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Motor oil is a lubricant used in internal combustion engines. These include motor or road vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, heavier vehicles such as buses and commercial vehicles, non-road vehicles such as go-karts, snowmobiles, boats (fixed engine installations and outboards), lawn mowers, large gricultural and construction equipment, trains and aircraft, and static engines such as electrical generators. In gines, there are parts which move very closely against each other causing friction which wastes otherwise useful power by converting the energy to heat. Contact between moving surfaces also wears away those parts, which could lead to lower efficiency and degradation of the motor. This increases fuel consumption and decreases power output and can, in extreme cases, lead to total engine failure.Lubricating oil creates a separating film between surfaces of adjacent moving parts to minimize direct contact between them, decreasing friction, wear, and production of excessive heat, thus protecting the engine. Motor oil being a good conductor of heat, it is brought into contact with a hot surface, thereby absorbing some of the heat from said surface so the oil can then transfer the heat elsewhere, typically to the air or a heat sink of some variety.n petrol (gasoline) engines, the top compression ring can expose the motor oil to emperatures of 320 °F (160 °C). In diesel engines the top ring can expose the oil to temperatures over 600 °F (315 °C). Motor oils with higher viscosity indices thin less at these higher temperatures.Coating metal parts with oil also keeps them from being exposed to oxygen, inhibiting oxidation at elevated operating temperatures preventing rust or corrosion. Corrosion inhibitors may also be added to the motor oil. Many motor oils also have detergents and dispersants added to help keep the engine clean and minimize oil sludge build-up.ubbing of metal engine parts inevitably produces some microscopic metallic particles from the wearing of the surfaces. Such particles could circulate in the oil and grind against the moving parts, causing erosion and wear. Because particles inevitably build up in the oil, it is typically circulated through an oil filter to remove harmful particles. An oil pump, a vane or gear pump powered by the vehicle engine, pumps the oil throughout the engine, including the oil filter. Oil filters can be a full flow or bypass type.n the crankcase of a vehicle engine, motor oil lubricates rotating or sliding surfaces between the crankshaft journal bearings (main bearings and big-end bearings), and rods connecting the pistons to the crankshaft. The oil collects in an oil pan, or sump, at the bottom of the crankcase. In some small engines such as lawn mower engines, dippers on the bottoms of connecting rods dip into the oil at the bottom and splash it around the crankcase as needed to lubricate parts inside. In modern vehicle engines, the oil pump takes oil from the oil pan and sends it through the oil filter into oil galleries, from which the oil lubricates the main bearings holding the crankshaft up at the main journals and camshaft bearings operating the valves. In typical modern vehicles, oil pressure-fed from the oil galleries to the main bearings enters holes in the main journals of the crankshaft. From these holes in the main journals, the oil moves through passageways inside the crankshaft to exit holes in the rod journals to lubricate the rod bearings and connecting rods. Some simpler designs relied on these rapidly moving parts to splash and lubricate the contacting surfaces between the piston rings and iterior surfaces of the cylinders. However, in modern designs, there are also passageways through the rods which carry oil from the rod bearings to the rod-piston connections and lubricate the contacting surfaces between the piston rings and interior surfaces of the cylinders. This oil film also serves as a seal between the piston rings and cylinder walls to separate the combustion chamber in the cylinder head from the crankcase. The oil then drips back down into the oil pan.[1][2].Other oilsWhile it may still be used in motor vehicles, ATF or Automatic Transmission Fluid is a separate type of specialist lubricating fluid. Varying specifications of ATF are used in automatic gearboxes and some power steering systems, and should not be used to lubricate the engine. It is typically colored dark red to distinguish it from the motor oil and other fluids in the vehiclher non-motor oils include gear or transmission, and differentials oils. These are used in manual gearboxes and driven axles. They could include specialty uses including EP (Extreme Pressure), hypoid, and limited slip functions. Again, they are not to be used for engine lubrication.edit]Non-vehicle oilsther kinds of motors also use motor oil, as well as engines that are not in vehicles such as those for electrical generators. Examples include 4-stroke or 4-cycle internal combustion engines such as those used in many "walk behind" lawn mowers and other engines, and special 2-stroke oil used in 2-stroke or 2-cycle internal combustion engines such as those used in various smaller engines like snow throwers (blowers), chain saws, toy engines like those in model airplanes, certain gardening equipment like weed/grass trimmers, leaf blowers, soil cultivators, etc. Often, the applications are not exposed to as wide a temperature range in use as vehicles, so these oils may be single grade or have less viscosity index improver. 