CRC 2-26 as a lubricant

 
  The railway dog Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
Does anyone have an opinion on CRC 2-26 as a metal bearing on metal lubricant? The product information says it's a lubricant.
I've got an old whitemetal tender, with whitemetal bogies that can't be dismantled, with dodgy electrical pickup.
I was thinking of trying this as a lubricant in the bogies to take advantage of its conductive qualities.
But maybe better to fit wire pickups.

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  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
G'day (name?),

Yes it will work as a lubricant and "ASSIST" with electrical pick-up via the axle pin-points.

However, it would also be advisable to consider fitting wipers to the INSULATED wheels of the tender to assist with the pick-up of the driving wheels.

Roachie
  The railway dog Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
RoachieQuick out of the blocks there...
The tender's a Berg's Baldwin job, fitted to an ancient Sentinel Z19. I've already fitted wipers to the insulated side, with less effect than I'd hoped.
I'm pretty sure it's a pickup issue though, as the teensiest, weensiest touch to the bogies will get it running if it's refused to start.
Wheels & track are clean enough.
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
G'day (name?),

Yes it will work as a lubricant and "ASSIST" with electrical pick-up via the axle pin-points.

However, it would also be advisable to consider fitting wipers to the INSULATED wheels of the tender to assist with the pick-up of the driving wheels.

Roachie
Roachie

It will also clag up with dust etc and become thick, therefore actually becoming a movement resistant, requiring regular flush out and replacement. It also does not really lubricate in the way you want, more of a release agent than an oil. silicone spray would be a better choice as the dirt does not collect on it.

Tony
  a6et Minister for Railways

RoachieQuick out of the blocks there...
The tender's a Berg's Baldwin job, fitted to an ancient Sentinel Z19. I've already fitted wipers to the insulated side, with less effect than I'd hoped.
I'm pretty sure it's a pickup issue though, as the teensiest, weensiest touch to the bogies will get it running if it's refused to start.
Wheels & track are clean enough.
The railway dog

What did you use for the wipers as they may not be sprung enough to maintain good constant contact with the wheels as you indicate touching the bogie brings it to life.

Don't knock the use of CRC 2-26 for both lubricant as well as electrical contact its brilliant stuff.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
At Hobsons Bay this year a guy was lubricating his axle points with a pressure pack can containing "stainless curtain track lubricant? Unfortunately I did not remember who it was, or what the lubricant was called. He said it is a dry lubricant and does not clog up the axle points attract dust etc.  But his stuff rolled freely for many feet with just a light push. (He was commissioning new vehicles purchased at the Exhibition) I dont think I would use CRC.
Cheers
Rod
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Interesting, the makers of CRC do not claim electrical conductivity as one of its properties, indeed for the applications it is recommended for it would extremely hazardous if conductive.

They also do not list 'lubricating bearings' as one of its applications either. It is way too thin for use on bearings, and would break down in a short time, this is why oils have viscosity ratings to suit different lubrication applications.

The only additive to a lubricant I have found useful is Silicone.

As for pickups making contact with wheels, I would never recommend use any liquid on the contact surface, as Tony says, it will become a thick kludge over time. Pickups need to be properly tensioned and operating dry against clean wheel surfaces.

As for lubricating pin-point axles and bearings, that defeats the whole idea of what a pinpoint bearing system is about. It relies on a miniscule contact area between the point and the bearing to work properly, any lubrication in there is completely superfluous. And to add to that, the small contact area needs to be scrupulously clean for electrical conductivity across the bearing, so adding lubricant will jeopardise that connection. Especially any lubricant containing silicone.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Since when has oil ever been regarded as conductive? It might say it's conductive on the packet, but packet statements are written by marketers not physicists. In order to be conductive your 'oil' would have to feature some 'stuff' likely to make it quite undesirable as a lubricant.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Interesting, the makers of CRC do not claim electrical conductivity as one of its properties, indeed for the applications it is recommended for it would extremely hazardous if conductive.
TheBlacksmith

I have only just bothered to look at the manufacturer's info on the product, and what I do see is dielectric strength listed at 51,300 volts - yeah, that's not going to be conductive.

Oh, and

Restores resistance values and helps stop current leakage.
CRC
  The railway dog Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
Thanks for all this stuff folks.

Yes, fluid put into those bearings will, as a secondary effect, attract crud which will add to both physical & electrical resistance. The design of these bogies makes it impossible to remove the wheels & hence cleaning's difficult.

I'm using .oo8inch phosphor bronze wire for the pickups. I'm a bit worried about wear but the length of the wire on these short wheelbase bogies means it's difficult to get a "springiness" with anything thicker. They do touch the wheels & have been tested for continuity.

I'm currently hoping dirt in the uninsulated bearings is the problem. And yes, we're starting from a bad place with pinpoint bearings. A mechanism specifically designed to minimise friction isn't an ideal way of picking up electrical current.

