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Cite this document
Formulating lubricants can provide various challenges. Usually, lubricants are first and foremost formulated to reduce friction and wear in moving equipment. Next, they are formulated to coat and protect metal parts against rust and corrosion. Finally, they are formulated to resist heat and at the same time remove it by splashing on hot parts and transferring it to air- or water- cooled parts of the machine. Today, various other drivers end up dictating what ingredients the product formulator must use. For example, formulas for engine oils and automatic transmission fluids require tremendous amounts of testing and almost force most blenders have to use the approved base oils and additives at controlled levels recommended by the additive suppliers. The only way around this is to rerun the full barrage of expensive approval tests, which can limit companies who do not have the financial resources. Recently, certain safety and environmental regulations enacted by government regulators, such as the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH), are creating new constraints that are affecting formulator’s options. In recent years, products have begun to be marketed using terms such as environmentally friendly, environmentally acceptable, or environmentally considerate. These have largely been marketing terms, but there are now a few standards that are being used by formulators to design products that are considered to have a lesser affect on the environment than traditional mineral oil based lubricants. Is it possible to formulate products that provide traditional lubrication requirements yet have a low environmental impact? A system will be described, called an environmental product assessment, providing a logic path that can be used to formulate lubricants and takes into account environmental considerations.
formulation, environmentally, acceptable, lubricants
Lubrication Engineers, Wichita, Kansas