The stringent and often competing requirements of high fuel economy and low emissions are placing increasing emphasis on the selection of appropriate base oils for modem engine lubricants. Two properties now recognized as important in engine oil design are the elastohydrodynamic (EHD) traction coefficient and the pressure-viscosity coefficient. The former determines the level of friction in high pressure contacts such as cams, while the latter plays a major role in determining the EHD film thickness. Unfortunately, for many fluids there is a broad correlation between the two properties so that a low traction coefficient implies a low pressure viscosity coefficient and thus film thickness. This paper measures the traction and film-forming properties of a wide range of base oil types at realistic engine oil temperatures in order to both explore the extent of this correlation and to determine the dependence of EHD lubricant properties on base oil compositions.
Keywords: Lubricants, Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication, Friction