AUTOMOTIVE FLUIDS MANUFACTURING CHALLENGES
Automotive fluids perform vital functions in maintaining the engine, power transmission, brakes, screen wash, and air conditioning. Automotive aftermarket fluid manufacturers blend additives into base fluids. The blenders select the base fluids and additives according to the primary function of the fluid and the requirements of the system. For example, they would select an ATF additive package and a suitable base oil in order to blend an automatic transmission fluid.
Maintenance mechanics select the aftermarket automotive fluids according to the make of vehicle. In general, vehicle manufacturers create specifications for the performance levels that fluids for their systems must meet.
Often, vehicle manufacturers also specify tight limits of physical properties that many experts would consider unlikely to affect performance. Additionally, many manufacturers do not make details of their specification requirements easily available for openness and transparency. Some vehicle manufacturers state that consumers must only use their brand of fluids. Others state that consumers must only use fluids that they approve. Frequently, they list approved fluids by trade name without quoting any performance test results or approval criteria.
Aftermarket product producers increase consumer choice, allowing consumers to decide. Blenders select additives that protect both the base fluid and the mechanical parts of the system into which it is filled. For example, brake fluids must meet international standards for corrosion, starting and final pH, density, water content and materials compatibility. Additionally, formulators must ensure that the fluid is within the viscosity limits and exceeds the minimum boiling points of specific applications.
OVERCOMING THE CHALLENGES
Brad-Chem Ltd. manufactures antifreeze/engine coolant super concentrates, and a brake fluid corrosion inhibitor package. Additionally, many automotive engine and gear oil manufacturers use Brad-Chem 526 as their corrosion inhibitor package.
In addition to our own manufacture, we are the distributor for BRB International BV. In this capacity, we supply automotive gear oil, engine oil and ATF additive packages to the UK aftermarket. We also distribute their OCP, styrenic, and star copolymer VI improvers to this market.
In our capacity as the UK distributor for Nyco, we supply synthetic esters for some speciality automotive fluids applications. Additionally, we supply the full range of poly alpha olefins (PAOs) and metallocene catalysed m-PAOs.
Brad-Chem 557 is our ASTM D 3306 approved antifreeze super concentrate, which meets many vehicle manufacturer engine coolant specifications.
We have recently developed Bad-Chem 515 brake fluid corrosion inhibitor package. Brake fluid manufacturers can add this product to selected glycols to make DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1 products. Furthermore, this package meets the requirements of many international standards and vehicle manufacturer’s specifications.