Measurement And Evaluation Of The Performance Properties Of Selected Locally Produced Lubricants (Engine Oil)

Project and Seminar Material for Mechanical Engineering ME

Measurement And Evaluation Of The Performance Properties Of Selected Locally Produced Lubricants (Engine Oil)


The performance of the oils selected in this work was tested for considering Viscosity, Viscosity Index, Density, Flash Point, Pour Point, and Carbon Residue. The most important of all the properties which makes the oil protect against wear is viscosity that helps to reduce friction between moving parts in the engine. The Viscosities of the oils; Oando SAE 20W50, Total SAE 20W50, Mobil 1 SAE 0W40, Total SAE 40, and AZ SAE 20W50 at 24.8°C (room temperature) and 100°C (maximum test temperature) are 290 cSt and 18 cSt, 290.5 cSt and 20 cSt, 286.4 cSt and 21.20 cSt, 295.2 cSt and 15.60 cSt, 296.8 cSt and 19.60 cSt respectively. This implies that the Mobil 1 is most preferred as it has the least change in viscosity with respect to change in temperature and Total SAE40, a monograde oil as the least preferred as it has highest change in viscosity with respect to change in temperature when high temperature is expected in the service environment. The pour points of the oils are -240C, -22 0C, -280C, -150C, and -220C respectively.

Based on this, all the oils are suitable for use in internal combustion engine in Nigeria and Africa. However, in an environment where very low temperature is expected during winter, the Mobil 1 (synthetic Oil) is most preferred and the monograde Oil is not suitable as the flowability may not be good enough at engine start up. The flash point of the Oils is 175 0C, 160 0C, 160 0C, 102 0C, and 170 0C respectively. These Oils are suitable for use in internal combustion engine as all the flash points are above the expected temperatures (0C) during a normal working condition. The carbon residue found in the Oils was 0.95 %, 0.90 %, 0.60 %, 1.00 %, and 0.95 % respectively. The Synthetic Oil has the lowest carbon residue and the monagrade Oil has the highest carbon residue, and so the synthetic Oil is most preferred based on carbon residue result since high amount of carbon residue is a disadvantage. In all the results of laboratory test, all the Oils were seen to be suitable in internal combustion engine with the most preferred Oil as the synthetic followed by the multigrade and the least performing oil is the monograde.

To carry out Pressure Mapping Experiment in this work, a pressure mapping equipment was developed. An Internal Combustion Engine, Thermocouple, Tachometer and Pressure Tube were obtained from the market and integrate together to function as desired based on the theoretical background of pressure mapping. The pressure mapping experiment is a fast method of measuring the performance of the lubricating Oil by mapping the pressure of the Oils in an internal combustion engine. This Oil pressure mapping is recommended for the evaluation of the performance properties of the Oils in our local market.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Cover Page
  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Plates
  • List of Figures
  • List of symbols and abbreviations

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Preamble
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Research
  • 1.4 Scope of the Research
  • 1.5 Justification

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Review of Past Work
  • 2.2 Functions and Applications of Lubricants
  • 2.2.1 Lubricants keep moving parts apart
  • 2.2.2. Lubricants reduce friction
  • 2.2.3. Lubricants carry away contaminants and debris
  • 2.2.4. Lubricants transfers heat
  • 2.2.5. Lubricants protect against wear and corrosion
  • 2.3 Quality of Lubricants
  • 2.3.1 Kinematic viscosity
  • 2.3.2 Viscosity Index
  • 2.3.3 Cold Crank Simulator Apparent Viscosity
  • 2.3.4 Borderline Pumping Temperature
  • 2.3.5 Pour Point
  • 2.3.6 Flash and. Fire points
  • 2.3.7 Noack Volatility
  • 2.3.8 High Temperature/High Shear Viscosity
  • 2.3.9 Four Ball Wear Test
  • 2.4 Sources of Lubricating Oil
  • 2.5 The Motor Oil
  • 2.5.1 Uses of Motor Oils (engine oils)
  • 2.5.2 Properties of Motor Oil
  • 2.5.3 Motor Oil Performance Tests
  • Film Strength
  • Air-handling Ability
  • Water-Handling Ability
  • Corrosion Control
  • Oxidation Stability
  • 2.5.4 Grades of Motor Oil
  • Single Grade Motor Oil
  • Multi-grade Motor Oil
  • Engine oil Performance Standards
  • The American Petroleum Institute (API)
  • The International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC)
  • 2.6 Manufacturing Process of a Lube Oil
  • 2.6.1 Sedimentation
  • 2.6.2 Fractionating
  • 2.6.3 Filtering and Solvent Extraction
  • 2.6.4 Addition of Additives
  • 2.7 Oil Additives
  • 2.7.1 Oxidation Inhibitors
  • 2.7.2 Anti Wear Additives
  • 2.7.3 Viscosity Index Improvers
  • 2.7.4 Detergents

