F.A.Q.SWhat is a lubricant?
A lubricant is an agent (liquid, semi-solid, solid, gas) interposed between two moving surfaces to reduce friction.
What is viscosity?
Viscosity is the resistance to flow of a liquid (in this case, of oil).
An example would be the flow of lubricant at extreme temperatures.
- High viscosity = Low flow (thick oil)
- Low viscosity = Fast flow (thin oil)
What is a base oil?
The base oil is the main component used for the production of end products (lubricants), and is classified into the following categories, based on its clarity and composition:
- Group I, II, III (produced from the refinement of crude oil through fractional distillation in vacuum and complex chemical processes)
- Group IV, V (a base oil produced through chemical processes)
What is an additive?
Additives are chemicals added to a base oil to enhance its qualities, increase its performance and protect the lubricated surfaces and the lubricant itself. There are a number of different types (packages) of additives and combinations thereof, which when added to a base oil, create the different groups of lubricants (automotive oils, gear oils, hydraulic oils, etc.).
What is a mineral oil?
A mineral oil is a mixture of a base oil, which corresponds at least to 85% of the final product (GROUP I, II, III) and various types of additives depending on the type of the lubricant we wish to create.
What is a synthetic lubricant?
This is a mixture of a highly clear base oil (GROUP IV, V) produced through chemical cleaning processes and isolation of fractions (polymerization), with specific types of additives (depending on the type of the lubricant we wish to create).
What is a semi-synthetic lubricant or a synthetic based lubricant?
This is an intermediate group of lubricants manufactured from base oils used in the production of mineral oils, as well as synthetic lubricants and additives in order to produce an intermediate group of lubricants.
What is a Mono-grade lubricant?
Mono-grade lubricants are mineral oils capable of ensuring lubrication within a limited range of temperatures (SAE 30, 40, 50). They are used in applications with limited lubricating demands, mainly in older technology engines usually in the warmer months of the year.
What is a Multi-grade lubricant?
Multi-grade lubricants are those lubricants whose main characteristic is the limited change in viscosity (fluidity) under different temperatures existing due to a change of seasons (winter – summer), as well in winter months due to day-night changes (SAE 5w-40, 10w-40 , 15w-40 , 20w-50, etc.). They are used for lubricating all modern engines, whose lubricating needs are high and keep increasing.
What are the quality differences in lubricants?
The quality-based specifications are API, ACEA, JASO and DIN.
What does API stand for?
API stands for "American Petroleum Institute", an organization focusing on the control and certification of all oil products manufactured and traded by oil companies, which provides them with certification based on the specifications established by the organization (API).
With regard to lubricants in particular, API has grouped them based on its own specifications depending on their ability to protect engines. Thus, "S" refers to petrol engines and "C" refers to diesel engines. The Latin character placed after "S" or "C" indicates the lubricant protection level, where "A" stands for the lowest level of protection and "Z" stands for the highest level of protection. Thus, we can see "API SL" for petrol engines and "API CI-4" for diesel engines, as well as "API SL / CF" and "API CI-4 / SL" as certain lubricants can be used in both types of engines (petrol and diesel).
Please, note that API groups and establishes specifications for American engines.
What does ACEA stand for?
ACEA stands for "Association des Constructeurs Europeensd΄ Automobiles", the European equivalent of API responsible for grouping and establishing specifications for European engines. Like API, ACEA uses the Latin alphabet for its specifications, but in a different, more detailed way. Thus, it uses "A" for petrol engines, "B" for light duty diesel engines, "E" for heavy duty diesel engines (HDDE) and "C" to refer to all engines, and classifies lubricants depending on their composition and compatibility with various types of catalysts used by automobile manufacturers. After "A", "B", "C" or "E" a serial number (1, 2, 3 ...) is placed. For example, we will see such specifications as ACEA Α3/Β3 for petrol engines, and ACEA E7 / E5 / E3 for heavy duty diesel engines.
What does JASO stand for?
JASO stands for "Japanese Automobile Standards Organization", the equivalent of API and ACEA, and is an organization responsible for grouping lubricants depending on the requirements of Japanese engine manufacturers.
What does DIN stand for?
DIN stands for "Deutsches Institut fur Normung e.V.", the German organization responsible for the quality classification of products.
It is used as a basis for the quality classification (e.g. DIN 51502) of industrial lubricants.
What are the lubricant specifications based on fluidity (viscosity)?
Fluidity-based specifications are SAE, ISO, AGMA and NLGI.
What does SAE stand for?
SAE stands for "Society of Automotive Engineers", an organization responsible for grouping Engine Oils and Gear Oils based on their viscosity (fluidity) at specific temperatures. For example, specification SAE 10w-40 is used for an engine oil and 80w-90 is used for a gear oil.
What does ISO stand for?
ISO stands for "International Standard Organization", an international organization responsible for grouping industrial lubricants based on their viscosity (fluidity) at specific temperatures. For example, specification ISO 68 is used for a hydraulic lubricant and ISO 320 is used for an industrial gear oil.
What does AGMA stand for?
AGMA stands for "American Gear Manufacturer Association", an organization also responsible (like ISO) for grouping industrial lubricants based on their viscosity (fluidity) at specific temperatures. For example, specification AGMA 4 is used for an industrial gear oil, which is the equivalent of ISO 150.
What does NLGI stand for?NLGI stands for "National Lubricating Greases Institute", an organization responsible for grouping lubricant greases based on their fluidity (that is their cohesion or their resistance to penetration) at specific temperatures. For example, specification NLGI 2 is used for a soft grease.