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Base Oils: The Truth Behind Industrial Lubricant Performance

Lubricants are critical for your machinery's smooth functioning, but what's even more critical is the base oils that determine their performance...


How Are Base Oils Different?


The American Petroleum Institute (API) categorises base oils into five groups (API 1509, Annex E), with Groups I to III being derived from crude oil, Group IV being fully synthetic, and Group V being a catch-all category for all other base oils.



Group I:

Group I base oils are the most basic, with less than 90% saturates, a viscosity-index range of 80 to 120, and are solvent-refined. They're the most cost-effective but offer limited performance.



Group II:

Group II base oils are more refined than Group I, with over 90% saturates and better antioxidation properties. They're a great value and commonly used in the market today.



Group III:

Group III base oils are the most refined of the mineral oils, with a purity level of over 90% saturates and a viscosity index of over 120. They're manufactured using an advanced hydrocracking process, which results in a purer base oil. Some even consider them to be "synthetic technology" oils.



Group IV:

Group IV base oils are fully synthetic and are made through a process called synthesizing. They offer a much broader temperature range and are best suited for extreme temperature conditions.



Group V:

Finally, Group V base oils include all other base oils, including silicone, phosphate ester, polyalkylene glycol (PAG), polyolester, biolubes, etc. They're mixed with other base stocks to improve the oil's properties.




So Which Base Oil Is Best?


When it comes to choosing the best base oil for your machinery, Group II and III base oils are typically recommended due to their superior performance characteristics. Group II base oils are produced by hydro-processing crude oil, which removes impurities and produces a base oil with better performance characteristics compared to Group I base oils. Group III base oils are produced through an even more advanced hydro-processing technique, resulting in a base oil with even better performance characteristics than Group II oils. Both Group II and III base oils offer excellent oxidative stability and extended oil life.


In recent years, a new subgroup of Group II base oils has emerged called Group II+. These base oils are produced using an enhanced hydro-processing technique that results in a base oil with even better performance characteristics than standard Group II oils. Group II+ base oils have a higher viscosity index, which means they are more stable and less likely to thin out at high temperatures or thicken at low temperatures. They also have better oxidative stability, making them an excellent choice for high-performance applications.



At Duramach, we carefully select our lubricant products from reputable manufacturers that use only the highest quality base oils, including Group II, III, and II+.


Petro-Canada’s base oils are refined using the HT Purity Process, which ensures that the base oils are 99.9% crystal-clear and free from impurities that can affect performance and equipment life.


By using lubricants made from ultra-pure base oils, you can expect longer equipment life, better fuel economy, reduced maintenance costs, and improved performance, even in the most demanding conditions. Click here to learn more about how Petro-Canada Lubricants uses the HT Purity Process to create the purest base oils, and see how our high-quality lubricants can benefit your machinery.




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