Constant exposure to powdery dust and water in kaolin mining caused premature bearing failures in mills and filtration equipment at J.M. Huber's Sandersville, Ga., mines. Kaolin is white clay that adds brightness to paper, china and paint. Its particles are extremely small (about 0.2 microns) and they absorb water, making them both invasive and abrasive.
Equipment is washed frequently in the dusty environment, so bearings need a very water-resistant grease. When Huber decided its lube wasn't doing the job, ChevronTexaco created a new, waterproof grease for the application — Startak Red EP Grease.
"We tracked performance from six months before and after starting use of the new Texaco product and measured a 30 percent reduction in bearing failure after implementation," said Alan Pryor, J.M. Huber's director of global operations."