The Essential Guide to Lubricant Additives

Posted on: April 22, 2024

Lubricant oils comprise base oil (mineral, semi-synthetic, and synthetic) and advanced additive packages.

Additives combine with base substance to make it work better or have new, good qualities. They enhance the base substance’s capabilities, making it more reliable and better.

Learn ahead about various lubricant additives and their roles below.

The Primary Role of Lubricant Additives

Lubricant additives make up around 30% of the final oil mix. The exact amount depends on factors like where it’s used, what machine it’s for, and what the oil needs to do.

These are the main jobs of additives in oil:

  • Some, like antioxidants and anti-foaming stuff, make the oil better at what it already does.
  • Others, like pour-point reducers, fix things in the oil that we don’t want.
  • Others add new abilities to the oil, such as handling high pressure or keeping metal parts clean.

Lubricant Additives: Types and Roles

  1. Surface Protective Additives

  • Detergents

Detergents, often used alongside dispersants, come in alkaline or rudimentary forms. They contain metal compounds like calcium, magnesium, phosphates, and sulfonates. Barium-based detergents, once popular, are now rare. They neutralize acids in oil, but they can leave ash deposits when the oil burns and form residue at high temps. To avoid this, many equipment makers prefer low-ash oils for high-temperature operations.

  • Dispersants

Dispersants are used in motor oils to clean by suspending soot particles. They’re often mixed with detergents to neutralize acids and keep contaminants suspended. Typically, dispersants are organic compounds that lack ash content, such as polymeric alkylthiophosphonates and alkylsuccinimides.

  • Corrosion Inhibitors

Corrosion harms metal surfaces through chemical reactions, weakening them over time. Neutralizing acids and forming a protective barrier block moisture from reaching the metal. These measures are crucial for protecting non-noble, ferrous metals from damage.

2. Lubricant Protective Additives

  • Metal Deactivators

These are organic compounds with nitrogen or sulfur, like amines, sulfides, and phosphite’s. These agents stabilize the lubricant and form a protective film on metal surfaces.

  • Antioxidants

Air, along with water and wear metals, poses a significant threat to base oil integrity. Oxygen catalyzes acid formation, corrosion, sludge buildup, and a rise in viscosity. Antioxidants counter oxidation and extend oil lifespan. Yet, they degrade over time as they protect the oil.

3. Performance Boosting Additives

  • Seal Swell Agents

Seal swell agents make elastomeric seals swell by reacting with them. They’re made from organic phosphates.

  • Viscosity Index Improvers

The viscosity index (VI) measures how much a fluid’s viscosity changes with temperature. A high VI means the lubricant’s viscosity stays steady as temperature rises. VI modifiers are used in greases to improve flow, reduce wear, and enhance fuel efficiency. Standard VI improvers include olefin copolymers.

  • Pour Point Depressants

The pour point is the coldest temperature where the oil stays liquid. In cold weather, wax crystals in the oil turn solid, blocking its flow. Pour point additives shrink these crystals, improving the oil flow even when cold.

Lubricant additives are crucial because they improve the oil and fix any problems. They improve the oil’s performance and reliability by adding new abilities to it.

As one of the leading chemical manufacturer, Vinati Organics offers top-quality antioxidants like VEENOX L135. We take pride in ensuring effectiveness through extensive research and testing. With a commitment to excellence, Vinati Organics contributes to various industries worldwide. Our high-quality expertise makes us reliable for meeting industrial needs. Contact us for more details.