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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Why use synthetic gearbox oil?

Synthetic gearbox oil is usually used in demanding applications.

Synthetic gearbox oil is usually used whenever crude based gear oils can no longer meet the application requirements, such as extreme operating temperatures or extremely high loads. Even though additives can improve many properties of regular oils, it is not always possible to achieve the performance required.

What are synthetic gearbox oils?

The majority of synthetic gearbox oils are formulated with polyalphaolefin
(or PAO for short) base oils.

PAO's start life as conventional crude oil but by special refining and manufacturing processes are changed into base oils with molecules that are of uniform size and shape where as conventional base oils are comprised of molecules of great variety in size and shape.

This uniformity makes the oil perform very predictably at high and low temperatures and because the molecules are uniform, they stand shoulder to shoulder so tightly that oxygen molecules cannot easily attach and cause oxidation. Oxidation is one of the main reasons an oil 'wears out' and has to be changed.

A consequence of this molecular consistency is that because the synthetic base oil molecules form this inter-locked 'wall' not only do they resist the attachment of oxygen but they can also resist accepting additives. Early synthetic gearbox oil was formulated with conventional additives and solvency was an issue. After much research and development, a new generation of additives have been developed which synergize well with the synthetic base oils.

Synthetic lubes really shine in gearboxes which are typically sealed from dirt and water and not subjected to the contamination of combustion by-products, fuel and coolant that are present in an engine. However even the best synthetic gearbox oils can become contaminated with wear metals from gears and bearings. Synthetic gear lubricants offer superior high and low temperature performance, extended life which is good for gear boxes that may not be easily accessed for service, and potential energy savings because of reduced fricition and easier pumpability within the system.

 Modern vehicles often use synthetic gear oil. As horse-power and loads have increased at the same time as reduced oil capacity and increased use of fairings for streamlining which reduces air flow under the vehicle, gearboxes and final drives would cook and die under the stress without synthetic lubes keeping them cool and lubricated.

Advantages of using synthetic gearbox oil.

Synthetic gearbox oil provides a number of advantages over regular lubricants. However, it does not necessarily out-perform mineral oils in all respects. Nevertheless, the advantages of synthetic lubricating oils (depending on the base oil) include:
  • improved thermal and oxidation resistance 
  • improved viscosity-temperature stability
  • high viscosity index 
  • superior low temperature properties 
  • lower evaporation losses 
  • reduced flammability (in some cases) 
  • improved lubricity (in some cases) 
  • less tendency to form residues 
  • fuel savings 
With the wide variety of synthetic gearbox oil available it’s important that you make the correct selection to ensure longevity and optimum performance for your vehicles. Call Habot Synthetic Lubricants, we have top quality lubricants and professional advice to help you make the right choice.


svgear gear said...

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