Anatomy of an L-37 Hypoid Gear Durability Test Ridging Failure
The ASTM D6121 (L-37) is a key hypoid gear lubricant durability test for ASTM D7450-08 (API Category GL-5) and the higher performance level SAE J2360. It is defined as the ‘Standard Test Method for Evaluation of Load-Carrying Capacity of Lubricants Under Conditions of Low Speed and High Torque Used for Final Hypoid Drive Axles’. Pass/fail is determined upon completion of the test by rating the pinion and ring gears for several types of surface distress, including wear, rippling, ridging, pitting, spalling and scoring. Passing the L-37 in addition to the other tests required for API Category GL-5 credentials, as well as the more strenuous SAE J2360 certification, requires in-depth formulating knowledge to appropriately balance the additive chemistry. This paper describes the results of ASTM D6121 experiments run for the purposes of better understanding gear oil durability.