MRO Q&A: What are the top food-grade greases to use in a bakery?

MRO Q&A is a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants.

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Q. I have problems with bearings failing on a food bakery line. My problems are heavy loads, heat and friction (350-400DEG F) and contaminants (water, dust, flour, metal shavings, acids, caustics, etc.). What are the top food-grade greases to use in a bakery?

A.
That’s an extremely severe operating environment, and the solution should be approached one condition at a time. The No. 1 consideration is that this is used in a bakery, therefore the grease must be an NSF H1-registered product.

The ability to carry heavy load is covered by the Timken EP rating of the grease, and with heavy loads a grease with a Timken of 40lb Ok load is required. The heat and friction consideration would be covered by the dropping point of the grease. The dropping point must be higher than the expected operating temperature range.

When dealing with contaminants such as cleaning solutions and water, a grease must have an excellent water washout rating. So in this case I would recommend a grease with a NLGI No. 2 rating that is NSF H1 registered, has a Timken load OK rating of 40 lbs., has a dropping point of 500DEG F, and has a water washout rating of under 9 percent. By the way. one grease that would satisfy all the above requirements would be Clarion Food Machinery HT EP Grease No. 2.

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