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Passenger car motor oil additives

We are leaders in the research and development of organic additives for engine oil applications. You can find many of our specialist chemistry in cars on the road today as we supply our materials to the leading engine oil formulators and additive packaging companies. 

Our engine oil additives directly impact the fuel economy of passenger cars, helping original equipment manufacturers meet emissions legislation. We are leading experts of lubricant additives and preside on many international engine oil advisory councils and industry representative committees. 

We can help you to achieve your goals in engine oils by providing the expert application advice behind our industry leading materials. Speak to us about how our expert team of researchers and application scientists can help you develop your next engine oil. 
 
Oil going into car engine

Friction modifiers for passenger car motor oil

Our Perfad™ range of organic friction modifiers (OFMs) have been tested using a wide range of commercial engine oils available in Europe, the United States of America, Japan and other regions of the world.

In one demonstration of our Perfad range, we used the Mini Traction Machine (MTM) to evaluate the performance of a European oil (5W-30) that was top treated with our Perfad OFMs. It is important that surface-active additives are compared after thermal and mechanical activation, so the Stribeck curve below (Figure 1) shows both initial friction coefficient and then the friction of coefficient after 120 minutes of surface conditioning. 

Our reference OFM (Glycerol mono-oleate, GMO) provides a reduction in friction compared to EU Oil 1 of approximately 8% at a speed of 0.005 m/s, whilst our Perfad series demonstrates improved friction reduction. Perfad 3000 provides a 13% reduction, Perfad 3006 provides a 40% reduction and Perfad 3050 a 90% reduction. 

In this particular engine oil and under these conditions, Perfad 3050 has effectively eliminated the boundary regime through the formation of a very low friction film. This suggests that polymeric friction modifiers (PFMs) have the ability to operate under higher load conditions while still maintaining low friction.

Figure 1: Stribeck curve showing initial coefficient of friction and after 120 minutes of run-time. 

Whilst the above example demonstrates OFM performance in 5W-30 oil, the industry has moved towards lower viscosity oils. 0W-20 grades and below are now common globally in passenger cars. Friction modifiers for these lower viscosity oils must still provide protection against wear, must be compatible with other formulation components and must also provide fuel economy benefits.

Brochure: Organic friction modifiers

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Whitepaper: MoDTC and polymeric friction modifiers

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Base oil selection for passenger car engine oils 

Whilst friction modifiers are essential to help reduce friction in boundary and mixed lubrication regimes, selecting the correct base oil helps reduce friction in hydrodynamic conditions. Reduction of friction is achieved by using low viscosity base oils, which reduce the drag and lower traction under full film lubrication. 
 
The development of new engine oils will be essential to meet evolving environmental legislation of passenger cars alongside electrification over the next 10-20 years. New e-fluid formulations will be required for the different operation conditions and efficiency requirements of hybrid electric passenger cars which have an important part to play in achieving reduced fleet CO2 averages and more sustainable transport. 
 
The oils will be lower in viscosity (0W-12 and below), which will be the focus of formulators helping OEMs meet new fuel economy regulations in electrified fleets.
 
Our low viscosity base oils have superior oxidation stability, low NOACK volatilities and excellent low temperature properties to help formulators meet new fuel economy requirements in low viscosity formulations. They can also be blended with Group III hydrocarbons, which often have lower NOACK volatilities than esters. In helping formulators achieve acceptable volatility, our low volatility esters also provide improve solubility of additives.

China vs Europe passenger cars

Figure 2: OEM vehicle production forecast to 2030, IHS Markit Alternative Powertrain production Forecasts, December 2019

REWITEC™ PowerShot™ surface repair additives in engine oils 

Our inorganic silicon-based additive technology can help improve fuel economy and reduce wear in passenger cars. This was demonstrated using a commercially available low-viscosity European oil using a pin-on-disk tribometer. 

Upon additive addition, relative friction can be reduced and sustained when entering stable interface conditions. PowerShot can be used in first-fill engine oils to protect from first use, or as a top-treat aftermarket additive to help repair and increase the efficiency of older engines. 

Figure 3: Pin-on-disc tribometer measurements demonstrating a reduction in friction upon addition of PowerShot additive.

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