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A Tutorial

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This publication is for information purposes only. If unsure, please check with manufacturer or other qualified source.

November, 2010

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Table of Contents
Viscosity ! Absolute Viscosity! Apparent Viscosity ! Kinematic Viscosity! VI (Viscosity Index) ! Viscosity Index Improver (VII) ! Viscosity-Temperature Relationship! Viscous! Viscometer! SAE! SAE J300 Viscosity Classication (April 1997)! SAE J300 Viscosity Classication (Current)! ISO! ISO viscosity classication system! ISO viscosity grade number Table:! Viscosity Comparison Table ! Which SAE rating is the best ?! SAE Viscosity Ratings in order of preference from Best to Worst:! Climatic Conditions! Calculating Viscosity ! The ASTM standard/ Walther equation! The Vogel Equation! Oil-Power ViscCalc 2 ! 4 4 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 7 8 9 9 10 11 12 12 13 14 14 15 15

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The measure of the internal friction or the resistance to flow a liquid. Low viscosity fluids flow easily (water); High viscosity fluids pour slowly (molasses). Measurement of a fluids resistance to flow. The common metric unit of absolute viscosity is the poise, which is defined as the force in dynes required to move a surface one square centimeter in area past a parallel surface at a speed of one centimeter per second, with the surfaces separated by a fluid film one centimeter thick. For convenience, the CentiPoise (cP) one one-hundredth of a poise is the unit customarily used. Laboratory measurements of viscosity normally use the force of gravity to produce flow through a capillary tube (viscometer) at a controlled temperature. This measurement is called kinematic viscosity. The unit of kinematic viscosity is the stoke, expressed in square centimeters per second. The more customary unit is the centistoke (cSt) one one-hundredth of a stoke. Kinematic viscosity can be related to absolute viscosity by the equation: cSt = cP fluid density In addition to kinematic viscosity, there are other methods for determining viscosity, including:

Saybolt Universal viscosity Saybolt Furol viscosity Engler viscosity Redwood viscosity

Since viscosity varies inversely with temperature, its value is meaningless unless the temperature at which it is determined is reported. See: viscosity indexI=viscosity-temperature relationshipI

Absolute Viscosity
the ratio of shear stress to shear rate. It is a fluids internal resistance to flow. Thecommonunitof absolute viscosity is the poise and CentiPoise cP. Absolute viscosity divided by the fluids density equals kinematic viscosity. Absolute viscosity is typically measured by a rotary viscometers to determine the torque on rotating spindle and so measure the fluid's shear resistance. Changing the rotor (spindle) dimensions and the
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gap between the rotor and stator wall (container) and the speed of rotation can change the rate of shear. Examples of rotary viscometers that are used for Absolute Viscosity measurements: Cold Cranking Simulator (C.C.S) Mini-Rotary Viscometer (MRV) Brookfield Viscometer Tapered Bearing Simulator In relation to oils for Automotive applications such as Motor Oil or Gear Oil, the CCS and MRV test equipment at low temperatures is used to determine if the test lubricant does not get too thick to prevent safe engine or transmission operation at low temperatures. If Motor Oil is too viscous to flow, even if engine can be started, certain mechanical damage will result due to localized oil starvation. In transmissions both manual and automatic, proper shifting may be impaired, affecting safe vehicle operation once vehicle is put in motion.

Apparent Viscosity
The ratio of shear stress to rate of shear of a non-Newtonian fluid such as lubricating grease, or a multi-grade oil, calculated from Poiseuilles equation and measured in poises. The apparent viscosity changes with changing rates of shear and temperature and must, therefore, be reported as the value at a given shear rate and temperature (ASTM Method D 1092).

Kinematic Viscosity
Absolute viscosity of a fluid divided by its density at the same temperature of measurement. It is the measure of a fluids resistance to flow under gravity, as determined by test method ASTM D 445. To determine kinematic viscosity, a fixed volume of the test fluid is allowed to flow through a calibrated capillary tube (viscometer) that is held at a closely controlled temperature. The kinematic viscosity, in centistokes (cSt), is the product of the measured flow time in seconds and the calibration constant of the viscometer.

VI (Viscosity Index)
An arbitrary scale used to show the magnitude of viscosity changes in lubricating oils with changes in temperature. Oils with low VI number such as VI=0 ("zero") have high dependence of viscosity change on temperature. They thicken quickly with decreasing temperature, and thin out quickly with increasing temperature. Oils with high VI number such as VI=200, will still thicken with decreasing temperature but not as rapidly, and also will thin out with increasing temperature, but again not as much as low VI oil. VI number can also be "negative"
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Tables found in ASTM Method D 2270 are widely used to determine the VI number. However, VI does not tell the whole story -- it only reflects the viscosity/temperature relationship between temperatures of 40C and 100C. Two lubricants or base oils with the same VI number may perform dramatically different at low temperatures in the -5C to - 50C range.

