Running

smoothly

 

Energy losses and wear can occur wherever there is friction. Lubricants can help prevent such damage. High-performance additives ensure that less energy is lost through friction and that machines last longer.

Friction is an invisible consumer of energy. That’s because energy is needed in order to overcome the frictional resistance between two surfaces. In the case of machines, this means that they need to consume more fuel. Friction causes around 100 million terajoules of energy to be lost worldwide every year.

Global energy consumption

549 million terajoules

Test

Energy lost due to friction

15 to 25 percent

How can these losses be prevented? And how can friction be reduced in order to save energy? Answers to these questions are provided by tribology, the scientific study of friction. Lubricants are the key to success here, because lubricating oils and grease can prevent some of the energy losses.

Section3 Animation1

11 %

of the energy lost to friction worldwide could be saved in private households.

Section3 Animation1

11 %

could be saved by industry.

Section3 Animation1

18 %

of the energy losses could be saved by vehicles.

Lubricants are used in a wide range of applications, including industrial machines, excavators, cars, and wind turbines. However, by far the greatest amount of lubricants is used in automotive oils.

56%

automotive oils

Bubbles Animation Info

10%

process oils

Bubbles Animation Info Bubbles Animation Info

3%

grease

Bubbles Animation Info

26%

industrial oils

Bubbles Animation Info

5%

metalworking fluids and anti-corrosion oils

Lubricants increase the efficiency and sustainability of technology, as conventional vehicle engines clearly demonstrate. You have to imagine the interior of such an engine to be like a cogwheel in which the rotating parts constantly rub against one another.

The perfect lubricating oil saves fuel, is usable over a broad temperature range, and suppresses friction so that rotors don’t wear out so fast.

 

To do all that, the oil must not be too viscous or too fluid. Oil additives are used to ensure that this is the case. For example, the addition of viscosity index improvers keeps the oil’s viscosity stable even in extreme weather conditions.

location marker
Siberia, Russia
-18 degree celsius
arrow-black
Siberia
gear

The severe cold in the Siberian tundra puts a great strain on cars. The low temperatures cause the motor oil to become thick and viscous. As a consequence, more gasoline has to be consumed to overcome the increased friction. Oil additives help out here by keeping the viscosity constant even under extreme weather conditions. As a result, there is enough gas in the tank to reach the next city. and there is no danger of breaking down out on the steppe with no help in sight.

arrow-black
Siberia, Russia
-18 degree celsius
location marker
Nevada, USA
43 degree celsius
arrow-white
Nevada
motor

The baking heat in the endless expanse of the desert really puts car engines to the test. Without oil additives, the engine could suffer from excessive wear and tear. That’s because the heat would make the oil too thin, so that metal parts would rub against each other too much. To ensure that the engine can easily withstand the rigors of a long desert trip, it needs oil additives that make the oil viscous again.

arrow-white
Nevada, USA
43 degree celsius
location marker
Nevada, USA
43 degree celsius
Nevada
motor

The baking heat in the endless expanse of the desert really puts car engines to the test. Without oil additives, the engine could suffer from excessive wear and tear. That’s because the heat would make the oil too thin, so that metal parts would rub against each other too much. To ensure that the engine can easily withstand the rigors of a long desert trip, it needs oil additives that make the oil viscous again.

location marker
Siberia, Russia
-18 degree celsius
Siberia
gear

The severe cold in the Siberian tundra puts a great strain on cars. The low temperatures cause the motor oil to become thick and viscous. As a consequence, more gasoline has to be consumed to overcome the increased friction. Oil additives help out here by keeping the viscosity constant even under extreme weather conditions. As a result, there is enough gas in the tank to reach the next city. and there is no danger of breaking down out on the steppe with no help in sight.

arrow-left
arrow-right

Additives give lubricants their characteristic properties and ensure that the consumers’ wallets and the environment benefit. Evonik’s DRIVON™ additive technology optimizes motor and transmission oils, while NUFLUX™ increases the efficiency of industrial transmission oils and DYNAVIS® technology boosts the performance of hydraulic fluids in construction machinery. In addition, products of the VISCOPLEX® brand improve the flow of biodiesel at low temperatures, for example, and serve as paraffin inhibitors for crude oil.

 

Lubricants also perform other tasks besides reducing friction. For example, they serve as coolants, sealants, and vibration dampers, and also help to transmit power. That’s why there is a big demand for these greasy helpers worldwide. A total of 35.6 million tons of lubricants were sold worldwide in 2015 alone. The biggest market is the Asia-Pacific region, where the demand for lubricants is steadily increasing.

Worldmap Image

19%

North America

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

9%

Latin America

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

10%

Europe

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

9%

Eastern Europe

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

5%

Middle East

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

6%

Africa

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

42%

Asia-Pacific

oil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil dropsoil drops

The reduction of friction losses is a lucrative market. Evonik has created a Friction & Motion Competence Center so that it can actively help to shape this trend. At the center, researchers are working on products that will enable machines to run even more smoothly in the future.