Compressibilities and viscosities of reference, vegetable, and synthetic gear lubricants

Teresa Regueira Muñiz, Luis Lugo, Josefa Fernández

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Nowadays, one of the primary choices of base oils for environmentally aware lubricants is vegetable oils. This is due to their good natural biodegradability and very low toxicity in combination with very good lubricity characteristics. The development of new vegetable-based lubricants requires the knowledge of their thermophysical properties such as their viscosity or density, among others. Regarding this issue, in this work, we have carried out density measurements between 278.15 and 398.15 K and pressures up to 120 MPa and calculated the isothermal compressibility and isobaric thermal expansivity values of six gear lubricants, two of them reference mineral oils and the other four developed biodegradable oils based in high oleic sunflower oil or in synthetic esters. It was found that all of the lubricants have both similar compressibilities and similar expansivities. Dowson and Higginson, Zhu and Wen, Jacobson and Vinet equations of state predict the experimental density values with absolute average deviations (AADs), that is, AAD % lower than 0.3, 0.4, and 0.6%, respectively, whereas Tammann-Tait and the modified Tait equations correlate these experimental densities with AAD % of 0.02 and 0.06%. Dowson and Higginson and Zhu and Wen equations of state do not predict well the isothermal compressibilities, with AAD % being around 45% for both equations. Moreover, the viscosities were measured in the temperature range from 278.15 to 373.15 K at atmospheric pressure for these oils, and the viscosity index was also determined. New formulated oils present the highest viscosity indexes and the lowest viscosity data at low temperatures; therefore, they become the most suitable for machinery cold start. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)4499-4510
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Biodegradation
  • Compressibility
  • Equations of state
  • Isotherms
  • Lubricants
  • Machinery
  • Thermodynamic properties
  • Absolute average deviation
  • Bio-degradable oil
  • High-oleic sunflower oil
  • Isobaric thermal expansivities
  • Isothermal compressibility
  • Low temperatures
  • Synthetic esters
  • Temperature range
  • Viscosity

Cite this