Oil Composition & Oil Additives Explained
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Oil Composition & Oil Additives Explained

October 12, 2019


So what is oil? Let’s talk about oil
composition and oil additives. Well here we have if this pie was our typical oil
it would be made up of around 75 to 95% of what we call base oil, added
to that is in fact an additive package which we’ll go through in a sec, 8 to
15% typically and viscosity improvers… 5 to 10% percent viscosity improvers, which determines the thickness of the oil if you like,
particularly as it goes up in temperature. Now this additive package… Detergents, Dispersants, Friction Modifiers, Oxidation
Inhibitors, Anti-Wear Agents, Corrosion Inhibitors and Foam Depressant. Now what
I want to talk about here today under this one, Anti-Wear Agents is Zinc. Now when we think about zinc as an additive, what it actually does… We draw steel it’s sort
of a molecular level, it kind of looks like that. What the zinc does it forms…
We’ll put this little particles all around the steel like that. When the oil
is under load or when those zinc particles are under load and get hot
they form what’s called a sacrificial glazing if you like and that in fact is
the wear protection that you get against the steel in your engine. Now what does
it all look like? I reckon this is really interesting… This is Base Oil, It’s in
fact clear that’s what we start with, that’s the 75%, then the Viscosity Improvers are
a polymer substance, now we often talk about the weight of engine oil 30 weight,
40 weight, 50 weight, You can see how thick that is and if there such thing as
300 weight that would probably be it, but that’s a Viscosity Index Improver. Then
we’ve got a typical Additive Pack and that could have a whole raft of things
in it. Then your Engine Oil as you pour it out of the bottle ultimately looks like
that. Now importantly what we do want to see…
That’s Engine Oil after 15,000k’s, now I can say to you, if you pull you Engine Oil out, and you think it’s really good because it’s still clean that’s not really good, your
engine oil if it’s working properly because remember it’s got detergents, in it needs
to look like that. So when we talk about zinc there’s a bit of chat around at the
moment that may be under new specifications and environmental policy
and all the rest of it that maybe there’s not as much zinc or in fact no
zinc in lubricants well that’s just plain wrong, it needs to be in there, it
is in there and I can tell you Penrite lubricants have the appropriate amount
of zinc in them as determined by the specification and the correct use of
that oil.

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