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What is the Noack Volatility Test?

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AMSOIL Severe Gear Provides Unsurpassed Shear Stability

AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic Gear Lube

Originally Model-year 2007 turbo diesel pickup trucks, V-10 gasoline pickups and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and high-horsepower V-8 trucks have more towing and payload capacities than in previous years, yet their differentials have not changed. There has been been a 34 percent increase in engine horsepower over the last decade, while axle gear sizes have remained constant, sump capacities have been lowered and drain intervals extended. In the light truck segment there has been a 93 percent horsepower increase since 1981. In vehicles such as a fifth-wheel equipped Ford F-350 Super Duty, towing capacities have reached a high of 19,200 lbs. And testing shows that in new axle applications simulating trailer towing at 88 km/h (55 mph) at a 3.5 percent grade temperatures can reach as high as 188 degrees C (370 degrees F). Stress on differentials has also increased in limousines, conversion vans, and trucks and cars with modified, high-performance engines. More power, more towing capacity and higher hauling limits greatly increase the stress that causes heat and wear.

Most vehicles operate under severe service as defined by vehicle manufacturers, but the majority of vehicle owners are unaware of this. Severe service applications include towing, hauling, plowing, off-road use, frequent stop-and-go driving, steep-hill driving and temperature extremes. Severe service applications are on the rise. For example, more than 90 percent of Ford Super Duty pickups are used for towing. Severe service increases the need for better gear lubrication.

AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic Gear Lubes provide superior performance and protection. Their well-balanced synthetic formulation reduces friction and wear and improves efficiency. In fact, AMSOIL recently completed a white paper entitled A Study of Automotive Gear Lubricants that proves AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic 75W-90 Gear Lube's superiority. This issue of Service Line examines the results of one of the tests from the white paper, the KRL 20-Hour Shear Stability Test.

KRL Shear Stability Test

Similar to 5W-30 automotive engine oils, 75W-90 gear lubricants are defined as multi-viscosity. This means the gear lubricant has enough viscosity to protect against wear at high temperatures, as well as good flow properties at cold temperatures. Many gear lubes cannot fulfill both requirements without the use of VI improver additives. VI additives keep lubricants from becoming too thick to flow in cold temperatures and too thin to protect in high temperatures. VI additives have many uses. If used improperly in gear lubricants, however, they can break down and lose viscosity through a process called shearing. Because of this, the SAE incorporated the CEC L-45-A-99 (KRL) 20-Hour Shear Test as a requirement for all automotive gear lubes. This specification requires that gear lubes not shear down and fall below the minimum viscosity for that grade. Testing showed that Lucas 75/90 Synthetic, at 22.35 centistrokes (cSt), and Royal Purple Max-Gear 75W-90, at 19.32 cSt, both exceed the maximum 18.49 cSt initial viscosity, failing the SAE J306 requirements for SAE 90 gear lubes. All other gear lubricants were within the required high-temperature viscosity range prior to the KRL Shear Stability Test.

Viscosity measurements following the KRL test revealed that seven gear lubes sheared down below minimum viscosity requirements, failing the shear stability requirements of the SAE J306. The two gear lubes with the largest viscosity loss, were Royal Purple, losing 40.6 percent of its viscosity, and Torco SGO Synthetic, losing 35.2 percent of its viscosity. Royal Purple was the only gear lube to fail both the initial viscosity requirements and the shear stability requirements. It started out too thick and ended up too thin. Torco SGO Synthetic finished the shear stability test as the thinnest of all the oils at 9.97 cSt, far below the minimum 13.5 cSt requirement. Lucas 75/90 Synthetic, with an initial viscosity that exceeded the maximum requirements by 20.8 percent, passed the shear stability test, but lost 34.5 percent of its viscosity, the third largest loss of viscosity. Both OEM gear lubes, GM and Mopar, failed the minimum viscosity requirements after the shear test. Of all the gear lubes tested, half did not meet the SAE J306 shear stability requirements.

AMSOIL Severe Gear 75W-90 was in the proper initial viscosity range and retained the highest viscosity after the shear test with a viscosity of 16.03 cSt - the mid-point of the SAE 90 viscosity grade.



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Premium AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils offer the longest drain intervals on the market, unsurpassed protection and performance that effectively extends equipment life and improved fuel economy, saving customers money at the pump and reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

"AMSOIL INC. warrants that the use of its lubricants will not cause mechanical damage to any mechanically sound equipment when AMSOIL INC. products are used in full compliance with the company's recommendations and instructions."


AMSOIL synthetic motor oils are formulated to surpass engine test specifications, offering protection far greater than competing motor oils for extended drain intervals. Most synthetic oil manufacturers make no claim to extended drain intervals, deferring to the maintenance schedule provided by the vehicle manufacturer. With its unparalleled oil and warranty program, AMSOIL offers consumers unprecedented protection and economics.

Another AMSOIL First

More than 20 years ago, AMSOIL began using the NOACK volatility test as a comparison tool and measurement of quality. Back then, nearly every oil tested side-by-side with AMSOIL synthetic motor oils failed, and those that passed barely squeaked by. Other oil companies paid no attention to NOACK results until Ford Motor Company made it a requirement for service fill oils, validating what AMSOIL had said all along.

THE NOACK Volatility Test
The NOACK Volatility Test determines the evaporation loss of lubricants in high temperature service. The more motor oils vaporize, the thicker and heavier they become, contributing to poor circulation, reduced fuel economy and increased oil consumption, wear and emissions. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil resists high temperature volatization better than other motor oils. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oil maintains peak fuel efficiency and reduces oil consumption and emissions.

AMSOIL Now An ISO Certified Manufacturer
AMSOIL recently received ISO 9001:2000 certification of our Quality Management System (QMS). NSF International Strategic Registrations is the registrar that has verified our QMS meets the requirements of the ISO 9001:2000 standard, the most widely utilized quality standard throughout the world for quality management systems. ISO standards are used by over 300,000 companies worldwide setting rigorous standards for businesses, government and industry.

ISO 9001:2000 is applicable to any manufacturing and service organization providing a framework for system development that focuses on the customer, quality system performance and ongoing improvement. AMSOIL received ISO 9001:2000 registration under the scope: synthetic lubricants blending, packaging, and other fulfillment directly associated with lubricant product.

The ISO certification puts AMSOIL in line with some of the most efficient companies in the world. It is further assurance that the products and services AMSOIL provides will continue to maintain the high level of quality the company always demanded.

AMSOIL Product Information

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