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These brightstock replacements are highly biodegradable products. Our patent-pending manufacturing process uses controlled polymerisation of special varieties of rapeseed oil - high erucic low polyunsaturated (HELP) and high oleic low polyunsaturated (HOLP).


HELP and HOLP rapeseed oils have outstanding thermo-oxidative properties due to the ultra-low polyunsaturated fatty acid content (see Figure 1). These unique vegetable oils are suitable in the neat form as a base for lubricating oil or as feedstock in production of bio-based chemicals.


oils and oxidatively polymerised oils, are perhaps the best known of these and include a diverse group of products based on castor oil, rapeseed oil and soyabean oil.


Polymerised vegetable oils are good lubricity additives and perform well in water based metalworking fluids as well as in neat oils. They are manufactured to a specific viscosity specification ranging from 1 poise at 25°C up to 1600 poise at 25°C, depending on the oil type. There are numerous producers of oxidatively polymerised vegetable oils: Afton, Croda, Oleon, to name a few. Due to their excellent lubricity and a benign health and safety profile, blown vegetable oils are successfully used in industrial lubricants and metalworking fluid formulations.


Figure 1: Oxidation stability (the Rancimat method) of base oils and finished products formulated using two commercial DI packages


These brightstocks also improve the tribological properties of finished lubricants due to the superlubricity effect of polymerised vegetable oil (M. Roegiers, B. Zhmud, Lubrication Science 2011, 23, pp. 263–278).


As an alternative to oxidative polymerisation, plasma treatment can be used. The basic process is similar to the legacy Elektrion process developed by Alexandre de Hemptinne in Belgium in the beginning of the 20th century (M. Roegiers, The Elektrion process: its history, its mechanism, its action on lubricating oils. Elektrion s.a., Ghent, 1952). The Elektrion process uses silent electric discharges to trigger the polymerisation. The feedstock containing natural fatty triglycerides of various chain length and degree of unsaturation undergoes electro-ionising treatment that leads to an increase in viscosity due to cross-linking between fatty triglyceride molecules.


Vegetable oils can also be polymerised by heating them in vacuum or an inert gas atmosphere (see, for instance, US Patent 5229023). Erhan and Bagby carried out polymerisation by heating oil at 330C in nitrogen atmosphere under continuous stirring (S.Z. Erhan, M.O. Bagby, Polymerisation of vegetable oils and their uses in printing inks, J. Am. Oil Chemists Soc. 71, 1994, pp. 1223-1226. Carboxylates of Ni, Fe, Co, Cu and Sn all were found to be effective polymerisation catalysts (V.M. Mello et al., Industrial Crops and Products 2013, 43(1) pp.56–60).


Figure 2: Coefficient of friction measured between the grey cast iron piston ring and cylinder liner segments lubricated by marine SAE 50 BN40 oil formulated using conventional paraffinic bright stock and Nuspec B32RBD substitute


Vegetable oil-based polymers have a long history of use as oil thickeners and viscosity index improvers in lubricant formulations. Vegetable oil-based polymers can be obtained by free radical, cationic, and condensation polymerisation. Blown oils, also known as oxidised


The availability of property-matched biogedradable brightstock replacements is a welcome news to lubricant formulators.


LINK www.nuspec-oil.com


LUBE MAGAZINE NO.160 DECEMBER 2020


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