conditions.

Shell’s mining customers operate in some of the world’s coldest regions such as the Russian Far East, Siberia and Fort McMurray in Canada. They are continuously applying grease to excavators and electric shovels at temperatures as low as -50°C.
The grease is applied to heavy-duty excavators and haul trucks to protect equipment and maintain performance, productivity and profitability. The climate of these regions can vary dramatically. In northern Siberian regions there are very short summers, and on any given day from December to February in the Fort McMurray region in Canada, the temperature can vary by up to 30 degrees. However extreme the conditions the grease must continue to work reliably to avoid unplanned downtime.
Equipment in use includes hydraulic excavators and haul trucks made by the likes of Hitachi and Caterpillar. The Hitachi EX8000 hydraulic excavator, for example, has a weight of 780 tons and a 40m3 loading capacity and is used at The Athabasca Oil Sands Project in Fort McMurray, where temperatures are as low as -45°C. Very good pumpability is required at these extremely low temperatures. Meanwhile, the world’s largest trucks, such as the Caterpillar 797’s, are using giant shovels to excavate ore and all year round Shell Gadus is used in these large electric shovels as temperatures vary from lows of -45°C to as high as 30°C at times.
JSC ALROSA is one of the world’s biggest diamond miners, with operations located primarily in the Sakha Republic in the Arctic and Subarctic region. The company has invested in modern, round-the-clock mining equipment with Centralized Lubrication Systems (CLS) that can process high volumes of raw material at fast speeds in the arctic ambient conditions. To help ensure optimum performance and reliability, their excavators now operate using Gadus greases.
Shell Gadus S2 V20XKD, Shell Gadus S5 V460 and Shell Gadus S5 U100KD* are all multipurpose, extreme–pressure, greases designed to work well even in the coldest conditions. They form part of the new Shell Gadus range offering the reliability, long lifespan and superior performance required for the latest generation of heavy-duty mining equipment. They have been specially developed for extreme low temperature application with very good pumpability and are easily dispensed through standard lubrication equipment. Two of the three greases contain molybdenum disulfide and a balance of additives for anti-wear, extreme pressure, load carrying capabilities.
Shell’s international research and development team works in close co-operation with customers and equipment makers to create new greases that come with quality assurance. Shell’s expertise also combines the cost savings available from the wide range of Shell products, and offers reliable global supplies.
Gordon Dillaman, Global GM for Grease at Shell explains:"Shell Gadus is the new unifying name for Shell greases, creating one of the largest global grease brands. The range of products has been developed to deliver value through enhanced wear protection, long grease life and increased system efficiency."
Shell Gadus has also made it simpler for customers to compare product benefits and performance while taking into account other variables such as compatible thickeners, base oil viscosity, NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) grade and any other special performance characteristics that make a grease suited for a specific or unique customer challenge. To aid the selection process, the range is based around key tiers, each offering increasing levels of performance and protection, including: Entry, Mainline, Premium and Advanced, which uses the latest synthetic, high-performance technology.
The re-design of the Shell Gadus range is aligned with a refresh of the entire range of Shell industrial lubricants and Shell Spirax transmission fluids. It involved removing products with overlapping applications – or whose technology had been replaced by more advanced formulas – and improving choice by adding speciality and synthetic products.
For further information on the new Shell Gadus range, customers can visit www.shell.com/lubricants.