I find the product itself is a whiz for track cleaning. But you have to be thorough. It's so good at lifting dirt that a thorough cleanup's required afterward. Otherwise the lifted dirt happily moves on down the line to somewhere else on the next train that comes along.

As for my particular issue, the tender's now in the shops having pickups fitted to the uninsulated side as well, giving wire pickups to all 8 wheels of the tender plus pickup from one side of the loco. If that doesn't work, I've got a problem with it I don't understand.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I have only just bothered to look at the manufacturer's info on the product, and what I do see is dielectric strength listed at 51,300 volts - yeah, that's not going to be conductive.

Oh, and
Aaron

A check of the tin has a fair amount of detail regarding its abilities in the electrical world.  In bold under the CRC 2-26 is says IMPROVES ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES.

Around the back including other things it says Improves motor generator winding insulation resistance.  Improves electrical properties of electrical & electronic equipment, electrical navigation & communication equipment Relays, PC cards & module sockets/plugs. Elevator & escalator, controllers conveyors.

I once did not believe in puting any such substance on track, but the group I belong to has more than 30 members, most of whom have been in the hobby for years, at least 4 have electrical backgrounds, 95% of them use CRC 2 -26 for many applications including quartely or every 6 months giving their track an application of it over the whole layout, using a simple cork block made from a timber off cut, & 3mm cork glued to one side, spray the cork & lightly run over the tracks.  In hard to get at spots they squirt some on the approach to the area & allow an engine to spread it along the track.

They have had next to no problems with this method & overall have less problems with running operating sessions than those who do not use it.

As I said, do not discount the benefits of CRC 2 -26.
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
A check of the tin has a fair amount of detail regarding its abilities in the electrical world. In bold under the CRC 2-26 is says IMPROVES ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES.

Around the back including other things it says Improves motor generator winding insulation resistance. Improves electrical properties of electrical & electronic equipment, electrical navigation & communication equipment Relays, PC cards & module sockets/plugs. Elevator & escalator, controllers conveyors.

I once did not believe in puting any such substance on track, but the group I belong to has more than 30 members, most of whom have been in the hobby for years, at least 4 have electrical backgrounds, 95% of them use CRC 2 -26 for many applications including quartely or every 6 months giving their track an application of it over the whole layout, using a simple cork block made from a timber off cut, & 3mm cork glued to one side, spray the cork & lightly run over the tracks. In hard to get at spots they squirt some on the approach to the area & allow an engine to spread it along the track.

They have had next to no problems with this method & overall have less problems with running operating sessions than those who do not use it.

As I said, do not discount the benefits of CRC 2 -26.
a6et

Topic seems to have drifted off course from the OP's question....

However, at the risk of perpetuating the drift, I would just like to add that I have been using the 2-26 successfully for the past 6 months or so.

However, despite that success, I am always open to new ideas and recently read (somewhere??) about the use of solid graphite sticks to improve rail conductivity.

I bought (off ebay) a pack of 6 such sticks ( http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/291134883337?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649 ) and must say that these work very well too.

I initially made the mistake of trying to run the stick along both rails simultaneously whilst the layout was ON.....instant short circuit (obviously...DOH!!!). So, now I have a "V" groove filed into one end of each stick, so that I can place the V over an individual rail and run it along ONCE.

I'm not going to venture an opinion about whether the graphite stick is better than the CRC 2-26....let's just say I'm happy to use either/or.

Roachie
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Marketing is written by non technical people.

The CRC product and WD-40 etc are water displacement products and lubricants. They are absolutely not conductive, and unless you have moisture related issues on your pickups these products will be of precisely no benefit to you.

The graphite on the rails solution will be better, so long as it's the rail wheel interface that is the issue. It might be wise to consider the rest of the pickup arrangement too.
  The railway dog Train Controller

Location: Adelaide Hills
Aaron
Point taken about these types of products not actually being conductors. But the blurb on the CRC definitely creates the impression that it'll improve things in that regard.
I love a good discussion about track cleaning, principally because I can never decide which I prefer.
  FirstStopCentral Chief Train Controller

Marketing is written by non technical people.
Aaron

... for non technical people.

Paul
  a6et Minister for Railways

Marketing is written by non technical people.

The CRC product and WD-40 etc are water displacement products and lubricants. They are absolutely not conductive, and unless you have moisture related issues on your pickups these products will be of precisely no benefit to you.

The graphite on the rails solution will be better, so long as it's the rail wheel interface that is the issue. It might be wise to consider the rest of the pickup arrangement too.
Aaron

Ok, but there comes a line whereby others who have & do work in the electrical industry do make note of the benefits of the CRC.

I know of others who use graphite pencils & the like, but there is also the problem with them in areas that are not readily accessible, whereas the CRC is able to have the spray spread by the model.

As I said, none in our group, who use it on the track have issues with it, in fact there is more benefits with using it than without it. It is non corrosive & does not damage track or sleepers, its fine to be sceptical & that was how I was before trying it, my primary concern was to put any sort of lubricant on the track as it would affect adhesion & so far no issues in that area either.

