This is branded content for Petronas Lubricants International Australia.
Deterioration of parts and equipment can be a big cost for farmers and lead to lower productivity.
Knowing and addressing the most common wear mechanisms in key machines can help to minimise expensive repairs, maintenance and downtime in the paddock.
Petronas Lubricants International Australia (PLIA) marketing manager, Arash Salehi, said as modern as agri business had become, wear-and-tear on machinery and equipment was still a problem that could compromise competitiveness and blow-out farm budgets.
"Depreciation of equipment is inherent to the agriculture sector," he said.
"Due to the conditions of operation, the service life of parts and systems poses a big challenge.
"Completely mitigating wear mechanisms is impossible.
"But knowing what these are is the first step toward reducing the damage caused."
Mr Salehi said the mechanisms of wear were physical and chemical and occurred due to the interaction between a metal face - or surface - with a fluid.
He said the three "families" of wear mechanisms common in agriculture were abrasion, erosion and corrosion.
"Abrasion occurs from two surfaces in contact - where their roughness causes removal of parts of the material - or when there is a foreign body between metal faces - such as sand or dust," he said.
"Many particles - no matter how small - can damage the equipment.
"This makes the presence of dust one of the main sources of abrasion maintenance costs for farmers."
Mr Salehi said poor quality lubricants could lead to abrasion.
"When the fluid acquisition process does not consider the primary needs of the equipment and ends up acquiring another, of lower quality, it is common for the film to break," he said.
"This leaves the metal faces in contact and the roughness in friction damages the surfaces - causing micro pitting."
Erosion is another big contributor to agricultural machinery damage.
This occurs when hard particles come into contact with the surface and pull out the material.
"This removal starts to gain greater proportions that, if not studied and corrected, can lead to total collapse of the machine," Mr Salehi said.
"A good example of erosion action is in the shovels of fertiliser distributors.
"With the particles being scattered in the air, these end up bumping into the shovel at a shallow angle, which leads to the removal of the material from the surface."
Corrosion is another problem that occurs from the interaction of the equipment surface with the medium in which it is inserted.
This is a physical-chemical process of reaction to contact with rains, winds, or fertiliser.
It is more common in high temperature places and those near the sea.
Just replacing the affected part will not help if the reason for the degradation is not mapped and considered.
Other wear mechanisms, such as fatigue, cavitation and adhering, can occur with or independent of erosion, abrasion and corrosion.
"It is impossible to eradicate all wear mechanisms," according to Mr Salehi.
"But knowing which are the most common helps those responsible for the machinery to put them on the maintenance radar.
"Often, these can be the root cause of the failure of machines.
"So, just replacing the affected part will not help if the reason for the degradation is not mapped and considered.
"Being able to analyse the wear and tear in order to identify the mechanism that caused it, allows the manager to evaluate the best options to reduce it."
Mr Salehi said dust particles were a particular problem in agricultural machinery.
He said fluids that reduced the presence of dust and other impurities were highly valuable.
"The lubrication plan should consider the wear mechanisms when determining the needs of each piece of equipment - as these are costly assets," he said.
"It is best to use what is described in the manufacturer's specifications in the owner's manual.
The technical team from PLIA is on hand to help define the priorities for lubricating action and find the most suitable fluids.
The company has recently re-branded its range of lubricant products under the banner of the Petronas Ambra and Petronas Akcela brands.
PLIA has a strong reputation across Australia for its global expertise in the manufacture and distribution of top quality lubricants.
This has been built-up over two decades of operation here and in New Zealand.
PLIA works in partnership with many OEM manufacturers to design, develop and deliver Fluid Technology Solutions to guarantee consistent peak performance in the most demanding conditions.
Petronas Akcla and Petronas Ambra fluids and lubricants are engineered with a guarantee of quality.
The latest generation of its Professional Series of lubricants is specially formulated and meets or exceeds the top performance requirements of agricultural and industrial manufacturers across the industry.
"Season after season our Akcela and Ambra Professional Series fluids and lubricants deliver optimum protection, peak performance and assurance that what you're putting into your equipment is top quality," Mr Salehi said.
He said the company was well aware that agricultural machinery had to work at high temperatures and needed to pull heavier loads, which meant gas and diesel engines were operating harder than ever.
"It takes superior lubricating oils to stand up to the challenge," he said.
"That is why PLIA works in partnership with the agricultural and transport sectors to develop specific standards to achieve outstanding performance.
"It's difficult to control the external factors that lead to engine degradation and that's why it's crucial to have certainty over what goes into your engine's internal mechanisms.
"Our lubricants combat soot, sludge and engine wear, providing exceptional piston cleanliness and optimal viscosity.
"So, you can feel confident of your machinery's performance, down to the last drop."
PLIA engineers its products with the highest quality lube stocks and additives.
Each one contains a complex blend of ingredients specially formulated to meet the needs of customers.
The Petronas Ambra range of high-performance lubricants and liquids is designed exclusively for all agricultural equipment.
PLIA also supplies a suite of high and ultra high performance diesel engine oils for extended protection and enhanced performance of new and older engines; multi-use transmission hydraulic fluids for agricultural and construction equipment; hydraulic oil systems; gear oils; and coolants.
The company can provide quality greases and brake fluids, all designed with farmers in mind.
- For more information about Petronas Ambra and Petronas Akcela Lubricants, contact PLIA major distributors: Pacific Petroleum, Oil & Energy, and Kenway & Clark. Or,visit www.pli-petronas.com/au, contact PLIA on LubeSales.email@example.com or call 02 8833 4200.
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