What is the role of additives in lubricants?

What is the role of additives in lubricants?

A lubricant consists of two main components: base oil and additives. These last ones are responsible for 10% to 30% of the composition of a lubricant. The additives are a combination of several chemical components that are blended into the base oil to enhance its stability and to add specific performance features. Additives contain different elements that will extend the life of the lubricant and as a result, the life of the engine.

The 4 most important features of additives

  • Reduce Friction
    Some additives contain friction modifiers to reduce the friction between the engine parts as much as possible. This will not only keep your engine from getting damaged, but also increase fuel economy.
  • Stabilize Viscosity
    As we explained before, the choice of base oils determines the thickness or viscosity of your oil. But this viscosity is very dependent on temperature. Viscosity modifiers in additives can be added to prevent the oil from becoming too thin at a high temperature and too thick at a low temperature.
  • Prevent Engine Wear
    Some additives contain elements to prevent engine wear caused by oxidation inside the engine. These additives contain antioxidants that protect the base oil against oxidation and metal deactivators that will create a film on the metal surfaces that prevents them from oxidizing.
  • Clean Engine
    There are different types of additives that will make sure the engine stays clean and the filter won’t get clogged by deposits in the oil. Detergent additives will neutralize acids and dispersant additives will dissolve impurities and clean the engine. There are also anti-foam additives that will stop the production of air bubbles and foam that could cause a loss of lubrication and corrosion.

It’s clear that additives add much needed extra features to a lubricant. In order to respond to the ongoing technological evolutions in engine design, almost every lubricant has its own specific additive package, suited for a specific application.

To find out which lubricant is perfect for your vehicle check out our easy-to-use Product Recommendation Tool on our website: www.wolflubes.com


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