Viscosity Index Improver (VII)

Chemical additive that is added to finished lubricants to improve the viscosity index. lubricant additive, usually a high-molecular-weight polymer, that reduces the tendency of an oil to change viscosity with temperature. Multi-grade oils, which provide effective lubrication over a broad temperature range, usually contain V.I. improvers. While Viscosity Index Improvers can enhance viscosity index (VI), they can break down under shear or over time, resulting in diminished performance.

Viscosity-Temperature Relationship
The manner in which the viscosity of a given fluid varies inversely with temperature. Because of the mathematical relationship that exists between these two variables, it is possible to predict graphically the viscosity of a petroleum fluid at any temperature within a limited range if the viscosities at two other temperatures are known. The charts used for this purpose are the ASTM Standard ViscosityTemperature Charts for Liquid Petroleum Products, available in 6 ranges. If two known viscositytemperature points of a fluid are located on the chart and a straight line drawn through them, other viscosity-temperature values of the fluid will fall on this line; however, values near or below the cloud point of the oil may deviate from the straight-line relationship.

Possessing viscosity. From the Latin word for a sticky species of birdlime that is a slowly-pouring liquid. Frequently used to imply high viscosity.

Device for measuring viscosity; commonly in the form of a calibrated capillary tube through which a liquid is allowed to pass at a controlled temperature in a specified time period. See Kinematic viscosityI=Saybolt Universal Viscosity.

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The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is an engineering society founded to develop, collect, and disseminate knowledge of mobility technology. SAE J300 Viscosity Classification (April 1997)
SAE Viscosity Grade 0W 5W 10W 15W 20W 25W 20 30 40 40 50 60 5W-50* 3,500 @ -30 30,000 @ -40 Low Temp. Cranking 3,250 @ -30 3,500 @ -25 3,500 @ -20 3,500 @ -15 4,500 @ -10 6,000 @ -5 Low Temp. Pumping 60,000 @ -40 60,000 @ -35 60,000 @ -30 60,000 @ -25 60,000 @ -20 60,000 @ -15 Minimum Kinematic 3.8 3.8 4.1 5.6 5.6 9.3 5.6 9.3 12.5 12.5 16.3 21.9 16.5 9.3 12.5 16.3 16.3 21.9 26.1 20 2.6 2.9 2.9 3.7 3.7 3.7 5 Maximum Kinematic Hi-Temp. Hi-Shear

*The SAE 5W-50 rating shown above is for pi=iJQJi Motor Oil. However, the previous specification has been revised by SAE in December 1999 to one tabulated on the following page. According to "new" J300 the existing version of pi= iJQJi Motor Oil should have been classified as SAE 0W-50, however customer research has shown that this unusual classification was "too radical" and "too scary", so they have decided to retain the existing rating of SAE 5W-50 that was originated in 1985. This required slight "thickening" of the lubricant at low temperatures, achieved by only 2% increase of one of our existing ingredients. By "missing" the target SAE 0W low temperature viscosity by 50 cP at -40C they can "legally" label their lubricant as SAE 5W-50, while for practical purpose offer to customers cold performance that "~" SAE 0W motor oil.

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SAE J300 Viscosity Classification (Current)

SAE Viscosity Grade 0W 5W 10W 15W 20W 25W 20 30 40 40 50 60 5W-50* 6,250 @ -35 30,000 @ -40 Low Temp. Cranking 6,200 @ -35 6,600 @ -30 7,000 @ -25 7,000 @ -20 9,500 @ -15 13,000 @ -10 Low Temp. Pumping 60,000 @ -40 60,000 @ -35 60,000 @ -30 60,000 @ -25 60,000 @ -20 60,000 @ -15 Minimum Kinematic 3.8 3.8 4.1 5.6 5.6 9.3 5.6 9.3 12.5 12.5 16.3 21.9 16.5 9.3 12.5 16.3 16.3 21.9 26.1 20 2.6 2.9 2.9 3.7 3.7 3.7 5 Maximum Kinematic Hi-Temp. HiShear

*The SAE 5W-50 rating shown above is for pi=iJQJi Motor Oil.

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International Standards Organization This organization which is worldwide in scope sets standards and classifications for lubricants. An example is the ISO viscosity grade system. ISO viscosity classification system international system, approved by the International Standards Organization (ISO), for classifying industrial lubricants according to viscosity. Each ISO viscosity grade number designation corresponds to the mid-point of a viscosity range expressed in centistokes (cSt) at 40C. co=~W lubricant with an ISO grade of 32 has a viscosity within the range of 28.8 35.2 cSt, the mid-point of which is 32. (see Table on following page)

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ISO viscosity grade number Table: viscosity range expressed in centistokes (cSt) at 40C
ISO # 2 3 5 7 10 15 22 32 46 68 100 150 220 320 460 680 1000 1500 Mid-Point 2.2 3.2 4.6 6.8 10 15 22 32 46 68 100* 150 220 320 460 680 1000 1500 Minimum 1.98 2.88 4.14 6.12 9 13.5 19.8 28.8 41.4 61.2 90 135 198 288 414 612 900 1350 Maximum 2.42 3.52 5.06 7.48 11 16.5 24.2 35.2 50.6 74.8 110 165 242 352 506 748 1100 1650

*The SAE 5W-50 pi=iJQJi Motor Oil is rated ISO VG 100.