Chapter Three

3.0 Materials and Method

  • 3.1 Viscosity Determination
  • 3.1.1 Equipment / Materials
  • 3.1.2 Procedure
  • 3.2 Density Determination
  • 3.2.1 Equipment/ Materials
  • 3.2.2 Procedure
  • 3.3 Pour Point Determination
  • 3.3.1 Equipment/ Materials
  • 3.3.2 Procedure
  • 3.4 Flash Point Determination
  • 3.4.1 Equipment/Material
  • 3.4.2 Procedure
  • 3.5 Carbon Residue Experiment
  • 3.5.1 Equipment/Materials
  • 3.5.2 Procedure
  • 3.6 Oil Pressure Mapping Experiment
  • 3.6.1 Equipment/ Materials
  • 3.6.2 Materials Selection
  • Honda Civic Engine (1986 model)
  • Thermometer /Thermocouple
  • Tachometer
  • Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Pressure Pipe
  • 3.6.3 Experimental Procedure
  • 3.7 Spent Oil Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results
  • 4.2 Discussion
  • 4.3 Limitations

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Preamble

From time immemorial, liquids, including water, have been used as lubricants to reduce friction and wear and remove heat between two surfaces in contact. At present, lubricating oil also called lube oil is the most commonly used lubricant because it has found a wide range of application in the field of engineering.

A lubricant, sometimes called lube, is a substance (often a liquid) which is introduced between two surfaces in contact moving relative to each order to keep them separate under all loads, temperatures and speed thus minimizing friction and wear. The substance may act as cooling fluid removing heat from the system and also protect surfaces from the attack of aggressive products formed during the operation. Lubricants may also perform the function of dissolving and transporting foreign particles.

Majorly, there are solid and liquid lubricants. Air and other gas based lubricants are there, but for the purpose of this research work, consideration is limited to liquid lubricants. Examples of liquid lubricants are: mineral oils, vegetable oils and synthetic oils.

The most common liquid lubricants are the mineral oils. This is because of the supply of crude oil. The term mineral oil is used here to mean lubricating base oil derived from crude oil that is refined from naturally occurring petroleum. Since they are commonly used, important information about their properties is now available. As products derived from crude oil, they can be produced in a wide range of viscosities for the various applications. There are low-viscosity oil (for easy starting at low temperatures) having hydrogen-carbon chain of about 200 atomic mass unit (amu) and there are also high viscosity oils (for better engine protection at the normal running temperatures) with high molecular weight of about 1000 amu. All other mineral based oils have viscosities that fall within this range (API 1509 2002).

The American petroleum institute (API) has a designation for several types of lubricant base oils as follows:

Group I-saturates < 90%. This is known to have the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) viscosity index (VI) of 80 to 120 Group II- Saturates over 90% and SAE VI of 80 to 120 Group III- Saturates > 90% and SAE VI over 120 Group IV-Polyalphaolefin

Group V All others not included above.

Groups III, IV and V are synthetic oil with group III usually described as synthesized hydrocarbons, SHCs. The lubricant used in the internal combustion engine could solely consist one of the groups mentioned above, yet additives are added to improve the performance properties of the oil.

Vegetable oils are triglyceride esters gotten from both plants and animals. The common ones


  • Palm oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Sun flower seed oil
  • Castor oil, etc.

Vegetable oils are mostly hydrolyzed to give the acids which. when selectively combined, form synthetic esters.

Synthetic Oils include the following:

  • Polyalphaolofin (PAO)
  • Synthetic esters
  • Ionic fluids
  • Silicate esters
  • Phosphate esters
  • Alkylated naphthalene
  • Polyalkylene glycols (PAG)

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Over time, it has been noticed that there is an increasing demand for engine oil as it remains the most effective lubricant in automobiles. As a result of this, existing lubricant producing companies now increase their volume of production to meet with the increasing demand and make more profit.

