Evonik Industries recently announced that it will be introducing a new generation of lubricant additives later in 2015. The new additives will be formulated to maintain lubricant viscosity at an optimized level across a broad range of temperatures while offering protection against wear and tear. In addition to reducing vehicle fuel consumption by 3 to 4 percent, this latest generation of additives will also be designed to extend the life of engines and transmissions.

"Thanks to this development, we can offer lubricant manufacturers a highly innovative, high-performance product that significantly improves the viscosity index of lubricants," said Evonik's Stephan Fengler. "In addition, the product's value is enhanced still further by its built-in protection against wear."  

This new generation of additives represents an extension of a class of polymers known as comb polymers. On the market since 2010, these materials are gaining increasing acceptance for use in high-performance lubricants. Because they reduce fuel consumption and thereby help reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, their use in factory or first-fill oils for new cars is becoming increasingly common.  

Comb polymers are long-chain molecules based on alkyl methacrylates with unusually long, non-polar side chains. These specialty polymers exhibit outstanding properties as temperature-sensitive thickening agents in lubricants. By forming coil-like structures in the lubricant, comb polymers are able to influence lubricant viscosity. The polymeric coils expand considerably at elevated temperatures, thus thickening the lubricant more than traditional additives do. At very low temperatures, the coils shrink and no longer have much impact on viscosity.  

This temperature-dependent coiling behavior is much more pronounced in comb polymers than it is in traditional polymers. As such, comb polymers have a more pronounced balancing effect on the temperature-viscosity profile of the lubricant.  

The first product in the new generation of comb polymers is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2015 under the name Viscoplex 12-209.                        

For more information, visit www.evonik.com.