The Quality of United Bio Lube's full line of Renewable, Biobased Lubricants is surpased by none. High quality performance is established at a state-of-the-art Bio Lubricants Refinery using advanced additives. Many of these are Biobased additives, chosen to be highly effective with Stablilized™ High Oleic Base Stocks (HOBS).
Although the overall performance of an oil can be improved by introducing additives, a poor quality oil cannot be converted into a premium quality oil by introducing additives.
Note: There are limits to the amount of additives that can be introduced to improve performance. Beyond these limits, the benefits are minimal or may provide no gains in performance. They also may increase the cost of lubricants and, in some cases, are harmful to metals and seals.
An additive may function in any of the following three ways:
Protecting Bio Lubricated Surfaces. Extreme Pressure (EP) Additives, Bio Corrosion Inhibitors, and Bio Rust Inhibitors are included in this category. These additives coat the lubricated surfaces and prevent wear, corrosion, and rust.
Improving Performance. Viscosity Index Improvers and Anti-Foaming Agents are examples. They make the oil perform in a desired manner for specific applications.
Protecting Biobased Lubricants. Anti-Oxidants reduce the tendency of High Oleic Base Stocks to oxidize and form Sludge and Acids.
The most common additives are discussed individually in the following paragraphs:
5.2 Surface Additives
The primary purpose of a Surface Additive is to protect lubricated surfaces. Extreme Pressure Agents, Bio Rust Inhibitors, Bio Corrosion Inhibitors, Tackiness Agents, Anti-Wear Additives, and Oiliness Additives are included in this category. These additives coat the lubricated surfaces to prevent wear or rust.
Bio Rust Inhibitors
Bio Rust Inhibitors are added to most industrial lubricants to minimize rusting of metal parts, especially during shipment, storage, and equipment shutdown. Although oil and water do not mix very well, water will emulsify.
In some instances the water will remain either suspended by agitation or will rest beneath the oil on machine surfaces when agitation is absent. Bio Rust Inhibitors form a Surface Film that prevents water from making contact with metal parts. This is accomplished by making the oil adhere better or by emulsifying the water if it is in a low concentration.
Bio Corrosion Inhibitors
Bio Corrosion Inhibitors suppress oxidation and prevent formation of acids. These inhibitors form a Protective Film on metal surfaces and are used primarily in internal combustion engines to protect alloy bearings and other metals from corrosion.
Extreme Pressure (EP) Agents
Extreme Pressure Agents react with the metal surfaces to form compounds that have a lower Shear Strength than the metal.
The EP reaction is initiated by an increased temperature caused by the pressure between asperities on wearing surfaces. The EP reaction creates a protective coating at the specific points where protection is required. This coating reduces friction, wear, scoring, seizure, and galling of wear surfaces.
Extreme Pressure additives are used in heavy loading or shock loading applications such as turbines, gears, and ball and roller bearings.
In some cases, oils must adhere to surfaces extremely well. Adding sticky Polymers composed of long-chain molecules increases the Tackiness or Adhesiveness of Biobased Lubricants.
Anti-Wear (AW) Agents
Additives that cause an oil to resist wear by coating the metal surfaces are called Anti-Wear Agents. Molecules of the Anti-Wear compound are Polar and attach (adsorb) themselves to metal surfaces.
When Boundary Lubrication conditions (direct contact between metal asperities) occur, such as in starting and stopping of machinery, these molecules resist removal more than ordinary oil molecules. This reduces friction and wear.
Bio Detergents, Bio Dispersants
Bio Detergents and Bio Dispersants are used primarily in hydraulic systems and internal combustion engines to keep metal surfaces clean by preventing deposition of oxidation products.
Compounded Oils (Bio Blends)
The ability of an oil to provide a lower Coefficient of Friction at a given viscosity is often called Oiliness or Lubricity. When fatty vegetable oils are added to obtain this quality of Oiliness, the lubricant is called a Compounded Oil.
Fatty base oils from High Oleic Base Stocks are proven to adhere to metal more strongly than mineral oils and provide more protective Thin, Boundary, and Fluid type films.
A small amount of animal fat or vegetable oil added to a mineral oil will reduce the Coefficient of Friction without affecting the viscosity. Compounded Oils are generally used in Worm Gears.
5.3 Performance Enhancing Additives
Viscosity Index Improvers, Anti Foaming Agents, Emulsifiers, Demulsifiers, and Pour Point Depressants are examples of additives used to improve the Quality performance of Biobased Lubricants.
Pour Point Depressants
An oil's Pour Point is the temperature at which the oil ceases to flow under the influence of gravity. In cold weather, oil with a high Pour Point makes startup of machinery difficult or impossible.
