what is base oil?

Base oils are used in the manufacture of lubricating oils, motor oil, and metal processing fluids. Different products have different oil properties and compositions. The liquid's viscosity at different temperatures is one of the most important aspects. The concentration of base oils molecules and their extraction ease will determine whether a crude oil can be converted to base oil.

Refined crude oil is used to produce base oil. The heating of crude oil allows for the separation of different distillates. The heating process separates light and heavy hydrocarbons. These can be used to make petrol or other fuels. While the heavier ones can be used for bitumen or base oils, the lighter ones can still be refined.

Base oils are made from a variety of crude oils. Paraffinic crude oils are the most popular, but there are naphthenic crude oils that produce products that have better solubility and excellent properties at low temperatures. Hydrogenation technology is used to remove sulfur and aromatics using hydrogen under high pressure. This allows for extremely pure base oils that are suitable for those who have very stringent quality requirements.

To meet quality standards for end products, chemical substances, also known as additives, are added to base oils to improve their friction and cleaning properties. Some motor oils have more than 20% additives.

What are the types of base oils?

All lubricants begin with a base oil. The ratio is typically around 90% base oil + 10% additives.

There are three types: vegetable, synthetic, and mineral base oils. The quality of mineral oil is derived from crude oil. It depends on how it is refined. Bio-lubricants are lubricants made from vegetable oils. Synthetic oils can be useful in extreme conditions and are man-made fluids. You can use oil-, silicone-, or water-based lubricants to contact the human body.

Other than grease, non-liquid lubricants include PTFE tape, powders, and air cushions.

To give specific characteristics to an oil-based lubricant, additives are used. These additives can be used to give lubricants a variety of characteristics.

These are a few of the common types of additives:

  • Antioxidants
  • Detergents
  • Anti-wear
  • Rust/corrosion inhibitors
  • Extreme pressure
  • Anti-foaming agents
  • Viscosity index improvers
  • And others

Base Oil Groups

Nearly all industrial lubricants are now made from base oils.

Five base oil designations are available from the American Petroleum Institute (API). The base oils in the first three groups are made from crude oil (mineral oils); Group IV base oils can be fully synthetic. Group V base oils can be used for any other base oils that are not listed in Groups I through IV.

Group I

These base oils have a minimum of 90% saturates and a maximum of 0.03% sulfur. They also have an SAE viscosity range from 80 to 120. These base oils can be used at temperatures between 32 and 150 F.

Group II

Base oils of Group II are those that contain more than 90% saturates and less than 0.033% sulfur. They have a V.I. From 80 to 120. These base oils are usually made by hydrocracking which is more complicated than solvent-refining. These oils are clearer than Group I base oils and have better antioxidation properties.

Group III

These base oils have an index of 120 or more and contain more than 90% saturates. The Group III base oils have a higher level of refinement than the Group II base oils. They are often more hydrocracked (greater heat and pressure) and produce a purer oil.

Group IV

These base oils are known as polyalphaolefins or PAOs. These base oils are synthetic and created through a process known as synthesizing. They have a wider temperature range, making them ideal for applications that are exposed to extreme cold or high heat.

Group V

Other base oils that don't fall within the other groups are Group V. These include silicone, phosphate ester, polyethylene glycol, (PAG), polyester and bio lubes. These base oils can be combined with other base stocks to improve the oil's properties.

These oils can further be classified based on their composition into the following categories: aromatic, naphthenic, and paraffinic.

What is SAE oil?

SAE oil refers to oil that has been assessed by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It is assigned a number based upon the results of multiple tests. The SAE has developed a labeling system for oil such as 5W-30 and 10W-40. This means that any oil that carries that label is compliant with the SAE guidelines.

What is base oil viscosity?

They have a viscosity (VI) of 90 to 105. Base oils at the top end of the scale often have a high viscosity (HVI) rating. This refers to the way that viscosity changes with temperature. It is how thickens or thins at high temperatures while thickening at lower temperatures.


what is base oil made of

Base oil is created by refining crude oil. This means that crude oil is heated in order to separate various distillates from one another.


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