Modern industrial equipment makes increasingly severe demands on the lubricating oils used to keep the equipment running. Higher operating temperatures, smaller oil reservoirs, and decreased downtime all help create a severe environment for the lubricant. In response, base oil manufacturers have developed new technology to provide more saturated, high-performance base oils using catalytic hydrocracking technology. Lubricants based on these base oils and properly matched with the right additive technology have longer oxidation life, less deposit forming tendencies, and overall higher performance than solvent refined products.
In this paper, the performance properties of lubricants based on hydrocracked Group II base oils are compared with those of more traditional products based on solvent refined base stocks. Laboratory tests such as the Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test (ASTM D2272), the Turbine Oil Oxidation Stability Test (ASTM D943), and the Water Separability Test (ASTM D1401) were used to predict performance. The lubricants tested were all from the general category of rust and oxidation inhibited oils (R&O oils), and included turbine oils. In some cases, actual performance was verified in field trials. The data presented confirm the performance advantages of a properly formulated lubricant based on Group II hydrocracked stocks.