Vincent J. Gatto – Approaches for Reducing Corrosion of Engine Lubricants Containing Friction Modifiers


Ashless friction modifiers and organo-molybdenum compounds are well known for their fuel economy improvement benefits and anti-wear activity in lubricating oils and greases. In certain formulation styles, these compounds can contribute to moderate, or even severe, copper and lead corrosion in engine oils. In sensitive applications this can limit the use of friction modifiers and their treat level. There is a strong need in the lubricant industry for strategies to reduce the corrosive nature of friction modifiers and especially organo-molybdenum products so that higher treat rates may be employed and their use can be broadened. In this presentation, two strategies for reducing the corrosive nature of friction modifiers in engine lubricants will be presented. The first involves a formulation approach where novel corrosion inhibitors are used to passivate metal surfaces, preventing the redox reactions that result in corrosion. The second is to design totally new organo-molybdenum compounds that perform similar to the existing products but have a much lower propensity for corrosion. Examples will be presented utilizing both of these approaches as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Vincent Gatto has worked for 32 years as a research, applications, technical service and product development scientist in the area of lubricant, fuel and polymer additives. He is currently Research Director for Vanderbilt Chemicals, LLC, located in Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.A., and is responsible for the management and strategic direction of a team of synthetic organic chemists in the discovery and development of new chemicals for use as additives in the lubricant, rubber and plastics industries. He is also responsible for directing and prioritizing projects in the Petroleum Applications Laboratory, and for coordinating the activities of the three labs. Prior to Vanderbilt he worked 11 years for Albemarle Corporation as an R&D and technical service manager, and 16 years for Ethyl Corporation (now Afton Chemical Company) as a technical service advisor and additive scientist. Vince received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Maryland near Washington DC, and held a postdoctoral position at the University of Miami prior to starting work for Ethyl. Vince holds approximately 130 U. S. patents, patent applications and technical publications in the areas of chelation, additives, and antioxidants for polymers, lubricants and fuels. He has delivered numerous presentations on the application of additives in industrial fluids and engine oils as antioxidants, friction modifiers, anti-wear additives, and deposit control additives.

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