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New engines expect a lot from lubricants

Article, 21 October 2014

Smaller, more powerful engines offering lower fuel consumption and lower emissions. That’s quite a combination. But it’s a challenge that lubricants based on Neste Oil’s Group III base oils can handle very well.

Group III base oils are capable of meeting the toughest requirements expected of modern lubricants. They perform very consistently across a broad spectrum of temperatures, and lubricants based on them can survive the high pressures found in modern engines while offering excellent protection against corrosion and wear and tear.

“We supply extremely high-quality, high-purity Group III base oil,” says Technical Service Manager Chris Castanien, who is responsible for the technical support Neste Oil provides its base oil customers in the Americas. “Our customers can also always rely on getting the same-spec oil, regardless of which of our refineries it come from.”

Neste Oil works closely with a number of additive manufacturers, and this collaboration has resulted in lubricant formulations that meet the toughest API and ACEA standards globally.

“We test and develop formulations with our additive manufacturing partners so that our customers can produce and supply lubricants that meet the latest specifications, such as PC-11 and GF-6, to their own customers. Premium-quality Group III base oil plays a central part here,” says Castanien.

The new PC-11 and GF-6 specifications place an entirely new set of requirements on lubricants in terms of reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

“Complying with the GF-6 specification, for example, calls for significantly more testing than before, as it involves a total of six new tests.”

New lubricant specifications like these are needed because of the very fast pace of engine development today. Manufacturers are constantly trying to squeeze more horsepower out of smaller, lower fuel consumption engines in a world where emission limits are becoming stricter and stricter. Oil change intervals have also become much longer over the last couple of decades than they used to be.

“High-performance lubricants are essential in modern engines, such as direct injection designs, and must be able to offer no-compromise performance at higher operating pressures and temperatures,” continues Castanien. “New-technology engines present motor oils with a much tougher environment than older engines. To meet these requirements, a lubricant needs to be formulated around a stable Group III base oil and its inherent ability to perform across a broad range of temperatures.”

Lubricant development work can never afford to rest on past achievements; the focus always needs to be on meeting new challenges. Working together with leading additive manufacturers, Neste Oil is very much committed to developing new technologies and solutions based on Group III base oil to generate new formulations that will meet lubricant and automotive manufacturers’ expectations – both today and into the future.