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Energy Technologies

Heavy duty diesel engine oil additives

We create, make and sell speciality additives for heavy duty diesel engine oils (HDDEOs). Our ingredients are formulated into commercially available engine oils sold by leading suppliers around the world. 

Our research is focused on organic friction modifiers, speciality organic base oils and inorganic surface repair additives that help reduce wear, reduce friction, improve the lifetime, and improve the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles. 

Experts in polymeric friction modifiers (PFMs), group V base oils and surface repair additives, we help our customers achieve new standards and specifications by overcoming the following challenges: 

  • Improved fuel economy
  • Reduced engine wear
  • Particulate filter blocking
  • Piston deposits
  • Improved oxidation stability
  • Degradation of properties at low and high temperatures
  • Stability and wear protection of low viscosity formulations
  • Formulation challenges associated with solubility.  
We are a part of industry working groups, such as the Additive Technical Committee in Europe (ATC) and Petroleum Additives Panel (PAP), contributing to the latest developments of the lubricant industry. 

Speak to us about how our expert team of researchers and application scientists can help you develop new ingredients for your additive packages or final formulations. 

Engine of a heavy duty diesel engine showing engine oil and lubricated working parts

Friction modifiers for heavy duty engine oils 

Friction modifiers and other additives are included at much higher treat rates in HDDEOs compared to passenger car engine oils. The additive content can be almost double that of passenger cars and dispersants and detergents perform a greater role.

Whilst friction modifiers have not been an area of focus for HDDEO until recently, they now play an important part in very low viscosity oils to reduce wear and friction. 

To study the activity of our friction modifiers in HDDEO and their propensity to lower the coefficient of friction, we tested them in top-treated commercially HDDEOs. 

Friction modifier performance in a commercial 15W40 HDDEO

We used a mini traction machine (MTM) to evaluate frictional performance under constant load and temperature. Results (Figure 1) were taken after the oil was aged in the test for two hours, to allow time for full film formation. 

After two hours, it was found that Perfad™ 3050 offered a 70% reduction in friction coefficient in boundary regime conditions versus the neat oil. In this case, different additives did not lead to similar reductions in this formulation. 

This test demonstrates the importance of testing additives extensively before approval and the friction reduction potential of friction modifiers in HDDEO formulations. Our application scientists can help you select the correct additives for your system and save you time by helping you devise test programs that are representative of the materials tested. 

Figure 1: Stribeck curve demonstrating friction modifier performance after two hours of ageing in a 15W40 HDDEO 

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close up of truck engine

The effect of organic polymeric friction modifiers on tribofilm properties in HDDEO

Watch our webinar looking at friction modifiers in HDDEO

During our webinar presentation we discuss the effect of organic polymeric friction modifiers on tribofilm properties in HDDEO. This webinar was presented by our technical experts based in the US, who are developing our portfolio of HDDEO products.
Watch here

Base oil selection for heavy duty engine oils 

HDDEOs are moving to lower viscosity grades (<5W-30) as newer engines are designed to operate with lower viscosity oils to reduce drag and improve fuel economy. 

As hydrodynamic thin-film lubrication is the main operational regime of heavy-duty engines, it is a common view that base oil selection is key in obtaining more efficient lubrication and fuel efficiency. 

Formulating ester base oils into low viscosity engine oils allows the formulator to achieve higher viscosity index and obtain a low NOACK volatility at the same time. Further, esters are excellent solubilisers and can improve the detergency and dispersancy performance of the final formulation.

REWITEC™ Powershot™ surface repair additives in heavy duty diesel engine oils 

Our newest additive technology from Croda subsidiary, REWITEC™, offers reduced friction and a reduction in surface roughness after the first application. 
To demonstrate this, we performed a 2-disc assembly rolling wear test on a commercially available 10W-40 engine oil, specified by a German manufacturer of a damaged camshaft (Figure 3). 
The damaged camshaft showed heavy grooves before the first test-run, run with REWITEC PowerShot additive. 
After 40 hours of running the damaged camshaft sample on the 2-disc assembly, visual signs of damage had been reduced and a reduction in friction was quantified. 
 rewitec duragear

Figure 2: Wear scar resulting from 2-disc assembly before and after REWITEC application

example of engine with rewitec and without rewitec

Figure 3: Quantitative output from the 2-disc rolling wear test demonstrating friction reduction with the addition of REWITEC technology.

Whilst we recommend further testing in your own system, this simple example demonstrates a reduction in friction and signs of visual wear using a commercial HDDEO and REWITEC silicone additive technology.

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How can we help you with your application needs?