2-cycle oil is used differently from other motor oils in that it is pre-mixed with the gasoline or fuel, often in a gasoline:oil ratio of 25:1, 40:1 or 50:1, and burned in use along with the gasoline.n addition to the 2-cycle oil used if they have gasoline engines, chain saws also separately use "bar and chain oil" for lubricating and cooling the surfaces where the cutting chain moves around the bar.Other examples of mechanical equipment often using oil include oil-driven compressors, vacuum pumps, diffusion pumps, sewing machines and other devices with motors, oil-driven hydraulic equipment, and turbines.The oil properties will vary according to the individual needs of these devices.[edit]PropertiesMost motor oils are made from a heavier, thicker petroleum hydrocarbon base stock derived from crude oil, with additives to improve certain properties. The bulk of a typical motor oil consists of hydrocarbons with between 18 and 34 carbon atoms per molecule.[3] One of the most important properties of motor oil in maintaining a lubricating film between moving parts is its viscosity. The viscosity of a liquid can be thought of as its "thickness" or a quantity of resistance to flow. The viscosity must be high enough to maintain a satisfactory lubricating film, but low enough that the oil can flow around the engine parts satisfactorily to keep them well coated under all conditions. The viscosity index is a measure of how much the oil's viscosity changes as temperature changes. A higher viscosity index indicates the viscosity changes less with temperature than a lower viscosity index.otor oil must be able to flow adequately at the lowest temperature it is expected to experience in order to minimize metal to metal contact between moving parts upon starting up the engine. This property of motor oil is its pour point, defined by ASTM D97 as " index of the lowest temperature of its utility..." for a given application.[4]il is largely composed of hydrocarbons which can burn if ignited. Still another important property of motor oil is its flash point, the lowest temperature at which the oil gives off vapors which can ignite. It is dangerous for the oil in a motor to ignite and burn, so a high flash point is desirable. At a petroleum refinery, fractional distillation separates a motor oil fraction from other crude oil fractions, removing the more volatile components, and therefore increasing the oil's flash point.nother manipulated property of motor oil is its Total Base Number (TBN), which is a measurement of the reserve alkalinity of an oil, meaning its ability to neutralize acids. The resulting quantity is determined as mg KOH/ (gram of lubricant). Analogously, Total Acid Number (TAN) is the measure of a lubricant's acidity. Other tests include zinc, phosphorus, or sulfur content, and testing for excessive foaming.The NOACK volatility (ASTM D-5800) Test determines the evaporation loss of lubricants in high temperature service. A maximum of 15% evaporation loss is allowable to meet API SL and ILSAC GF-3 specifications.[edit]GradesRange of Motor Oils on display in KuwaitThe Society of Automotive Engineers, usually abbreviated as SAE, has established a numerical code system for grading motor oils according to their kinematic viscosity. SAE viscosity gradings include the following: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 or 60. Some of the numbers can be suffixed with the letter W, designating their "winter" or cold-start viscosity, at lower temperature.Viscosity is graded by measuring the time it takes for a standard amount of oil to flow through a standard orifice, at standard temperature. The longer it takes, the higher the viscosity, and thus higher SAE code.Note that the SAE operate a separate viscosity rating system for transmission oils which should not be confused with engine oil viscosity. The higher numbers of a transmission oil (eg 75W-140) do not mean that it is necessarily higher viscosity than an engine oil.[edit]Single-gradeFor single-grade oils, the kinematic viscosity is measured at a reference temperature of 100 °C (212 °F) in units of mm²/s or the equivalent older non-SI units, centistokes (abbreviated cSt). Based on the range of viscosity the oil falls in at that temperature, the oil is graded as an SAE number 0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60. The higher the viscosity, the higher the SAE grade number is. These numbers are often referred to as the weight of a motor oil. The reference temperature is meant to approximate the operating temperature to which motor oil is exposed in an engine.The viscosity of single-grade oil derived from petroleum unimproved with additives changes considerably with temperature. As the temperature increases, the viscosity of the oil decreases logarithmically in a relatively predictable manner. On single-grade oils, viscosity testing can be done at cold, winter (W) temperature (as well as checking minimum viscosity at 100 °C/212 °F) to grade an oil as SAE number 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 20W, or 25W. A single-grade oil graded at the hot temperature is expected to test into the corresponding grade at the winter temperature; i.e. a 10-grade oil should correspond to a 10W oil. For some applications, such as when the temperature ranges in use are not very wide, single-grade motor oil is satisfactory; for example, lawn mower engines, and vintage or classic cars.