Exol invests in R&D with new lab equipment

Exol has upgraded many new pieces of lab equipment at its Wednesbury and Rotherham laboratories, to further strengthen the company’s quality control, research and development processes.

The Mini Rotary Viscometer, Houillon VH1 Viscometer Bath, Brookfield Viscometer and Automated TBN have all been added to the company’s industry leading laboratories.

Exol’s Houillon VH1 Viscometer Bath measures kinematic viscosity, which is the most common test done on quality control samples. Meanwhile, the Mini Rotary Viscometer (MRV) measures the low temperature pumping viscosity of an engine oil. Just after a cold start, it is vital that the oil is pumpable from the oil sump to the engine parts. The MRV allows oils to be classified according to their ability to be supplied to the inlet of the engine’s oil pump. Mechanical failures can occur if the oil’s flow rate is too low to maintain adequate oil pressure.

The Brookfield Viscometer measures the low temperature viscosity of gear oils and automatic transmission fluids. The test can be run at different temperatures depending on the grade, for example SAE 75W grades are tested at -40°C whereas SAE 80W oils are tested at -26°C.

Finally, Exol’s latest piece of laboratory equipment is an Automated TBN machine. Engine oils need to have a base reserve in order to neutralise the acidic by-products of combustion and this is termed the Total Base Number (TBN).

Exol carries out several hundred TBN measurements every month both for quality control and for condition monitoring of in-use oils. This machine handles the solvents used, carries out the titration and removes the final mixture automatically, which cuts down greatly on operator handling of hazardous chemicals and also speeds up the test process.

Exol sales director, Steve Dunn, said: “This new lab equipment is part of our continuous period of investment that has seen Exol invest more than £3million in a new production facility, vehicle fleet and product packaging.”