WHAT MAKES AN OIL INTO A LUBRICANT
Brad-Chem Ltd is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of lubricant additive packages, supplying to lubricant blenders worldwide.
Lubricant blenders formulate lubricants by taking a base oil and adding additives. Additives serve several functions; protecting the oil itself against oxidation and degradation, and protecting moving parts against extreme pressure, wear, loss of lubrication, and corrosion.
Loss of lubrication can occur as a result of evaporation of the oil at high temperature, by boundary conditions under extreme pressure, or by oil run off. The last of these can be mitigated by addition of a tacky additive, such as the market leading Flowtac 2000. Tacky additives will be discussed in a later news item.
Oil on its own is not sufficient as a lubricant for the vast majority of applications. Even the simplest applications generally require a formulation based on a base oil plus an appropriate combination of additives.
WHY USE LUBRICANT ADDITIVE PACKAGES?
Formulating a lubricant with the right combination of additives at the right levels is a difficult product development challenge. The mixture of additives and base oil must meet the performance requirements of the both the application itself and of any international standards or OEM specifications required by the end user.
For a speciality industrial applications, such as H1 lubricants with incidental food contact, or to the requirements of an environmental standard, there are additional restrictions of the permissible additive components and base oils.
Many international standards specify minimum pass level requirements for a battery of expensive and often long term tests. New development formulations can often pass most of the tests only to then fail at the last hurdle and require reformulation and retesting. Repetitive retesting and reformulating can become very costly for the formulator.
Additionally, some additives compete with each other for access to surfaces and, therefore, have to be balanced to the right addition levels so that both types can perform their required roles.
Using a suitably formulated lubricant additive package takes the guess-work out of formulating. Adding a liquid additive package to an oil can reduce or eliminate the need for heating that would otherwise be required for the dissolution of solid individual additives.
Brad-Chem lubricant additive packages are easy-to-handle liquid blends of lubricant additives. They are formulated to meet the requirements of speciality industrial compressor oil, hydraulic oil, and gear oil applications when added to a wide range of different base oil types. We can offer products for making vegetable oil based industrial lubricants as well as for mineral and synthetic oils.