[edit]Multi-gradeThe temperature range the oil is exposed to in most vehicles can be wide, ranging from cold ambient temperatures in the winter before the vehicle is started up to hot operating temperatures when the vehicle is fully warmed up in hot summer weather. A specific oil will have high viscosity when cold and a low viscosity at the engine's operating temperature. The difference in viscosities for any single-grade oil is too large between the extremes of temperature. To bring the difference in viscosities closer together, special polymer additives called viscosity index improvers, or VIIs are added to the oil. These additives make the oil a multi-grade motor oil. The idea is to cause the multi-grade oil to have the viscosity of the base number when cold and the viscosity of second number when hot. This enables one type of oil to be generally used all year, and when multi-grades were initially developed, they were frequently described as all-season oil. The viscosity of a multi-grade oil still varies logarithmically with temperature, but the slope representing the change is lessened. This slope representing the change with temperature depends on the nature and amount of the additives to the base oil.The SAE designation for multi-grade oils includes two grade numbers; for example, 10W-30 designates a common multi-grade oil. Historically, the first number associated with the W (again 'W' is for Winter, not Weight) is not rated at any single temperature. The "10W" means that this oil can be pumped by your engine as well as a single-grade SAE 10 oil can be pumped. "5W" can be pumped at a lower temperature than "10W" and "0W" can be pumped at a lower temperature than "5W". The second number, 30, means that the viscosity of this multi-grade oil at 100 °C (212 °F) operating temperature corresponds to the viscosity of a single-grade 30 oil at same temperature. The governing SAE standard is called SAE J300. This "classic" method of defining the "W" rating has since been replaced with a more technical test where a "cold crank simulator" is used at increasingly lowered temps. A 0W oil is tested at 35 °C (31 °F), a 5W at 30 °C (22 °F) and a 10W is tested at 25 °C (13 °F). The real-world ability of an oil to crank in the cold is diminished soon after put into service. The motor oil grade and viscosity to be used in a given vehicle is specified by the manufacturer of the vehicle (although some modern European cars now make no viscosity requirement), but can vary from country to country when climatic or mpg constraints come into play.edit]TurbineTurbine motor oils are designed somewhat differently than reciprocating engine oils traditionally used in automobiles. Deposit control and corrosion are not significant issues when formulating a turbine oil, and the shear stresses that turbine oils are exposed to are minimal in light of the fact that turbines are naturally balanced rotating machines unlike reciprocating engines. Turbine oils tend to have the ISO VG range 32, 46, and 68 (cSt at 40 °C/104 °F), and make extensive use of polyolester, polyalphaolefin, and Group II as base stock due to the high temperatures they must endure. Varnish is the most problematic contaminant, which can only be detected accurately with the ultra centrifuge test resulting in the "UC value".In most aviation gas turbine applications, peak lubricant temperatures are not reached during engine operation, but after shutdown, when heat has been able to migrate from the combustor cans and the compressors into the regions of the engine with lubricated bearings and gearboxes. The gas flow associated with running the turbine provides significant convective cooling that disappears when the engine is shut down, leaving residual heat that causes temperatures within the turbine to rise dramatically, an often-misunderstood phenomenon.[edit]Standards[edit]American Petroleum InstituteThe American Petroleum Institute (API) sets minimum performance standards for lubricants. Motor oil is used for the lubrication, cooling, and cleaning of internal combustion engines. Motor oil may be composed of a lubricant base stock only in the case of non-detergent oil, or a lubricant base stock plus additives to improve the oil's detergency, extreme pressure performance, and ability to inhibit corrosion of engine parts. Lubricant base stocks are categorized into five groups by the API. Group I base stocks are composed of fractionally distilled petroleum which is further refined with solvent extraction processes to improve certain properties such as oxidation resistance and to remove wax. Group II base stocks are composed of fractionally distilled petroleum that has been hydrocracked to further refine and purify it. Group III base stocks have similar characteristics to Group II base stocks, except that Group III base stocks have higher viscosity indexes. Group III base stocks are produced by further hydrocracking of Group II base stocks, or of hydroisomerized slack wax, (a byproduct of the dewaxing process). Group IV base stock are polyalphaolefins (PAOs). Group V is a catch-all group for any base stock not described by Groups I to IV. Examples of group V base stocks include polyol esters, polyalkylene glycols (PAG oils), and perfluoropolyalkylethers (PFPAEs). Groups I and II are commonly referred to as mineral oils, group III is typically referred to as synthetic (except in Germany and Japan, where they must not be called synthetic) and group IV is a synthetic oil. Group V base oils are so diverse that there is no catch-all description.edit]API service classeshe API service classes[5] have two general classifications: S for "service" (originating from spark ignition) (typical passenger cars and light trucks using gasoline engines), and C for "commercial" (originating from compression ignition) (typical diesel equipment).ote that the API oil classification structure has eliminated specific support for wet-clutch motorcycle applications in their descriptors, and API SJ and newer oils are referred to be specific to automobile and light truck use. Accordingly, motorcycle oils are subject to their own uniqu standards.The latest API service standard designation is SM for gasoline automobile and light-truck engines. The SM standard refers to a group of laboratory and engine tests, including the latest series for control of high-temperature deposits. Current API service categories include SM, SL and SJ for gasoline engines. All previous service designations are obsolete, although motorcycle oils commonly still use the SF/SG standard. The obsolete SH standard was the last standard to contain the integral zinc and phosphorus (ZDDP) levels


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