Since the mid-1990s, the operating demands on universal joint shafts have risen significantly. In order to counteract the associated higher wear in the bearings, Voith Turbo has developed a high-performance lubricant. “Voith WearCare 500” – so the product name – has proven itself over three years in a field test and has shown that the service life of universal joint shafts operating in extreme conditions at slow speeds can be extended by approximately 60 percent. Voith Turbo supplies all large joint shafts (from a diameter of 600 millimeters) with “WearCare 500” as standard.

Torques and outputs in rolling mills have nearly doubled over the last ten years. This increased productivity – a result of new, high-output motors – has led to higher load collectives. These have a negative effect on the installed universal joint shafts, which have to transmit very high torques. Bearings are among the most affected parts of joint shafts when it comes to wear. Normally, the metallic contact between shaft body and bearing track is prevented by a lubricant. With reversing joint shafts where the roller bearings rotate in alternative directions, conventional lubricants are likely to spread away from the bearings – which can result in increased erosion.

Voith Turbo discovered this subject for itself nearly four years ago. Together with a renowned bearing and lubricant manufacturer, Voith Turbo, therefore, developed WearCare 500, whose characteristics outshine those of conventional lubrication products. WearCare 500 consists of a special lithium soap with unique additives that stick to the surface of the bearings. The lubricant is therefore kept in the roll gap, even with oscillating shaft bearings, and the metallic contact is drastically reduced.

The lubricant WearCare 500 is manufactured in a complex process, during which the additives are carefully folded into the basic oil and soap mix. It is free of silicone and copper and offers excellent protection against corrosion. WearCare 500 significantly prolongs the service life of universal joint shaft bearings. In field tests carried out over several years, WearCare 500 has proved itself excellently, extending the service life of the joint shaft bearings by 60 percent.

The high-performance lubricant is now in worldwide use. Even existing joint shaft bearings can be optimized, since WearCare 500 is compatible with conventional, lithium saponified lube products. Additionally, lubrication intervals can be extended, and even emergency operating properties after long periods without lubrication are noticeably improved. No wonder that Voith Turbo equips all new large, heavy-duty joint shafts with WearCare 500 as standard.