Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


A Free Running Lubrication Comparison of Commonly Used Bar and Chain Oil Public Deposited

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  • Chain saws are a common tool used by large logging corporations and family homesteads to manage forests, limb trees and buck lumber. A significant cost of operation is the continuous required supply of bar and chain oil. Consumers and logging corporations desire a lubricant with a high performance to cost ratio. Many users resort to purchasing bar oil substitutes such as motor oil or vegetable oil to reduce the cost of operation. To determine the performance of a given lubricant, one must first understand the current state of lubrication and how it responds to varying lubricant parameters. An experiment was devised to test the different lubricating abilities of six commonly used bar oils. A premium and economy lubricant were selected in each of the three categories: bar and chain oil, vegetable based oils, and motor oils. Temperature profiles of guide bars were taken at steady state free running conditions using a laboratory chain saw test stand. Significant differences in average bar temperature were measured between the six different lubricants. Temperatures were found to be a good predictor of the state of lubrication, correlating well with drive toque and component wear. Temperature is used as a metric to quantify the amount of friction that exits between the bar rail and chain. The Stribeck curve describes a non-linear relationship between viscosity, velocity, and normal force with the friction coefficient to predict the lubricant regime. This response was found to also occur with saw chain through the varying values of viscosity measured over the six different selected lubricants. An optimum viscosity was found resulting in the lowest recorded temperatures and component wear. Viscosity was also found to have the most significant effect on lubrication performance. Additive lubricant parameters such as quantity of molybdenum, zinc and calcium were also found to have a positive result on performance. Through the combined results of the chosen lubricants, no correlation was found between the cost of the lubricant and the amount of performance it delivered. Testing showed the importance of using lubricants with correct viscosities and well-formulated additive packages.
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