Lubrication is an important aspect of maintaining machinery in proper operating condition. Machine elements such as bearings, journals, shafts, and joints require proper lubrication between their moving surfaces to decrease friction, prevent contamination, reduce wear and dissipate heat. Improper lubrication is likely to lead to premature component wear and component or system failure.
When determining the optimal lubrication between moving machine elements, many factors should be considered. These factors include the mode of operation of the machine, the type of machine element to be lubricated, the environment of the machine, the operating speed of the machine, the lubricant's viscosity, the lubricant's temperature, the lubricant's ingredients, and the lubricant's condition.
Prior art lubricators, such as the TRICO OptoMatic oiler, supply a constant level of lubricant within a lubricant reservoir to a machine element. The lubricant level is predetermined for the particular application and cannot be changed during the operating time of the machine to which the constant level lubricator is attached. Although this type of lubricator provides reasonable performance in many steady-state operations, multiple variables can create unacceptable operating conditions and lead to premature wear, or even failure, of machine elements. The variables include "on" and "off' operating modes (machine cycling), oil viscosity, machine speed, lubricant temperature, lubricant condition, and lubricant vessel pressure.
Other devices, such as the TRICO Hydrolert indicate by LED signals the status of the equipment's lubrication such as lubricant condition within acceptable levels, lubricant condition at the upper limit of acceptable levels, and lubricant condition immediate action required. This device is effective because an operator is signaled only when the lubricant condition is at the upper limit of acceptable levels or if immediate action is required. This reduces maintenance costs and productivity is enhanced.
There are various means that different pump manufacturers are using for lubricating bearings within a pump. The three most common are: 1) oil bath/splash 2) pure oil mist and 3) purge oil mist. Oil bath/splash is the most common means of lubricating the bearings.
Oil splash typically occurs by 3 different ways: 1) oil level is at the bottom of the bearing roller elements resulting in continuous contact with the oil 2) oil level is below bearings, and oil rings are used to splash oil to top of bearing or 3) oil level is either at or slightly below bearings and Flinger discs are used to splash oil. For pure oil mist systems, no flingers or rings are used. For purge oil mist systems, flingers, oil rings may be used in conjunction with mist system.
What method the pump manufacturer uses for lubricating the bearings depends on speed as well as various other various factors that affect the overall temperature.
The purpose of either a flinger disc or oil ring is 1) to provide lubricant to the bearing and 2) prevent thermal stratification of the oil (hot/cold). Traditional flinger discs are limited in diameter by the design of the housing. Oil rings
generally are capable of dipping further into the oil bath. An oil ring is typically equal to 1.6 times the diameter of the shaft.
FIGS, la and lb show prior art oil ring and flinger disk designs, respectively.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The flinger disc of the present invention comprises a disk that is flexible during installation and allows for submersion into the oil bath, as the traditional oil ring does. The ring can comprise polypropylene, but preferably VitonTM, or other oil compatible and resistant material.
In a preferred embodiment, the thickness of the disc is roughly Vi6" to Vn" and submerses in the oil bath about W. The flinger disc preferably has a steel hub to maintain concentricity and be positively secured to the shaft.
Also in a preferred embodiment, grooves are molded into the either VitonTM or flexible plastic disc portion at different diameters to allow for flexibility. Scissors can be used to cut out the required diameter and adjust the level of submersion into the oil.
Perceived advantages of the present invention comprise a reduction in temperature; increased bearing life; increased lubrication life; possibility to run at higher speeds; reduction in required oil level; maintain bearing life while consuming less oil; reduction in energy costs; elimination of contamination by wearing of Oil rings. Additionally, the flinger disc of the present invention advantageously provides: 1) same submersion level in oil as oil rings 2) not sensitive to horizontality; 3), not sensitive to wear and 4) easier assembly and disassembly of pump drive end.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1. is a side view, with portions broken away, of the workpiece to which the flinger disk of the present invention is advantageously applied.
FIG. la is a side view, with portions broken away, of a prior art oil ring design;
FIG. 1 b is a side view, with portions broken away, of a prior art flinger disk design;
FIG. 2 is a side view, with portions broken away, of a flinger disk being installed into the workpiece.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the flinger disk of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of flinger disk of the present invention;
FIG. 4a is a front view of an alternate embodiment of flinger disk of the present invention;
FIG. 4b is a front view of an alternate embodiment of flinger disk of the present invention, with portions being cut away.
FIG. 4c is a side view of a second alternate embodiment of flinger disk of the present invention;
FIG. 4d is a cross sectional view of the second alternate embodiment of flinger disk of the present invention, with portions being cut away.
FIGS. 5-8 represent performance graphs of flinger disks.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structure.