If what is written & promoted on the cans is not true, then surelly its false advertising & promotion of the product & therefore illegal, wouldn't it?
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
At work we use a product called stabilant 22. We use this on aircraft electrical connectors. While this is also non conductive, initially, it does aparantly become conductive with electrical field presence. Another benefit is that it fills the microscopic voids on the surface of the pin and socket to improve the conductive surface area. This product is recommended by Pratt and Whitney and Bell Helicopter and I would say that this would be based on actual testing and product feedback.

Although CRC would not display a conductivity change like the Stabilant, the CRC may help in filling these microscopic voids with something more conductive than air, while also displacing other contaminants. Perhaps this is how they claim to 'improve electrical properties'?

Just a thought.

Linton
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
... for non technical people.

Paul
"FirstStopCentral"
Laughing I had that in there too, but removed it before posting.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
CRC will make all sorts of claims about what their product is good for, but you would have to take most or all of them with a grain of salt, as the claims are all generalisations, not to mention marketing hype.

The simple fact is that any liquid applied to rail will attract dirt and this will eventually have to be cleaned off. It does not matter whether you use CRC, Baby Oil or Chanel Number 5, the effect is always the same.

The best product for improving rail to wheel contact is graphite, as it is most definitely conductive, non-corrosive, and most importantly dry. It does not attract dirt and is also able to spread itself around the layout if you just apply it in one place. You can either use graphite sticks as Roachie does, or in powdered form, or simply use a graphite pencil to run along each rail.

I know of organisations that run exhibition railways that operate every day for many hours a day, and many of them use graphite to improve power collection.
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
At Hobsons Bay this year a guy was lubricating his axle points with a pressure pack can containing "stainless curtain track lubricant? Unfortunately I did not remember who it was, or what the lubricant was called. He said it is a dry lubricant and does not clog up the axle points attract dust etc. But his stuff rolled freely for many feet with just a light push. (He was commissioning new vehicles purchased at the Exhibition) I dont think I would use CRC.
Cheers
Rod
comtrain

That would be silicone spray

Tony
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
Interesting, the makers of CRC do not claim electrical conductivity as one of its properties, indeed for the applications it is recommended for it would extremely hazardous if conductive.

They also do not list 'lubricating bearings' as one of its applications either. It is way too thin for use on bearings, and would break down in a short time, this is why oils have viscosity ratings to suit different lubrication applications.

The only additive to a lubricant I have found useful is Silicone.

As for pickups making contact with wheels, I would never recommend use any liquid on the contact surface, as Tony says, it will become a thick kludge over time. Pickups need to be properly tensioned and operating dry against clean wheel surfaces.
TheBlacksmith

The makers do not claim it because they can't, as I said it is a water displacement, that is how it "improves contact" it is best used on old ignition systems to get the water out thereby preventing a short in the HT of the distributor so that the engine will start. Note that most modern cars are better protected so it is not needed.

So unless you are running your trains through puddles there is not much use for it.

Tony
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
Since when has oil ever been regarded as conductive? It might say it's conductive on the packet, but packet statements are written by marketers not physicists. In order to be conductive your 'oil' would have to feature some 'stuff' likely to make it quite undesirable as a lubricant.
Aaron

It is designed to give a perceived benefit to up the sales. A bit like snake oil.

Tony
  miktrain Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide SA
A check of the tin has a fair amount of detail regarding its abilities in the electrical world. In bold under the CRC 2-26 is says IMPROVES ELECTRICAL PROPERTIES.

Around the back including other things it says Improves motor generator winding insulation resistance. Improves electrical properties of electrical & electronic equipment, electrical navigation & communication equipment Relays, PC cards & module sockets/plugs. Elevator & escalator, controllers conveyors.
a6et

That means resistance to shorts via water.

Tony
  a6et Minister for Railways

That means resistance to shorts via water.

Tony
miktrain

So does the similar product CRC 2- 56 which is a different product.

Anyway as I am a commoner not an engineer or the like it would not be good for the common person to find something that works which is not supposed to, but has also been found to work by very experienced electrical trades people & use in on their layouts, which to me makes me wonder why they use & reccomend it.  Interesting thing as well it does not create any problems rather fixes a lot.

At the end of the day Que Sera Sera.
  sunnysa Junior Train Controller

The topic of track/wheel cleaning is a topic that has been done to death.

Having said that I will throw a product in the ring that no one has mentioned.

TRACK MAGIC.  Google it.

My layout is in an unlined tin shed and using TM my track is cleaned every 4-5 months whether it needs it or not.

TM is non corrosive, will not affect anything, has no odor.

TM sounds to good to be true but believe me it is.

I also clean loco wheels etc with TM. Not very often though as with TM don't have to

Sounds expensive at $16.95 for 50ml bottle but it goes a long way and the infrequent use required IMO it is not expensive.

I apply TM to track with a CMX clean machine pushed around layout.

Tm should be available at any good hobby shop, I get mine from Junction Models.

Cheers

 Ian

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