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July/August 2009
InFocus

Lubricant Formulations

The Subject from A to Z

An approach useful to both chemists and engineers can be found in a new ASTM International manual, A Comprehensive Review of Lubricant Chemistry, Technology, Selection, and Design. Manual author Syed Q. A. Rizvi, Ph.D., shares information gained from his years of R&D experience in various additive and lubricant manufacturing companies as well as his extensive research for the book. The manual encompasses in-depth discussion on developing additives and additive packages for use in formulating lubricants and fuels.

The author, who has contributed a number of chapters and articles to other publications on the topics of additives, lubricants and fuels, says that his book provides depth, continuity and coherence on the subject matter, which to date has not been covered in other publications. This book not only fulfills the needs of a chemist who is trying to design new additives but also those of a formulator who is interested in developing a finished lubricant or fuel. The work also includes chemistry and analytical techniques related to additives and base fluids and testing of the finished lubricants and fuels.

The book’s lubricant formulations information can serve as a starting point for a lubricant technologist who then can proceed to meet the needs of a specific application. The formulations are based on the author’s experience and those published in the patent literature or known in the public domain. The manual also identifies the needs of new lubricant technology and provides guidance to further research in the fields of additives and lubricants.

According to the author, the manual core consists of Chapters 2, 3, and 4, all three of which deal with the two essential lubricant components, that is, base fluids and additives. These chapters encompass the chemistry, manufacture and properties of chemicals that are used to develop additives and the additives themselves, which in turn are combined with base fluids to make lubricants. The function of additives is either to enhance a fluid’s existing properties or to impart new properties necessary for its performance. Other chapters in the manual include lubrication fundamentals, emissions and emission standards, chemistry and technology of the functional fluids, and testing. And with today’s additional emphasis on environmental concern as well as energy efficiency, the manual addresses the topic of lubricants and the environment.

All in all, the 600+ page manual presents an integrated approach that shows how to put a lubricant together from its components — base fluids and additives. The book is good for a chemist as well as a lubrication engineer, Rizvi says.