Lubricants are often liquid form substances introduced between two moving surfaces to reduce the friction, improving efficiency and reducing wear. They may also serve to function for dissolving or transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat. One of the single largest applications for lubricants, in the form of motor oil, is protecting the internal combustion engines in motor vehicles and powered equipment.
Typically lubricants contain 90% base oil (most often petroleum fractions, called mineral oils) and less than 10% additives. Vegetable oils or synthetic liquids such as hydrogenated polyolefin, esters, silicones, fluorocarbons and many others are sometimes used as base oils. Additives deliver reduced friction and wear, increased viscosity, improved viscosity index, resistance to corrosion and oxidation, aging or contamination, etc.
Lubricants such as 2-cycle oil are also added to some fuels. Sulfur impurities in fuels also provide some lubrication properties, which have to be taken in account when switching to a low-sulfur diesel. Biodiesel is a popular diesel fuel additive providing additional lubricity.
Base oil is the name given to lubrication grade oils initially produced from refining crude oil (mineral base oil) or through chemical synthesis (synthetic base oil). Base oil is typically defined as oil with a boiling point range between 550 and 1050 F, consisting of hydrocarbons with 18 to 40 carbon atoms. This oil can be either paraffinic or napthenic in nature depending on the chemical structure of the molecules.
Base stocks are classified inot various grades including Neutral, Solvent Neutral, Bright Stocks, The most common names are for group I (SN: Solvent Neutral), for group II (N: Neutrals) and group III grade names refer to the viscosity (4cst, 6cst, 8cst …).
Lubricants offered to different industrial categories are:
Automotive Engine Lubricants
Fleet and Commercial Engine Lubricants
Natural Gas Engine Lubricants
2-Cycle / Small HP Lubricants
Aviation Engine Lubricants
Power Transmission Lubricants