Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Improved Lubrication Performance of Chainsaw Cutting Systems Public Deposited

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  • Chainsaws serve as one of the primary tools used by logging corporations, ranches, and farms for forestry management. Lubricating oil remains one of the heaviest operational expenditures for chainsaws. This largely in part due to chainsaw lubrication being a total loss system in which nearly all lubricating oil applied is expelled during operation. The majority of lubrication research is focused on mitigating component breakdown due to wear or the inclusion of more environmentally friendly lubricating oils. Little research is available to the public on the improvement of chainsaw lubrication so that less lubricant can be used during operation. Patents and products exist that aid in lubricating chainsaw cutting systems but few are capable of reducing the lubricant required. An investigation into the current lubrication method of a chainsaw cutting system was conducted using a standard sprocket nose guide bar and accompanying saw chain. Testing utilized a lab-based test apparatus for controlling and operating the chainsaw cutting system along with an infrared camera for collecting steady-state guide bar temperature measurements. Observation of the guide bar’s thermal profile during operation in a controlled environment aided in the design of a concept prototype. Preliminary free-running tests with varied oil-input flow rates indicated a 75% reduction in oil flow rate while achieving the same steady-state maximum guide bar temperature was possible using the concept prototype. Developing this concept further into a prototype guide bar, a free-running test was conducted to compare the prototype to the standard guide bar. This tested both standard and prototype guide bars at 16lb and 22lb chain tension along with oil flow rates of 0.8mL/min and 3.3mL/min. The prototype guide bar operated at lower maximum guide bar temperatures at the 0.8mL/min flow rate at both 16lb and 22lb chain tension settings. Lastly, three replicates of the prototype and standard guide bar conducted 1,400 bucking cuts from which the wear on the guide bar rails and the stretch of the chain were measured. The prototype guide bar rails measured less average wear than the standard bar at 0.8mL/min flow rate. The saw chains used on the prototype guide bar also measured less stretch than those used on the standard guide bars at the same flow rate. The testing conducted indicated the prototype guide bars potential for reducing the amount of lubricant required while maintaining a similar amount of component wear.
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