Lube Notes: Petroleum and Synthetic Oil Base Stocks and Additives

Volume 1 Issue 4 - Lubrication

Lube NotesIn the preceding Lube Notes, we covered basic lubrication, oil functions, additives and base stocks. Now, it’s time to construct finished lubricating oils. From what we have learned, it may seem like the only thing we need to do is pick a base stock oil, mix in some additives and presto, we have lubricating oil. If only it was that simple. Of course, it’s not.

Previously, we looked at the refining of petroleum and classifications for synthetic and petroleum oils. The base stock with which we choose to start will obviously have a direct bearing on the quality of the finished product. If cost is no concern, then all finished oils would be made using one of the synthetic base oils since they result in the best lubricating oils. However, cost is an important factor and will always be a consideration in choosing base stock oils. Most oils are manufactured by a reverse process where the final performance requirements dictate the quality or lack of quality of the ingredients. If the manufacturer is making an oil to meet the minimum performance criteria for the current classification, then no money will be spent on anything more than an adequate base stock. On the other hand, if the manufacturer is producing a high performance oil, then he will spend what is reasonably necessary to produce the final product’s higher level of performance.



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