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Viscosity Comparison Table

Due to the fact that there are number of differing Viscosity measuring standards it is sometimes confusing to determine what is the viscosity of fluid in a viscosity system of interest if the viscosity is quoted in units used in another viscosity system. The chart below gives approximate equivalence of values for a typical conventional fluids.

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Which SAE rating is the best ?

A: SAE 0W-60 but it is not available, yet ! Theoretically the best possible SAE Viscosity rating is 0W-60, but only small experimental quantities of such lubricants were ever produced. The NASA SynLube is rated SAE 0W-60, but it sells for $90.00 per Liter, therefore it is not economical or practical for average automotive use. pi=iJQJi is rated SAE 5W-50 (ISO 100) SAE Viscosity Ratings in order of preference from Best to Worst:
The Best Possible The Best Available SAE 0W-60 (Very Expensive) SAE 5W-50 (Possible only with Fully Synthetic Motor Oil)

2nd Best

SAE 5W-40 for Colder Climates (Synthetic or Blend) SAE 10W-50 for Warmer Climates (Synthetic or Blend)

3rd Best

SAE 5W-30 for Colder Climates SAE 10W-40 for Normal Climates SAE 20W-50 for Hot Climates**


SAE 10W-30 SAE 15W-40for Heavy Duty Diesel Applications


SAE 30for Normal Climates, but not in Winter SAE 40for Warmer Climates, but not in Winter SAE 50for Hot Climates, but not in Winter SAE 5W-20 for sub-zero temperatures, Winter use only**

Legend: ** = unless use is prohibited by the engine manufacturer To make sense of the above recommendations we must define what all those climatic conditions mean. The definitions can be found in the table below:

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Climatic Conditions
Climatic Condition Very Hot Hot Warm Normal Normal Cold Winter Freezing Sub-Zero All-Climate* `~ `o AA A B C D E Min Low Temp. F >80 >60 >50 >40 >20 <20 4 -13 -22 -13 Min Low Temp. C >26 >16 >10 >4 >-7 <-7 -20 -25 -30 -25 Max High Temp. F >110 >110 <110 <97 <85 <69 32 32 0 >110 Max High Temp. C >43 >43 <43 <36 <29 <21 0 0 -18 >43 Typical Coolant Temp. F 212 200 190 170 170 170 160 160 160 160-200 Typical Coolant Temp. C 100 93 87 77 77 77 71 71 71 71-93 f~ SAE Viscosity 60 50 40 30 10W-30 5W-30 10W 5W 0W 5W-50

*The SAE 5W-50 rating shown above is for pi=iJQJi Motor Oil.

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Calculating Viscosity
The ASTM standard/ Walther equation from ASTM D341 : log (log(v + 0.7)) = A - B log T <eq1> where v is kinematic viscosity in cSt, T is temperature in K, log is base 10 log, and A and B are unknown constants which can be solved from two data points (v1,T1), (v2,T2) Plug the data from the first point v1,T1 into eq1: log (log(v1 + 0.7)) = A - B log T1 <eq2> solve eq2 for A A = log(log(v1+0.7)) + B*log(T1) <eq3> plug the data from the second point v2,T2int eq1 log (log(v2 + 0.7)) = A - B log T2 <eq4> substitute into eq4 the value A from eq3 log (log(v2 + 0.7)) = [log(log(v1+0.7)) + B*log(T1)] - B log T2<eq5> solve eq5 for B B = {log (log(v2 + 0.7)) - log(log(v1+0.7)) } /(logT1-logT2) <eq6> solve equation 4 for A A = log (log(v2 + 0.7)) + B log T2<eq7> solve eq 1 for v v = 10^(10^(A-B*LOG(T)))-0.7 <eq8> equation 8 using values of A from eq7 and B from eq6 give us v as a function of T.

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The Vogel Equation Engineering Tribology by Stachowiak and Batchelor, 24 of the Tribology Series, Elsevier, stresses the view that although the Walther equation is used as basis of the ASTM viscosity-temperature chart, the Vogel equation is more accurate and useful in engineering calculations to determine the dynamic viscosity [Pa.s]: = aeb/(T-c) a,b,c are three constants that can be calculated from three viscosity measurements for a specified oil at three temperatures. T is absolute temperature [K]

Oil-Power ViscCalc 2 The Oil-Power ViscCalc2 computer software, available in MAC and PC versions can calculate Viscosity Temperature Curves. This is a FREE download available on the Oil-Power website http://www.oilpower.com

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