The technology demonstration period for the upcoming heavy-duty diesel engine oil category known as PC-11 is in full swing, it was heard at the New Category Development Team (NCDT) meeting on 30 April in Chicago.
The technology demonstration period exists so that additive companies can run tests and set passing and failing limits before oils begin to be qualified. David Duncan, representing the American Chemical Council (ACC), reported that the Engine Manufacturers’ Association (EMA) members would like the first license date for PC-11 in 2016.
To meet a 1 December 2016 first license date, the technology demonstration period must conclude by 1 December 2015. The twelve-month separation is a waiting period requested by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to give time for oil marketers to market these new oils.
The technology demonstration period will operate subject to the following conditions: 1) that there are no further changes to category specifications, 2) that parts remain available for all the tests, so that they can be run for the life of the category, 3) that running additional base oil interchange/viscosity grade read-across matrices will not shorten or lengthen the technology demonstration period, 4) that any reduction in Base Oil Interchange/Viscosity Grade Read-Across (BOI/VGRA) Guidelines for existing tests will negatively impact the first allowable use date and 5) that the final parameters and limits be established in time for a ballot at the Heavy Duty Engine Oil Classification Panel meeting during ASTM Committee D02 Week in December 2015.
Concurrent with this demonstration period is the final specification approval period, which will happen between 1 September and 1 December 2015. This overlap did not exist in previous categories, and ACC members will need to generate data more quickly in order to set limits on time. Roger Gault, representing the EMA, noted that the certification for 2017 model year engines starts early in 2016, so engine manufacturers need a high degree of certainty about the first license date for PC-11.
The meeting also included discussion on how the two sub-categories, PC-11A and PC-11B, will be named. Dan Arcy, who chairs the NCDT, outlined two options. The first would involve no change to the current system, with the API donut and either CK-4 (for PC-11A) or FA-4 (for PC-11B), with no change to the viscosity grade designation.
The other option includes adding an “L” for low viscosity after the viscosity grade in the FA-4 sub-category. That would look, for example, like “API FA-4, SAE 10W-30 L.” The API has contracted a public relations agency to conduct consumer interviews and surveys to determine which option would be the least confusing to the consumer.
During the upcoming ASTM D02 meeting in June, the ACC will convene to review the progress of the technology demonstration and ensure that the tests are on track for the December deadline.