ASC’s General Manager Dylan Breslin shares some info on chisel paste and why it’s an important investment for your hydraulic breaker:
“How stupid do you think I am? That stuff is too expensive and a waste of money!”
This customer had just paid nearly $14k for an overhaul on his breaker. Six weeks later he was back in with worn out tool bushings and a chisel that the bushings had worn ¼” into each side. That customer spent an additional $8500 to learn that chisel paste matters.
As a repair facility we constantly see hammers come in with #2 grease being used on the bit and bushing areas on hammers. This presents a unique and often costly problem for operators as the melting point on #2 grease is much lower (less than half the temperature) than chisel paste. When the hammer is in operation, the up and down movement of the tool as well as the energy imparted into the material being broken creates heat.
Chisel Paste VS “Other Grease”…..
Chisel Paste is a high-performance grease that is specifically designed for use in hydraulic hammers and can withstand the additional heat and provide superior wear resistance through a combination of copper and other solid lubricants that standard grease does not contain. Other grease types will melt out of the wear areas and do not provide the same adhesion properties as chisel paste, leading to premature bushing and tool wear if not outright metal to metal transfer and ultimately failure.
We recently performed a non-warranty repair to a new breaker that had been severely oversped with no chisel paste, welding their custom working tool to the bushings so severely two 200-series excavators pulling against each other could not pull the tool out of the breaker.
When bushings exceed the wear specifications, this leads to a need to replace the bushings and therefore reseal the entire unit, costing the operator thousands of dollars depending on the size of the hammer.
Severely worn bushings can lead to piston failure as the tool cocks in the bore and is hit on the edge of the piston rather than taking direct contact over the entire surface which causes the outer edge of the piston to begin to chunk away. If a chunk gets drug inside the cylinder, the piston will grind the debris into the cylinder causing more debris and over time will ruin the cylinder. At this time, your breaker is not economical to repair, hopefully the debris was limited to the inside of the breaker and didn’t get into the hydraulic components of the machine.
Auto-Luber To The Rescue!
Chisel paste can be pumped into the hammer by different means. A single tube can be placed in a designated grease gun (don’t mix chisel paste and grease in the same grease gun. NOTHING will be adequately lubricated if you do) and pumped into the hammer per the recommendations stated in your operator’s manual which usually states a certain number of pumps every 2-3 hours.
Another way is to install an auto-lube system which is metered through a pump driven off the hydraulic pressure line, continually adding a controlled amount of chisel paste every time the hammer is operated. One thing to be aware of – not all autolubers use the same chisel paste tubes. Many have tubes manufactured to thread into their particular assembly. You can’t go to NAPA and grab a case of chisel paste for your autoluber .
This system can be costlier up front, however the cost can be reduced over time by purchasing a refill kit for the individual tubes.
Our recommendation is for an operator to install a new tube at the operational interval required per the breaker manufacturer and send the empty tubes back to the shop for refill. This ensures that the operator is physically checking that there is grease in the tube as well as making sure it is seated properly in the unit.