All About Automotive Lubricants

A New Manual Details Lubrication and Testing

In most automotive applications, lubricants must reduce friction and wear in a typical powertrain system, transmission, driveline, chassis and other lubricated components; they must cool by removing heat from lubricated components or sliding surfaces; they must clean by washing away wear debris or any sludge in engine operations. As discussed in the new Manual 62, The Handbook of Automotive Lubricants and Testing, automotive lubricants perform important functions: They reduce friction and wear, remove heat and contaminants, and protect and clean surfaces.

Manual 62, which has been co-published by ASTM International and SAE International, gives industry professionals a resource where they can learn more about automotive lubrication fundamentals and lubricant test methods. Simon C. Tung, Ph.D., global OEM liaison manager for RT Vanderbilt Co. Inc., and a member of Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants, and George E. Totten, Ph.D., G.E. Totten and Associates LLC, and a longtime D02 member, co-edited the reference handbook.

The reference takes a thorough look at lubrication for a typical powertrain system, the engine, transmission, driveline, chassis and other components, and it addresses major issues and the current development status of automotive lubricant test methods. "There are few existing publications that provide such a correlation between test methods and lubricant formulation technology," says Tung.

"In North America, engine design engineers and tribologists are constantly challenged to develop advanced products to meet more demanding emissions and fuel economy targets," Tung says. Because the handbook covers the most updated ASTM International specifications, current industry tests and current International Lubricant Standards Advisory Committee approval systems for automotive lubricants, it will facilitate new product development that keeps powertrain systems running and meets future global challenges for energy sustainability.

Manual 62 includes 28 chapters divided into three parts covering:

  • Automotive tribology and lubrication basics;
  • Automotive lubricant testing, lubricant performance and current lubricant specifications; and
  • Specialized automotive lubricant testing and future automotive applications.

The manual also features a comprehensive appendix that includes abbreviations and technical terms, all ASTM reference documents, and updated standard test methods for engine oils, transmission lubricants, driveline lubricants and grease.

Invited authors and co-authors with expertise in a particular aspect of automotive lubricants contributed the individual chapters.

The reference work focuses on powertrain systems and engine lubricants, but transmission oils, chassis and gear lubricants, and lubricating greases are also considered in depth, as are tribological bench tests and specialized lubricant testing for simulating actual operating conditions. Advanced lubrication and tribochemistry of powertrain systems, such as diesel fuel lubrication, advanced automotive mechanical systems, specialized automotive lubricant testing development and biodegradable automotive lubricants have been included as well.

Automotive and lubrication engineers, petroleum scientists and engineers can benefit from using Manual 62. Automotive engineers who need to understand lubricant properties and current standard tests to meet vehicle design requirements and applications will learn from information in the book. Lubrication engineers who need a broad and in-depth resource for developing advanced lubricant technology and tests beyond their specializations will find guidance. Petroleum scientists and engineers who need to understand current lubricant specifications and test methods for ground vehicle applications and future trends will gain a broad view from Manual 62.

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