Othmar Frey, head of Technical Customer Service, knows them backwards and forwards – the lubricant applications for practically anything powered by an engine. Whether full-electric, hybrid or internal-combustion – high-lubricity lubricants will play a vital role in future for boosting efficiency and lowering emissions by reducing friction.
E-mobility is a topic of continuing interest. In the future, will we still need lubricants at all?
Othmar Frey: Alternative, CO2-neutral drive technologies make sense in light of a growing world population and issues surrounding emissions. In my view a mix of different technologies will carry us into the future. Lubricants will always play an important role, because wherever friction occurs, there's a need to lubricate.
What advantages do high-lubricity motor oils offer?
Othmar Frey: A low-viscosity multigrade oil displays significantly lower friction values under all operating conditions. This makes it possible to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Modern engines are specifically engineered for them in terms of construction, tolerances, operation, etc. and built with great precision. This is why we have manufacturer's recommendations. In older engines, we have a little more leeway when it comes to choice of viscosity.
What do you mean by “leeway”?
Othmar Frey: Viscosity specifications depend on the type of use and the climate zone. As we know, to reach the lubrication point as quickly as possible, multigrade oils have to remain fluid when it's cold. And even at temperatures over 120 °C, an extremely thin film of lubricant always has to be able to withstand high loads. In the past this was achieved by using thicker oils. Nowadays base oil and additive technology is highly advanced. Even very thin oils can withstand extreme loads over extended periods. So leeway means that, following serious testing, it may in many cases be possible to switch to a highlubricity oil such as SAE 5W/30.
Where do you see further potential for 0W high-lubricity engine oils?
Othmar Frey: They're generally more sustainable. To begin with, the 0W cold viscosity means the oil pump faces less resistance in forcing the lubricant through the filter and oil lines to the bearings. Because of downsizing, modern engines have fewer moving parts. They are also built with great precision, and the piston assembly often has a friction-reducing coating. As a result these engines have very low oil consumption. And what doesn't get burned in turn reduces emissions and operating costs.
What about optimizing friction in the drive train?
Othmar Frey: The EU's goal of reducing CO2 emissions a further 30 % by 2030 presents an enormous challenge for vehicle manufacturers. Together with low-viscosity motor oils, friction-optimized transmission and axle lubricants also contribute significantly. Here again, it's not either-or but both-and.
What challenges do you see for lubricant technology in the future?
Othmar Frey: High-lubricity lubricants are becoming the new standard. That’s why MOTOREX, with its CONCEPT T-XL SAE 0W/16 and other products, has established itself as a firm favorite for the low-friction engines of Asian hybrid-vehicle manufacturers. The market launch of this motor oil in SAE 0W/8 viscosity shows the direction things are headed in the future.
What role awaits MOTOREX in the future ?
Othmar Frey: As a solutions provider, MOTOREX will continue to follow developments on the market. Synthetic fuels will present further challenges for future lubricants. We at MOTOREX will ensure that theseproducts serve their purpose in a way that's efficient, long-lasting,and conserves resources.
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