Like all viable automotive aftermarket technologies, the lubricating fluid industry has made great strides over the years. Today, lubricating fluids (motor oils) must perform across a range of demanding applications, effectively protecting engineered components under increasingly longer warranties and complying with stringent regulations. In addition, new vehicle recommended oil change intervals are fast approaching a 7,500 mile average and as high as 20,000 miles. That’s asking a lot of motor oils.
However, the primary functions lubricating fluids are expected to perform—lowering extreme temperatures and reducing damaging friction levels—have not changed over the years. When lubricating fluids reduce friction in automotive applications, they help reduce actual operating and running temperatures, decrease corrosion tendencies within the system, and boost mechanical efficiency. This could mean better fuel efficiency and, in the case of Hybrids, lower electrical usage and decreased oil temperatures leading to less viscosity loss, better hydrodynamics, and less oil consumption.
Although the technology behind today’s motor oils represents great strides in tribology research, the advent of bonding technology blended with traditional motor oils delivers opportunities to dramatically improve performance by imparting characteristics not available with motor oils alone.
As good as the current varieties of motor oils are, they treat only the surface of the metal. To enhance their performance, they usually contain additives, including extreme pressure agents, surfactants, antioxidants, and corrosion inhibitors, which help the fluid better cool surfaces and reduce friction.
However, blending motor oils with bonding technology results in fluid that is able to not only treat the surface of the metal, but actually modify the surface of the metal as well.
Bonding technology is a specialized extreme-pressure lubricant formulated by chemically treating paraffin-based hydrocarbons known to withstand extremely high temperatures and pressures. This technology is formulated with a unique, long-chain molecule enabling it to achieve significant chemical stability. In fact, the process is so stable it is responsible for achieving the highest possible “1a” rating in independent laboratory testing designed to determine the anti-corrosive characteristics of lubricants. The result is a technology that interacts with metal surfaces in a molecular and chemical process to create a protective buffer on the surface of the metal. This is not a film or coating over the metal; rather, molecules become polarized and actually bond with the metal surface.
The layer of molecules is activated by extreme pressure and heat, enabling it to perform optimally when harmful friction and heat are at their most damaging levels, for example, when you blow a radiator hose.
BRIDGING LUBRICATION GAPS
Lubricants provide a film barrier between metal surfaces pressing or rubbing against one another and higher quality fluid provides greater film strength. In extreme pressure metal-to-metal applications without bonding technology, however, the film strength of the lubricant becomes weakened and thinned and, in some cases, can be completely squeezed out.
One of the greatest advantages bonding technology imparts in automotive applications is that it is present when engine oil is not. When starting a vehicle, the engine begins to turn over, which generates heat and wear while the oil is still in the pan. The oil doesn’t move to critical parts until the oil pump pumps oil up the oil galleys to such vital parts as the camshaft, tappets, and bearings. With bonding technology, after an initial exposure, the fluid is “bonded” to the critical metal parts, protecting them instantly. In fact, approximately 65 percent or more of wear on an engine takes place during the startup operation, before the lubricant reaches those parts.
REDUCING METAL WEAR
Metal surfaces feel smooth to the touch, but they have microscopic surface peaks and valleys. These irregularities can catch or snag as metal surfaces push and slide against one another, causing the surface to become damaged and vulnerable. This action also causes particles of metal shavings to break away into the fluid. When these particles are found in a lubricant, it is a sign of metal fatigue and damage. These particles also can cause damage as they circulate through the lubricant, rubbing against metal parts.
The protective layer formed by the molecules in bonding technology lubricates those surface irregularities through an extreme lubricating film pressure that fills in and evens out the peaks and valleys, diminishing the effects of metal-to-metal friction. As this protective layer is worn away, molecules circulating within the oil constantly replace it. The bonding technology continually lubricates the metal surfaces, reducing the friction that causes metal fatigue and damages equipment and parts.
Smoother metal surfaces result in improved seating between piston rings and cylinder walls, less oil consumption, less leakage of combustion by-products from combustion chamber into the lubricant system, less wear of metal surfaces, and possibly a decrease in compression loss.
Blending bonding technology with motor oils can improve engine performance and boost part life, providing efficient, economical lubricant products that help keep engines running dependably and efficiently.
As with most products, oil additives can be found in acceptable value, better, and best or premium offerings. Look for products that do not contain particles, PTFE resins (Teflon®), graphite, molybdenum disulfide (molys), or any other solid. Another indicator of a quality product is the use of a molecular bonding process to adhere to the metal, even when no flowing lubricant (motor oil) is present, thus protecting the surface of any polished metal component. A premium oil additive is a great option to offer your discerning customers. In fact, it will appeal to every customer interested in extending the life of his or her vehicle. In reality, isn’t that every customer you have or want to have? ■
About The Author: Jon Apogée is general manager: domestic sales, marketing, and motorsports for Prolong Super Lubricants, a brand of GoldenWest Lubricants, Inc., which produces a wide range of chemicals and car care products, including engine, fuel, and transmission additives; motor oils; chassis and wheel lubricants; vinyl and leather protectants. For more information, visit www.prolong.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, July 2015
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