November 29, 2020

R. Ramaprabhu – Potential & Challenges in Fuel Economy Improvement of Automotive Vehicles by Lubricants


Fuel Efficiency improvement by optimal lubricant selection has potential benefits as well as constraints with respect to engine design and durability beyond certain threshold limits. The objective of this work is to study the effect of lubricant formulations on efficiency improvement, challenges of durability protection and limitations of formulations.

The potential possibilities of fuel efficiency improvement were experimented with various combinations of additives and base oils. The study tried to establish fuel economy improvement in both controlled and on-road real world driving condition.

Fuel Economy improvement and its variation between different type of engines was established. The effect of low viscosity lubricants on wear protection is also analyzed.

This study considered already established fuel economy engine oil (with 2.5% improvement) as reference for passenger cars and about 2% in heavy duty vehicles compared to regular reference fluids.

This study also considered measuring a very narrow band of improvement (0.5 to 1.5%).

    • Principal Engineer – Fluids Technology at Mahindra Research Valley, M&M Ltd., Chennai, India. Associated with Mahindra for more than 16 years in this function.
    • Responsible for fluids development and approval of passenger car, tractor and commercial vehicle.
    • Instrumental in piloting several new engine and driveline lubricants development programs and implementation.
    • Has overall work experience of 24+ years which cover lubricants, analytical, manufacturing and automotive industries.
    • Possess versatile exposure viz., product development, quality, production, application, co-engineering functions.
    • Has published seven technical papers as author and co-author at various national and international forums.
    • Areas of interest: tribology, innovative additive components for friction reduction, bio-fuel application in automotives.