Lubricant performance in cold weather

As we head towards Winter in the Northern Hemisphere now is a good time to start thinking about how best to lubricate your equipment in low temperatures to ensure optimal performance. The cold weather, particularly freezing temperatures, can impact the effectiveness of your lubricants and cause equipment to fail. Equipment always performs better when properly lubricated so making sure you use the right lubricant that performs in low temperatures is critical.

Finding the right lubricant for any temperature

The ‘pour point’ of the lubricant is the temperature where a fluid has become completely solid. It is a good indicator of how well it will perform in cold weather and ‘how low you can go’. However, bear in mind that the minimum operating temperature (the lowest temperature of the operating temperature range) is 20 degrees higher than the pour point.

It is largely the base oil that determines the low temperature properties of a lubricant, but special chemistry components may enhance the viscosity performance. Optimal film strength can only be reached by having the right base oil strategy and very low pour point.

If your equipment is exposed to low temperatures it is safer to choose a synthetic based lubricant, as the pour point – and operating temperature of synthetic lubricants - can be much lower than for mineral oil based lubricants. Although mineral oil based lubricants can withstand moderate changes in temperature from zero to 10 degrees celsius, as you start to get below 10 degrees some will start to thicken making them less effective. Synthetics however are, in the main, suitable for operating temperature up to -30 degrees celsius.

With synthetic lubricants having a much lower pour point, they are very suitable for low temperatures. All Anderol® lubricants have the benefit of operating at a wide temperature range from low to high temperatures and providing the optimal film layer.

Products in the spotlight

Anderol® 568 is a good example of a lubricant suited to cold weather conditions. Very suitable for vane compressors in snow blowers. The special chemistry offers optimal lubrication at low temperatures. Its low pour point and high film strength provides special protection when operating in start/stop mode in cold weather for equipment such as snow blowers

The Anderol® FG XL compressor oil range for screw compressors is the range with the lowest pour point, as low as -56 degrees celsius, and an operating temperature of -35 degrees celsius. This range has the added benefit of being able to operate at a wide temperature range , from very low temperatures to high temperatures, whilst providing optimum film strength.

Anderol® carries out extensive testing on all of its lubricants to ensure they are suitable for the environment that they are intended. To ensure cold weather performance please make sure you consult your local Anderol® distributor – they have access to all of our testing data and can advise you on the right lubricant for your equipment.