What is base oil?
Lubricants can be categorized in many different ways. One of the most common classifications is by the constituent base oil: mineral, synthetic, or vegetable. Mineral oil, which is derived from crude oil, can be produced to a range of qualities associated with the oil’s refining process.
Base oils are used to manufacture products including lubricating greases, motor oil, and metal processing fluids. Different products require different compositions and properties in the oil. One of the most important factors is the liquid’s viscosity at various temperatures.
The Changing Use of Base Oils
A recent study on the use of base oils in today’s plants in comparison to a little more than a decade ago found a dramatic change has occurred. Present-day Group II base oils are the most commonly used base oils in plants, making up 47 percent of the capacity of plants in which the study was conducted.
This compared to 21 percent for both Group II and III base oils just a decade ago. Currently, Group III accounts for less than 1 percent of the capacity in plants. Group, I base oils previously made up 56 percent of the capacity, compared to 28 percent of the capacity in today’s plants.
Remember, whichever base oil you choose, just be sure it is appropriate for the application, temperature range, and conditions in your plant.