Published: Jun 2003
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MOST UNTREATED OR NON-FORMULATED LUBRICANTS, i.e., mineral base oils and synthetic basestocks, do not possess the properties necessary to perform effectively in today's demanding lubricating environments. Tofunction in such environments properly, base fluids need the help of chemicals called additives. Additives improve the lubricating ability of base oils, either by enhancing the desirable properties already present or by adding new properties. Such properties include suitable viscosity, slipperiness, high film-strength, low corrosivity, low pour point, good cleansing and dispersing ability, low toxicity and low flammability . Most of today's lubricants are formulated lubricants, and additives are their integral part. The 1998 world consumption of lubricant additives is estimated at 2.588 million metric tons, of which North America and Western Europe consumed 67%. This estimate is based on 1995 SRI data  and the estimated growth rate.
Research and Development Manager, Lubricant Additives Division, King Industries, Inc., Norwalk, CT