F+L Week 2018 | Martin Curran | Esters in Modern Low Viscosity Engine Oils for Improved Fuel Economy and Lower Carbon Emissions
The continued drive towards increased fuel economy and reduction in CO2 emissions has forced OEMs and lubricant formulators to look to new engine lubricant technology. Low viscosity is a key property of fuel economy focused engine oils; hence the introduction of the new low viscosity grades 0W-16, 0W-12 and 0W-8. It is not fully clear if the needs of these new viscosity grades can be met with current Group II, Group III, Group IV or GTL technology. This paper will outline some of the key performance characteristics of esters in general and the advantages of using low viscosity esters to formulate 0W-16, 0W-12 and 0W-8 engine oils. The performance of esters will be compared with other commercially available low viscosity basestocks. The paper will include formulation studies of 0W-16, 0W-12 and 0W-8 oils and demonstrate the frictional performance of these oils. It will demonstrate that, at equivalent viscosity, esters can provide an additional reduction in friction compared with Group III basestocks. It will also demonstrate that esters can reduce wear in very low viscosity engine oils. This is very important, as increased wear is a major concern for OEMs when considering switching to 0W-16, 0W-12 and 0W-8 oils.