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Comparison of the ultrasonic shear stability of a number of polymer-containing lubricants for power transmission fluids based on a parameter (Reduced Viscosity Loss) indicated that, as a first approximation, shear stability is an inverse function of molecular weight of the polymeric component. When studied closely, the shear stability varies with the type of polymer, and seems to be related to the extensibility of the polymer in oil solution. Finally, with detailed analysis, the data suggest that the shear stability varies with molecular weight distribution and, thus, with the critical molecular weight level below which degradation in a given device is minimal.
Selby, T. W.
Strosacker Laboratory, Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich