Though the product is not yet commercially available, Croda Lubricants announced its latest Group V base oil technology during opening day of F+L Week 2016 at the Regent Singapore.
Synthetic base stocks are often made of esters or of amides. Curran explained that while liquid amides do not outperform esters in all areas, they have some significant advantages of which this new product takes advantage of. In this case, the top selling point is hydrolytic stability. When an ester interacts with water, the water basically reverses the necessary reaction. Amides, however, have a much lower tendency to react with water, or a higher hydrolytic stability.
Martin Curran, lubricant applications specialist, presented two case studies, one where a 10% polyol ester was compared with a 10% liquid amide. Hydrolytic stability was measured using ASTM D2619, and even when this test was extended to 240 hours, liquid amides’ benefit was still obvious. Elastomer compatibility was also measured, and the liquid amide caused less volume change in all cases. However, the results did vary across different elastomer materials.
A second case study used turbine oils, and looked at measured sludge control and demulsibility, at which the liquid amide also showed significant improvement.
Curran shared that Croda’s new product will first find its application in the industrial lubricants sector, as more testing is still underway for automotive applications. While synthetic solutions are undoubtedly more expensive than conventional ones, Curran said “this liquid amide really ticks all the boxes of what you want in a Group V base oil.” It will first be available in the U.S. and Europe, and is currently undergoing REACH registration.
Mehdi Fathi-Najafi, senior technical adviser at Nynas, a naphthenic base oil producer, talked about how the industrial lubricants market was being affected by the diminishing supply of Group I products from the market. He conveyed the sentiment that industrial lubricants felt left behind by the rationalization of Group I refineries.