Exol introduces new equipment to maintain oil quality

Exol Lubricants has introduced new shear stability test equipment that helps ensure oil quality is maintained by simulating engine conditions and measuring changes in the oil’s viscosity.

The new shear stability machine measures the key properties of viscosity index improvers in finished lubricants. As Exol produces its own liquid viscosity index improvers from solid polymers, this equipment plays an important role, ensuring the production of quality oils is consistently high.

The equipment is calibrated using a special reference oil and then a sample of the oil is tested by passing it through a diesel injector nozzle and fuel injection pump system.

This is done for 30 or 90 cycles depending upon the oil specification. If the oil suffers any loss in viscosity as a result of being sheared it must be small enough for the oil to stay within its stated SAE viscosity grade.

In the past 12 months Exol has also upgraded its laboratory equipment to include a Noack Evaporator and an Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) machine.

The Noack Machine measures how much oil is lost through evaporation when operating at high temperatures. Measurement of this is critical to the production of low volatility oils, as engine oils evaporate when heating. This evaporation must be low enough to conform with the stated oil specifications and in order to provide low oil consumption and low emissions.

The Inductively Coupled Plasma machine plays a key role in maintaining high level quality control and condition monitoring of in-use oils by measuring contaminants, additives and wear metal levels in the lubricant.