In the mid 1990s NASA discovered an environmental problem with the material that was being used to lubricate the massive track system on the shuttle mobile launch transporter. Not surprisingly the lubricant requirements are rather extraordinary for this transporter. The product has to provide long-lasting and complete lubrication for a moving set of tracks that are carrying a 12 million pound load. To satisfy the environmental requirement it also has to be biodegradable. In 1994, the challenge of producing a new lubricant was accepted by Sun Coast Chemicals of Daytona, which brought a team of researchers, production personnel and consultants to meet with NASA personnel and contractors to develop a solution. In just a few weeks the Sun Coast team produced a novel formulation that was tested and certified for trial by the Predicative Engineering Group at the Cape. The new lubricant, X-1R Crawler Track Lube was then tested directly on the crawler and worked perfectly.
This Advanced Lubricant provided superior lubricating qualities, was biodegradable and had a much longer service life than previous lubricants employed by NASA. In 1996, Sun Coast determined that there was a market need for environmentally safe, high performance lubricants. A development program was initiated using the base formulation found in the X-1R Crawler Track product. This immediately led to three new products: Train Track Lubricant which was utilized by the Florida Power Corporation Railroad system to solve a wear problem; Penetrating Spray Lube which is used for rust prevention, loosening corroded nuts, etc.; and Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluid which is used in various hydraulic brake applications. Success with these products led to the development of the X-1R Super Gun Cleaner and Lubricant, which impregnates the metal in a gun barrel and other components to protect it against galling. An offspring of this new product was a lubricant developed for use for fishing reels.
Finally the X-1R technology was successfully introduced into Sun Coast’s main line of vehicle lubricants. Its premier product is X-1R Concentrate which is used to eliminate engine friction. Other products include greases, air conditioner compressor fluid, brake fluid, and penetrating spray. Sun Coast annually sponsors cars on the NASCAR circuit that utilize and carry the X-1R Friction Eliminator logo. An important fact is that all of the X-1R biodegradable products are not attractive food sources to wildlife, thus making the technology truly environmentally safe.
This Space Technology Hall of Fame technology inductee is also a Certified Space Technology (www.x1r.com).
To learn more about the Space Certification Program visit www.spacecertification.org.
Inducted In: Transportation
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