The Features and Creation of Base Oils

by | Apr 9, 2013 | Business

Dealing with machinery requires regular maintenance to make sure the engines and other movable parts of the machine operate efficiently. One of the most common things you need to be concerned with when it comes to caring for your machinery is proper lubrication. The main ingredient in lubricants for engines and other machinery is base oils. Without these oils, your machinery would have a more difficult time operating and wouldn’t last nearly as long.

Two Types

When you are talking about this type of oil, there are two basic types from which you must choose. Natural oil is that which is derived from the refining process with crude oil. Once the oil is refined, the base oil is left behind, allowing you to easily lubricate any type of machinery necessary. If you don’t have access to natural oil, you can create synthetic oil through a chemical synthesis process. In some cases, the synthetic base oil can be more effective because it doesn’t break down as quickly as natural oil.

Basic Features

Base oils fall into one of several groups based on the saturates, sulfur content and viscosity of the oil, there are some features that are the same for all of the groups. For instance, all base oil has a boiling point that ranges between 550 and 1050 degrees Fahrenheit. This is to avoid burning up as it goes through the hot machinery. The oil will also contain between 18 and 40 carbon atoms. Any oil that doesn’t fit within these parameters won’t qualify as base oil.

Refining Process

Base oil is created from each barrel of oil that goes through the refining process. Approximately one to two percent of the crude oil will be transformed into base oil. Much of the rest of the barrel will be changed into a variety of fuels. Once the base oil is extracted, between one and 20 percent of chemical additives will be added to the oil to enhance its performance.

Understanding the basics of base oils will show you everything you need to know, from the process by which it is made to the way it is used in a variety of industries, including personal use. In general, there are two types of base oil – natural and synthetic – each of which has its own benefits. While all types of base oil can be categorized into several groups, they all share some of the same traits.

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