Safety on train tracks requires numerous technical details to be seamlessly coordinated with one other. In order to maintain the status of rail travel as one of the safest means of transport in the world, focussing on what appear to be small details is often essential — just one of these small details is selecting the correct special lubricating grease to ensure that the wheel bearings, sprockets, buffers, switch plates and signalling systems can function flawlessly. As you would therefore expect, operators responsible for all rail-bound transport systems are looking for extremely long operating times with maximum operating safety as the main features of this important design element. The Mönchengladbach-based lubricant specialist, Rhenus Lub, has therefore developed a special high-performance lubricating grease for the highly demanding conditions associated with rail transport. The products have been tested using various sophisticated procedures and have now been approved for various applications.

rhenus BAC 0 high-performance lubricating grease impressed experts from German rail company Deutsche Bahn AG in one of Europe’s toughest lubricant tests — the product has now been approved for lubricating buffer heads, buffers, buffer stops and screw couplings. This innovative product can be used reliably in temperatures ranging from -50 to +100 degrees Celsius and adheres perfectly at the point of application in all weather conditions. rhenus BAC 0 lubricating grease can also easily withstand the immense pressures resulting from shunting and can also reliably absorb lateral shear force.

rhenus LKR 2 and rhenus LKJ 2 high-temperature EP lubricating greases can be used wherever roller bearings need to function reliably under heavy loads. Due to the highly effective composition of additives in these products, both special lubricating greases increase the operating time of wheelset bearings — particularly of those used by the railway operator in the Netherlands. To ensure that the trains remain on the right track, rhenus LDU 02 GR and rhenus CBG 03 special lubricating greases have been designed specifically for use in the flange lubrication for wheelset bearings.

rhenus LSN 04 and rhenus LWN 04 lithium lubricating greases meet the complex requirements applied by rail operators for switch plate lubrication. The two high-performance lubricants are water-resistant, easily biodegradable and UV-resistant, meaning they unite a high performance level with environmental compatibility. However, rail transport operators across Europe also place particular emphasis on the extremely good adhesive properties of the special lubricating greases from Rhenus Lub. These products reliably adhere to the parts requiring lubrication, even at low temperatures. They also stand out because of the fact that they can be applied easily — even in the depths of winter, these lubricating greases can be applied without any problems using hand-held spray devices or fully automatic sprayers. These properties of rhenus high-performance lubricating grease must first undergo a strict testing phase, which can last up to two years. The lubricating greases are thoroughly tested in climate chambers, under UV light and during a long-term test in practical conditions. Deutsche Bahn owns highly specialised laboratories for testing lubricating greases and oils for this purpose, as well as a specially designed testing machine for switch plate lubricating grease. Even the tiniest details of the manufacturing process used by lubricating grease producers is scrutinised. It is only after these extensive tests that a lubricating grease can be approved for use by Deutsche Bahn — and at this point, the product is approved for an initial period of two years.

First-class special lubricating greases are in demand not only for safety reasons, but also for the comfort of passengers. For example, on the latest generation of trains, the doors need to open and close quickly but also as quietly as a possible. Deutsche Bahn also relies on high-performance lubricating greases from Mönchengladbach for this purpose: rhenus LZN 2 lithium lubricating grease as well as rhenus CGN 2 and rhenus CYN 15 special lubricating greases impressed experts during a long-term test and are used in trains run by Deutsche Bahn AG. To ensure that Rhenus Lub can continue to meet the strict requirements set out by rail operators in the future, the lubricant specialist is continuing to focus its attention on optimising its special lubricating greases: “A high-performance lubricating grease combines very different properties, depending on the requirements of the relevant application”, explains Dr. Piotr Tkaczuk. “In our state-of-the-art laboratories, we strive to ensure that our products can go one step further every time when it comes to meeting the special requirements of rail vehicles subject to high pressures and high mechanical load, continuous use and pollution during operation.” This approach is what will ensure that it’s full steam ahead for the future too — with Rhenus Lub.