MRO Magazine

Specialty lubricant headed on trans-Antarctic expedition


February 21, 2013
By PEM Magazine

A specialty lubricant from Dow Corning is heading to the Antarctic on a record-breaking expedition during extreme polar winter temperatures. The Coldest Journey expedition team members selected Molykote 55 O-ring grease as they bid to complete the first-ever trans-Antarctic crossing during the polar winter.

It was chosen because of its ability to meet the challenges of equipment reliability in extreme environments. It is expected to provide dynamic lubrication for mission-critical rubber-to-metal seals with excellent elastomer compatibility, corrosion protection and high oxidation resistance. It slightly swells rubber O-rings to help ensure positive lubrication and sealing.

The expedition team of five people will cover 2,000 miles—mostly in darkness, at temperatures as low as –89.9°C. In total, the team will spend an estimated six months—Mar. 31 through Sept. 31, 2013—on the ice. The anticipated challenges of the polar winter required the team to conduct extensive research and testing to identify supplies and equipment that would work best under the demanding environmental conditions.