Powered by Blogger.
Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Considerations When Using Synthetic Oils.

What should you consider before using synthetic oils?

As machinery’s performance improves, the demands on lubrication increases. To this end more companies are using synthetic oil to cut costs and improve equipment life and performance.

Often the questions are asked whether synthetic oils are required for a specific application, and if so what synthetic lubricant
should be used?

What are the dangers when using synthetic lubricants?

Hundreds of synthetic lubricants are available today, all designed for specific uses.

Some of these fluids are not compatible with the paints, seals and gasket material used in certain machinery and equipment.

Many of these synthetics are also not compatible with each other or with petroleum base oils and cannot be mixed.

In addition, some of these fluids are not compatible with the materials used by equipment manufacturers to build clutch and brake components and hydraulic hoses.

 Therefore, before any lubricant changes are made, it is important to become familiar with the products available, including their advantages and disadvantages, as well as to make a comparison with existing high-quality petroleum base mineral oils.

It is quite possible that a petroleum base mineral oil of a higher quality, different viscosity or service classification may solve the operational problem, thereby eliminating the need to switch to a more expensive synthetic oil.

Information on various petroleum base and synthetic lubricants can be obtained by contacting the technical service departments of the major oil companies, a reputable independent oil analysis laboratory or a lubrication engineer.

Contrary to popular belief, equipment dealers are seldom authorities on lubrication, aside from passing on the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations, and are not a reliable source of information regarding the selection of synthetic oils.

The most important thing to remember is that synthetic oil should be considered when:

  • Mineral oils cannot Solve an operational problem, such as an extreme temperature or compatibility requirement. 
  • Operating cost are reduced sufficiently to offset the high initial price. (Taking into consideration power costs, maintenance costs and lost production due to downtime) 

When using synthetic oils, what should be monitored?

Once the equipment has been converted to synthetic oil, the lubricant must be treated the same way as petroleum base oils would be treated.

Since synthetic oils become contaminated with wear metals, carbon soot, combustion residue and fuel by-products such as acids and sulfur compounds in much the same way as petroleum base oils, in some cases it may be unreasonable to expect synthetic oils to last longer than petroleum base lubricants.

Oil levels should also be checked periodically, filters serviced or replaced on a regular basis and oil samples taken regularly and sent to a competent used oil analysis laboratory.

Before deciding to extend oil drain periods when using synthetic lubricants, oil analysis is of particular importance to warn of increases in component wear metal rates, contamination levels and viscosity changes within the oil.

If you’ve considered using synthetic oil, give Habot Synthetic Lubricants a call; we’re the professionals and have a wide range of quality synthetic oils to meet all your requirements.