This week let’s take a little time to look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding biodegradable lubricants. We will dispel many of the fears most potential users currently have about biodegradable, renewable and sustainable lubricants and hopefully help them move forward with utilizing BioBlend’s environmentally responsible lines of lubricants and industrial products.
We will begin with BioBlend’s core promise and the guiding principle around how we develop the vast majority of our products – Environmental Synergy or eSyn. eSyn™ is our commitment to develop and deliver high performance lubricant and industrial products that are safe for the environment and cost effective for our customers. We use eSyn now as a certification for our products to ensure our customers can tell immediately that the product(s) they use hit all three requirements:
- High performance
- Environmentally responsible
- Cost effective
Next we will do a quick review of the six incredible characteristics native to the natural ester (plant based) based formulations in our lubricants and industrial products.
- Higher VI – Reduce the effect of higher operating temperatures on performance
- “Off the Charts” Lubricity – Lubricity, or “film strength” is the measure of the reduction in friction and wear by a lubricant.
- Stronger Polarity – Better adhesion/attraction to metal surfaces
- Improved Solvency – Ability to reduce or limit varnish buildup in your system(s)
- High Flash Point – Reduced fire risk
- High Dielectric Strength – Reduce effects of electrical currents in equipment on your lubricants
These great characteristics coupled with our eSyn™ certification provide a compelling argument to at least dip your toe into the vertical of “environmentally friendly” alternatives to the petroleum-based products that have historically dominated the marketplace. But we realize there are other questions and concerns that potential users may have before they are comfortable with making a change. Let’s take a look at some of the most common now.
Q. Are BioBlend lubricants compatible with conventional petroleum lubricants?
A. Yes. BioBlend lubricants are compatible with most conventional petroleum lubricants – if you have a question on a specific product, please contact us regarding your specific requirements Contact BioBlend.
Q. Do I have to worry about biodegradable lubricants biodegrading while in my equipment?
A. No, in order for biodegradation to happen air, water and micro-organisms found in the soil and water are necessary. So BioBlend products will not biodegrade during normal use in your equipment.
Q. Do I have to accept lower performance levels while getting the environmental benefits of BioBlend lubricants?
A. No. As we have noted above, BioBlend lubricants have excellent lubricity, high viscosity index levels, and can reduce wear, friction, and operating temperatures. In many cases, BioBlend lubricants perform better than products manufactured using petroleum base oils.
Q. What is the shelf life of biodegradable lubricants?
A. The shelf life of biobased lubricants has been dramatically extended with the use of the latest additive technologies. BioBlend lubricants typically have a warehouse shelf life of 18-24 months and can be used in field applications well beyond that time. The best way to ensure that you are getting the most out of your BioBlend lubricants is to participate in a lubricant analysis program. A quality analysis program will help to ensure both the effective life of your lubricants and that of your equipment.
Q. Do biodegradable hydraulic oils have to be changed more often than petroleum lubricants?
A. Typically no. We do not recommend shorter change intervals for our products. BioBlend hydraulic oils are proven performers in field applications for extended periods of time in all environmental conditions. The life of any hydraulic oil depends on many factors which include operating conditions and contaminants. A great way, in additional to a quality lube analysis program, to help extend the effective life of any lubricant is to minimize contamination from wear metals and water, so proper filtration up to and including desiccant breathers and external filter carts or totes can make a huge difference in change intervals. Ultimately, we recommended following the manufacturer’s guidelines for lubricant change intervals.
Q. Do biodegradable hydraulic oils have difficulty handling water intrusions in oil systems?
A. Water intrusion in any lubricant, whether biodegradable or not, will affect performance and potentially cause harm over long periods to your equipment. In both cases 200-300 ppm of water will deplete some additives, react with others to form corrosives, reduce film strength, clog filters, increase air entrainment, and increase the likelihood of cavitation. The bottom line is that all hydraulic systems have difficulty with high water levels and steps should be taken to lessen the water content in these systems. This is another example where breathers, monitoring and proper filtration is in your best interest.
Q. Can biodegradable oils handle high pressures in hydraulic systems?
A. Yes. BioBlend hydraulic oils can handle the same typical hydraulic oil pressures petroleum lubricants experience in hydraulic systems. If you have questions or concerns about the best fit for your particular application you can fill out a contact form and be connected to our technical experts Contact BioBlend .
Q. Can I add a BioBlend product to an existing piece of equipment (if they are the same basic product and viscosity) without flushing out the entire system?
A. Yes in most cases (please consult with our technical services team first), however as you might imagine as you dilute the purity of a biobased lubricant within your system the six performance characteristics we mention above will be diluted and therefore most likely not result in the increased performance advantages you might expect.
Q. Are BioBlend products compatible with Poly Alkaline Glycols (PAG)?
A. In many cases they would be compatible. However, we highly suggest a specific discussion on the exact products in question with BioBlend technical services prior to final determination.
Hopefully, this article has provided some answers to questions you may have regarding renewable and sustainable lubricants that offer true environmental benefits. We encourage you to contact us directly with additional questions or comments regarding our bio-based lubricants.
Contact us at BioBlend, bioblend.com to find a complete line BioBlend Products | Biodegradable Lubricants & Industrial Products of hydraulic fluids, rock drill lubricants, gear oils, specialty lubricants and greases that yield high performance AND environmental benefits based on science and the latest technology.