Heavy Duty Trucking

JUL 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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Keeping an eye on filtration the benefits of significant fuel savings while sustaining optimum engine life is achievable," notes Mark Betner, heavy-duty lubricants manager at Citgo Lubricants. "However, emphasis needs to be placed on how the oil is formulated and tested. Just lowering the viscosity grade without providing a performance-enhancing additive technology could lead to higher en- gine wear and shortened engine life." "There's a lot of talk about fuel formation of acidic compounds that could lead to corrosion, and deposits of varnish and sludge. "Today's oils, we believe, are bor- derline at best for the new engines in this area," says Greg Shank, execu- tive staff engineer, coordinator fluids technology, for Volvo Powertrain. "The oxidation test is really going to be the defining test for the category," says Shell's Arcy. The new Mack T-13 test operates at 130 degrees C and at max power and torque. "This test is designed to destroy oils," he says. Another test that will probably be included is a Caterpillar test for aera- tion. The churning and splashing of oil in the engine can cause air to become entrained in the oil. Air is not a good lubricant, so the new test will measure the oil's ability to release that air. One test that was considered but was deemed not ready for the new cat- egory was a scuffing test, which mea- sures for adhesive wear — the kind that happens when two metal surfaces actually make contact. Currently, oils are only subject to abrasive wear tests, the type you would get from particles in the oil. While the new category won't have a test to measure for this, it's possible some equipment manufacturers will include such a test for their specific engines. The new category does not actually have any test to measure improved fuel economy. Protecting the engine All this testing is designed to make sure the engine oils can protect the engine as they are supposed to, even with lower viscosity measurements. "When a low-viscosity oil can demonstrate proven engine durability, 60 HDT • JULY 2014 www.truckinginfo.com Low-viscosity oils I ner Jorgensen, powertrain technical expert for Paccar, says changes are likely in the new engines to help accommodate the new oils, such as advanced coatings. Because engine oil pressure at idle drops when the viscosity drops, oil pump output will need to be increased to maintain low idle pressure. And the thinner oil film and clearances will require better filtration. Two filtration companies that offer products that are supposed to help maintain the additive levels of engine oils have been keeping a close eye on the new oil category. John Gaither, director of heavy-duty engineering for Luber-finer, has been researching how low- viscosity oil formulations will affect heavy-duty oil filters. "You have to look at every filter part and raw material the oil comes in contact with. Has the com- patibility, performance, efficiency or protection been compromised?" The quality of the oil filter being used with the new PC-11 formulations will receive intense scrutiny, says Gaither, who believes oil filtration will be a key to the success of the rollout. Less-frequent oil filter changes will provide another cost-savings benefit resulting from PC-11, Gaither predicts. "Lower-viscosity oil passes through the filter media more easily than higher-viscosity oil. Viscosity reduction does not undermine the filter's ability to do its job. We see the potential for a filter's life to be extended matching longer drains." Kevin Kroger, president and COO of Puradyn Filter Technologies, which makes bypass filters, says use of the PC-11 oil category should have little to no impact on bypass filtration, "as the filtration process designed into our technology has always maintained the proper viscosity of heavy- and light-duty oils." The future PC-11 fuel-efficient subcategory will come in at the lower end of the SAE 30 viscosity range, at 2.9-3.2 cP. The other subcategory, which will be backwards- compatible, will include oils on the higher-viscosity end of oils rated at SAE 30, up to the even thicker viscosities of SAE 40-weight oils. (Graphic courtesy of Shell)

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