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SECTOR FOCUS: TESTING The test of time


Frank Bellgardt, OEM Relationship Manager and Senior Field Trial Supervisor, Afton Chemical Katie Richardson, Senior Customer Technical Services Manager, Afton Chemical


The ACEA 2020 Heavy Duty Oil Sequence update expected in December brings significant changes in lubricant testing – many driven by oxidation concerns.


While there is continued focus on engine durability and fuel economy in ACEA 2020, the most stringent tests and performance limits will centre on oxidation control.


The changes relating to oxidation control come from three main sources: increased use of biodiesel, longer oil drain intervals and higher engine power density. It is to be anticipated that these trends will continue to influence lubricant performance in years to come.


In many countries environmental legislation already mandates minimum levels of biodiesel in diesel fuel and the percentages are likely to keep rising. Biodiesel accumulates in oil and oxidises more easily, so it’s more likely to lead to engine deposits.


With Heavy Commercial Vehicle operators under 20 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.160 DECEMBER 2020


constant pressure to drive down their total cost of ownership, the priority is delivering more performance for the same or less cost.


Truck engines are often operating hotter thanks to higher power output, yet must still run for longer between oil changes. Extended drain intervals must be achieved using the thinner lubricants that help to maximise fuel economy and meet emissions legislation. However, these fluids must not compromise exhaust after-treatment systems, which can be expensive to replace.


All this means that thinner lubricants are working at higher temperatures, for longer periods, and bound by chemical limit requirements in more recent specifications to comply with after-treatment systems. This places enormous stress on the fluid, particularly with respect to oxidation.


Effective oxidation control solutions are fundamental to ensuring lubricants perform reliably over time;


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