Pour Point Depressants reduce the size and cohesiveness of the crystal structures, resulting in reduced Pour Point and increased Cold Flow at reduced temperatures
Note: The stiffness of cold petroleum based mineral oil is due to Paraffin Waxes that tend to form crystal structures.
Viscosity Index (VI) Improvers
The Viscosity Index, or VI, is an indicator of the change in viscosity as the temperature is changed. The higher the VI, the less the viscosity of an oil changes for a given temperature change.
Viscosity Index Improvers are used to limit the rate of change of viscosity with temperature. These improvers have little effect on oil viscosity at low temperatures. However, when heated, the improvers enable the oil viscosity to increase within the limited range permitted by the type and concentration of the additive. This quality is most apparent in the application of Multi-grade motor oils.
Soluble oils are used as lubricants and Coolants for Cutting, Grinding, and Drilling applications in machine shops. Soluble oils require Emulsifiers to promote rapid mixing of oil and water and to form stable emulsions.
In most industrial applications it is undesirable to have emulsified water in the oil.
Demulsifiers promote separation of oil and water in lubricants exposed to water.
5.4 Fluid Protective Additives
Fluid Protective Additives are employed to protect the biobased fluid instead of the equipment. Oxidation Inhibitors and Foam Inhibitors are examples.
Oxidation of High Oleic Base Stocks (HOBS) is a major issue in industry, as HOBS tends to readily oxidize. Until the advent of Stabilized, a patented bio processing technology, Oxidation has kept most industries from broadly adopting vegetable-based oils as their prefered factory lubricant.
A Green Chemistry breakthrough, United Bio Lube's complete line of Renewable, Biobased Lubricants are formulated with patented Stabilized2 chemistry that effectively inhibits the breakdown of Biobased Lubricants.
Oxidation Inhibitors reduce the quantity of oxygen reacting with HOBS by forming inactive soluble compounds that bond to the lubricant receptors in place of oxygen. Oxidation Inhibitors also work by passivating metal-bearing surfaces to retard the oxidation rate.
Contrary to Anti-Oxidation properties of Stabilized&trade HOBS, petroleum based, or hydrocarbon molecules will react readily over time to incorporate oxygen atoms into their structure. This reaction produces acids, sludge, and varnish that foul or damage metal parts. At low temperatures and under minimal exposure to oxygen, this process is very slow. At temperatures above 82 °C (180 °F) the oxidation rate is doubled for every -7.78 to -6.67 °C (18 to 20 °F) rise in temperature.
Oxidation Inhibitors are used in most industrial lubricant applications where oil is continuously circulated or contained in a housing.
Foam Inhibitors are added to reduce foaming. In many applications, air or other gases may become entrained in oil. Unless these gases are released, a foam is produced.
Foaming can result in insufficient oil delivery to bearings, causing premature failure. Foam may also interfere with proper operation of equipment, such as lubricating pumps, and may result in false oil level readings. Under some circumstances, foam may overflow from oil reservoirs.
5.5 Precautions When Choosing Petroleum-based Oils
Additives alone do not establish oil Quality with respect to Oxidation Resistance, Emulsification, Pour Point, and Viscosity Index. Traditionally, lubricant producers do not usually state which compounds are used to enhance the lubricant quality, but only specify the generic function such as Anti-Wear, Extreme Pressure Agents, or Oxidation Inhibitors.
Furthermore, producers of petroleum based oils do not always use the same additive to accomplish the same goal. Consequently, any two brands selected for the same application may not be chemically identical. Users must be aware of these differences; and that these differences may be significant when mixing different products.
(1) Additive Depletion
Certain precautions must be observed with regard to lubricant additives in petroleum based oils. Some additives are consumed during use. As these additives are consumed, lubricant performance for the specific application is reduced and equipment failure may result under continued use. Oil monitoring programs should be implemented to periodically test oils and verify that the essential additives in petroleum based oils have not been depleted to unacceptable levels.
(2) Product Incompatibility
Another important consideration is incompatibility of petroleum based lubricants. Some petroleum based oils, such as those used in turbine, hydraulic, motor, and gear applications are naturally acidic. Other oils, such as motor oils and transmission fluids, are alkaline. Acidic and alkaline lubricants are incompatible.
Application Note: When servicing any oil lubricating system, the existing and new oils must be compatible. Oils for similar applications but produced by different manufacturers may be incompatible due to the additives used.
When incompatible fluids are mixed, the additives may be consumed due to chemical reaction with one another. The resulting oil mixture may be deficient of essential additives and therefore unsuitable for the intended application.
It is recommended United Bio Lube be consulted for a Biobased compatible petroleum based oil. Whenever a petroleum based oil is added back into a system, the oil and equipment should be checked frequently to ensure that there are no adverse reactions between the new petroleum based oil and the existing Biobased oil. Specific checks should include bearing temperatures and signs of foaming, rust, or corrosion.