Afton’s Polymer Solutions for Lubricant Efficiency - Helping Formulators Keep Pace With Industry Innovation


The quest for efficiency in every aspect of our lives has driven powerful industrial innovations. Automotive design, manufacturing equipment, power production and everything in between runs smaller—consuming less fuel and producing less waste. Some of these innovations are highly visible as we go about our everyday lives, and some work behind the scenes, known only to a select few.

Take, for instance, lubricants. Formulators are constantly re-engineering their technology to keep up with the latest advancements in technology—meaning what was regarded as state-of-the-art five years ago may now be considered outdated. New designs in automotive, on and off-road commercial vehicles and industrial equipment have given rise to advances in base oils, additives and polymers. These developments have dramatically enhanced performance in areas critical for smooth vehicle operation.

The potential combinations of base oils, additives and polymers today are virtually infinite—so where does a formulator begin?  

Let’s start with viscosity. Many engineers are calling for lower kinematic viscosities to minimize losses due to churning. The thought is that if it works at 6 cSt, it could be optimized to work at 5 cSt, or if it works as a SAE 75W-90, it can be refined to work as a SAE 75W-85. Base oil, additive and polymer selection is determined by their ability to overcome the challenges brought by such demands. But with any reformulation, lubricant film strength, shear stability, low temperature properties, wear protection, frictional characteristics and many other parameters must be balanced and addressed. Therefore, formulators need a large tool box to successfully deliver lubricant solutions at the rapid pace of innovation. 

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Driven by Insight

Afton’s polymer and viscometric expertise has resulted from many years of application testing and optimization. Our polymer design team has access to the latest testing facilities that recreate real-world environments for a broad array of applications. By combining best-in-class testing with the latest base oils, additives and polymers we are able to drive lubricant innovation and exceed the latest benchmarks for efficiency.


Whether you’re looking for low-temperature performance, excellent film strength, superior shear stability, yellow metal compatibility or improved thermal stability, you can meet the unique needs of each application with Afton’s full breadth of tailored viscosity modifiers.
 

Afton’s Powerful Polymer Portfolio

Afton Chemical is on the frontline of lubricant technology—delivering combinations of additives and polymers that are precisely tailored to meet specific design and performance needs of lubricant marketers. Our formulations have been extensively tested in bench, rig and field demonstrations specific to certain applications. To facilitate innovation, we have made many of the polymers used today available to the industry at large in the following ways:
  1. Engine lubrication - Combustion engine designs continue to undergo rapid evolution to capture every ounce of efficiency while at the same time decreasing emissions.   Viscosity targets, base oils and additive chemistries alike have changed to facilitate the maximum benefits from these new engine designs without compromising engine performance.  The complexity of multi-grade product proliferation and today’s low viscosity lubricants can be managed with Afton’s olefin copolymer portfolio.  This portfolio is aimed to maximize blending efficiency and is available in both solid rubber and liquid forms.  Meeting the needs of today’s engines is facilitated by Afton’s polymer portfolio.
  2. Fluid power for hydraulic and transmission applications - Poly (alkyl methacrylate) chemistry has delivered optimum performance in various stationary and mobile applications. In some cases, this chemistry is finely tuned to bring other properties such as water separation characteristics or even enhanced oxidation resistance properties. Incorporating these polymers into modern lubricant formulations has enabled substantial increases in efficiency across multiple applications. If industrial and driveline lubricant efficiency advances were measured in terms of market share, these types of solutions would be today’s leaders.
  3. Film strength and low-temperature characteristics for axle and high-loaded systems - Shorter chained polymers have been utilized in order to maximize efficiency and fuel economy over the widest range of conditions. They are made from a variety of core chemistry depending on base oil selection, desired viscometric properties and application factors. Afton’s Customer Technical Service team can gladly assist programs to optimize formulations with these types of heavily loaded challenges.

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