The US lubricant market now exceeds 2.5 billion gallons per year. For the 1970 to 1980 period it was estimated that the petroleum lubricant market would grow 25% from the 2.1 billion gallons per year to 2.6 billion gallons per year. Synthetic lubricants were projected to grow about 40% over the decades to a volume of some 60 million gallons per year by 1980. The overall growth rate for all lubricants has been averaging less than 2% per year, the ever increasing demands being placed on lubricants for improved performance in automotive engines, transmissions, hydraulic fluids, e.t.c. have resulted in very significant growth for the oil additive segment of the market (Henry, 1975).

This is not different from the present situation in Nigeria. There is expansion in the automobile market as cars and other vehicles are continuously been imported into the country.

The consequence of the increased demand for engine oil which may have resulted from the use of more cars and power generating sets (diesel/petrol) in our society is the tendency to find substandard engine oils in our local markets. Therefore, there is the need for the measurement and evaluation of the general properties and performance of selected locally

produced engine oil for the purpose of monitoring them. This project will provide the main methods for evaluating and monitoring some selected locally produced engine oil.

1.3 Aim And Objectives Of The Research

The aim of this work is to measure and evaluate the performance properties, provide a fast and efficient method of evaluating the performance properties and to provide Engineers and the user society with useful and essential information about the lubricants in our local market.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To investigate the performance properties of the lubricants in our local market through laboratory tests considering Viscosity, Viscosity Index, Flash Point, Pour Point and Carbon Residue.
  2. To compare the results obtained from the laboratory experiments and recommend the preferred oils based on the service condition.
  3. To develop a Pressure Mapping Equipment and use it to determine the protecting ability of the oils under consideration in an internal combustion engine by Oil Pressure Mapping Experiment.
  4. To compare the outcome of the Pressure Mapping Experiment with the Laboratory Experiment and recommend a better method for evaluation of lubricants‟ properties.
  5. To provide useful and essential information to Engineers, Technicians and the user society by discussing the results obtained from both the Laboratory Experiment and the Pressure Mapping Experiment.
  6. To suggest, amongst the oils under consideration, which is most preferred and for which application, putting into consideration the cost implication.

1.4 Scope Of The Research

This research covered an engine test procedure for evaluating automotive engines oil for some high-temperature performance characteristics such as oil thickening, varnish deposition, oil consumption, viscosity index and engine wear. Only the oils used in spark-ignition engines and diesel engines were considered. The experiments and laboratory tests carried out were those obtainable in A.B.U. and National Research Institute of Chemical Technology (NARICT).

1.5 Justification

To say that the use or demand for lubricants (Engine Oil) in Nigeria is on the increase cannot be over emphasized. This is true as vehicles and equipment that use internal combustion engine which require engine oil for lubrication are continuously been imported into the country.

This in turn will lead to the expansion of the lubricant market in Nigeria as there will be a continuous increase in the demand for lubricant.

The expansion of lubricant market in Nigeria means that the existing manufacturers may increase their volume of production, other entrepreneurs may venture into the business and importers may import more to meet demand and achieve their aim.

To ensure quality products in our market, it is important to continuously monitor the products through quality assurance tests, measuring and evaluating the performance properties of lubricants (Engine Oil) in our market.

For this reason, Measurement and Evaluation of the Performance Properties of Selected Locally Produced Lubricants (Engine Oil) is inevitable.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

The experiments undergone in this work have brought about the following conclusions:

  1. Pressure mapping Technology has a positive impact on the evaluation of the performance properties of lubricating oils.
  2. As stated in the objective of this research that a main method for evaluating lubricants performance properties will be provided, this pressure mapping using this equipment is a fast method for evaluating the performance properties of lubricants in our local market.
  3. The results obtained from the pressure mapping experiment confirmed those obtained from the laboratory, concluding that this method is good to be used for the evaluation.
  4. That Pressure Mapping Experiment can be used to monitor the lubricants in our local markets.
  5. The oils investigated here are all good for use in internal combustion engine with the best performing oil as the synthetic oil and followed by the multigrade and then the monograde.

5.2 Recommendations

  1. The synthetic lubricating oils are recommended for use in internal combustion engines because of their outstanding performance properties as compared to the other lubricants. This is followed by the multi-grade oils (TOTAL SAE 20 W 50, Oando 20 W 50, AZ 20 W 50).
  2. The pressure mapping equipment developed in this work is recommended for use in the evaluation of the performance properties of lubricating oils in our local market.
  3. Pressure sensor should be integrated into the system and a transducer used for digital output display to avoid error due to parallax in taking readings.
  4. For quality assurance and monitoring, evaluation of the performance properties of lubricating oils should be regularly carried out.

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