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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Why choose synthetic oil over regular mineral oil?

With synthetic oil more expensive, why choose synthetic oil over regular mineral oil?

When choosing synthetic oil over regular mineral oil it’s worth remembering that mineral oils have been around for a long time and function very well as lubricants in most industrial applications.

They are cost-effective and provide a reasonable service life when used properly but have limitations, depending upon the type and level of additives blended, and the operating
conditions encountered.

These limitations make choosing synthetic oil over regular mineral oil attractive.

  • The presence of waxes, which can result in poor flow properties at low temperature. 
  • Poor oxidation stability at continuously high temperatures, which can lead to sludge and acid buildup.
  • The significant change in viscosity with temperature changes, which can cause the base oil to thin excessively at high temperature. 
  • A practical maximum high-temperature application limit of about 125 degrees C - above which the base oil oxidizes very rapidly. It is best to keep mineral oil-based lubricants within an operating range of 40 to 65 degrees C.

When choosing synthetic oil over regular mineral oil it’s worth taking note of the following.

Synthetic base fluids are expensive because of the processing involved in creating these pure chemical base oils. This additional cost of synthetic lubes over minerals is often justified by their superior performance under extreme conditions.

With regard to their chemical structure; mineral oils contain thousands, if not millions, of different chemical structures (molecules), whereas synthetic oils are homogenous in structure.

This structure makes synthetic oil performance more stable across a wider range of operating conditions.

The two main functional advantages of synthetic oils are their ability to outperform mineral oils at high operating temperatures (above 85 degrees C) and at low operating temperatures (below -10 degrees C).

Depending on the type of synthetic oil and additive package, other advantages of synthetic lubricants (beyond the high- and low-temperature advantage) may include:
  • Improved energy efficiency due to better low-temperature properties and better viscosity stability across the operating temperature range. 
  • Higher oil film strength with some synthetics 
  • Extended warranties by some equipment manufacturers 
  • Lower engine hydrocarbon emissions 
  • Extended drain intervals in some applications 
  • Biodegradability with some synthetics (esters) 
  • Natural detergency 
  • Higher viscosity index 
  • Fire resistance (phosphate esters) 
As the cost of Crude continues to increase the pricing gap between Mineral and synthetic lubricants is rapidly narrowing. When the (often) substantial savings in energy are thrown in as well, choosing synthetic oil over regular mineral oil becomes very attractive.

Whatever your reason for choosing synthetic oil over regular mineral oil Habot Synthetic Lubricants has a quality synthetic oil to meet your requirements.