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Oils & Fluids

Oils can be subdivided and taking each in turn we can compare their merits as lubricating oils:-

Vegetable Oils are cheap and  biodegradable however they are naturally variable in quality, there is a limited range and they are unsuitable for extreme temperatures. They are also chemically unstable.

Mineral Oils (hydrocarbons) are derived from crude oil. They are relatively cheap, have moderate chemical stability and are available in many different grades, however, they are also unsuitable for extreme temperatures and are less biodegradable.



Synthetic Hydrocarbons

Polyalphaolefins, PAOs — synthetically produced mineral oil without the impurities, higher temperature resistance, less lacquer and can be used with the same additives as mineral oil.

Polyalkeylene Glycols, PAGs — can be oil and water soluble or neither, they have a very low lacquer and higher temperature resistance, however, additives are generally less effective.

Esters, Diesters, Triesters & Polyol Esters - higher temperature resistance than PAGs or PAOs, however, they are also more expensive. Temperature capability rises with price. Polyol Esters are also biodegradable.

Synthetic, Non Hydrocarbon Oils — these are generally silicones, fluorosilicones and fluorinated oils or PFPEs.

Silicones - have a wide operating temperature range and are generally compatible with most non silicone based materials, however, they are expensive.

Fluorosilicones - have an even wider temperature range and are even more expensive.

Fluorocarbons (PFPEs) - are far and away the ultimate performance oil with respect to chemical and thermal stability. They offer the widest operating temperature range, are compatible with almost all materials and are resistant to all factors that degrade most oils. They are the most expensive, however, the performance is unequalled in most applications.

 

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