And developing nature reserve with safe lubricating grease for human and environment

Extracting gravel

Van Nieuwpoort Bouwgrondstoffen has been producing and supplying high-quality building materials for over 115 years, extracting sand and gravel from rivers, among other things. The company uses a bucket dredger with a so-called bucket chain that is maintained in-house. Unexpected heat problems arose after an overhaul of the drive. Research showed that the grease saponified due to the higher speeds and pressures. Interflon provided the solution with the heavy duty lubricating grease Interflon Grease MP2/3. The start of a collaboration that pays off.

Nowadays, the extraction of sand and gravel is always linked to social added value. With its own area development department, Van Nieuwpoort took its corporate vision to a higher level. We are now collaborating with various stakeholders on projects in which nature is developed, high water is safeguarded and an additional drage is supplied to recreation and living on the water.

Bucket chain

Ewout van Ommen works as a draftsman at Van Nieuwpoort Bouwgrondstoffen and knows: 'This whole new vision means that we take the environment into account in all our activities; also during maintenance. A good example of this can be found on the 'Alexander-Tarsos'. A floating installation that uses a so-called bucket chain. This goes over the bottom of the river and thus extracts the desired materials. A few years ago, this installation was due for an overhaul in which several parts have been replaced, including the bearings.”

After the installation was put back into operationAC, problems quickly arose with rising temperatures, which eventually caused the drive to seize up. Inspection revealed that all bronze bearing buses had broken down. Van Ommen: 'We were faced with a puzzle. A drive that had been running without problems for years and now suddenly, with new components, no longer pulls? We couldn't avoid the question: why?'

Analysis and help

After investigation with specialists, the problem turned out to be the fact that the lubricating grease – a standard EP2 – had become saponified. Probably due to the fact that production had increased a little further in recent years and seemingly exceeded the limits of this grease. Van Ommen: 'Because the components were a bit older when we increased the speed, they probably had a little more play at that time, so that the grease could still lose its heat sufficiently. With the new components, this extra space was no longer available and temperatures rose. It is also possible that something went wrong during the reassembly of the installation, which literally killed the grease.'

The conclusion led to the following question: which grease?

Van Ommen put his question to three suppliers: Mobile, Shell and Interflon. “For me, the latter is not so much a company as our regular contact person, who showed from the start that no effort was too much. He had already introduced himself before he introduced us to their products, but once you're running well and have no problems, you'd rather not make any changes. With this lubrication problem, however, there was a clear reason for renewed contact and he was really on the doorstep in 'no time'.'

Interflon eco marine lubrication

Heavy duty grease Interflon Grease MP2/3

Interflon proposed to use the heavy duty lubricating grease Interflon Grease MP2/3: a high-quality and universally applicable lubricating grease based on MicPol®. Thanks to the good adhesion, this grease ensures a good bearing seal and a long lubrication life interval. The heavy duty character also makes the grease suitable for applications where water, chemicals and pollution play a role. Van Ommen adds: 'Because the grease has very good adhesion, it will not dissolve so quickly in the large amount of water. Environmentally an important aspect.'

Moving forward

No more problems have occurred since the old grease was replaced. Every reason to also involve Interflon at other lubrication points in the installation, after which it was decided to start using the same grease here. Ewout: 'This prevents errors and is of course also easier with purchasing and storage. We are now using it for the lubrication of gear transmissions and certain axles that are completely submerged for part of the time. And now also at the sand dredger IJssel. I suspect that more grease changes will gradually follow.”


Ewout is particularly pleased with the collaboration with Interflon: 'You can get grease everywhere. But not the knowledge to get the right grease in the right place. This knowledge is readily available at Interflon. It is also nice that Interflon also indicates when something is not right and, moreover, reacts and acts really quickly. When you report a problem by phone, they are usually on the doorstep the next day with products that they suspect in advance would be suitable. Of course you pay for this, but the costs for downtime or fines for environmental pollution are many times higher.'

Interflon long lubrication life interval