Motor Oil Technical
Relevant ASTM test results are reported on AMSOIL product
data bulletins as "TYPICAL TECHNICAL PROPERTIES." Here is a
guide to typical technical properties for AMSOIL motor oils
courtesy of AMSOIL INC.
- ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials),
founded in 1898, is a scientific and technical organization
formed for the development of standards on characteristics
and performance of materials and services.
- ASTM is the world's largest source of voluntary
- ASTM operates through a system of committees and
subcommittees. Its committees function in prescribed fields
under regulations that ensure balanced representation among
producers, users, general interest and consumer
- ASTM standards govern the majority of testing performed
on motor oils in North America.
VISCOSITY: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-445 Standard Test
Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque
Liquids Significance & Use: The proper operation of
equipment depends on the proper kinematic viscosity at
operating temperature of the oil used for its lubrication.
What it means: Kinematic viscosity is a measure of a liquid's
flow under the influence of gravity. It's handy to think of a
lubricant's kinematic viscosity as its "I.D. card." AMSOIL
formulates its synthetic lubricants to tighter viscosity limits
than other manufacturers do, so AMSOIL synthetic lubricants'
kinematic viscosities are midrange, close to neither the high
or the low limit. That helps components work their best and
helps the lubricants stay in grade.
VISCOSITY INDEX: Test Number and Name: ASTM D-2270
Standard Practice for Calculating Viscosity Index from
Kinematic Viscosity at 40 deg. C. and 100 deg. C.
& Use: Viscosity index indicates how much of a lubricant's
viscosity will change according to changes in temperature
between 40 deg. C (104 deg. F) and 100 deg. C (212 deg. F),
which roughly define the normal temperature range of most
What it means: The smaller a lubricant's viscosity as a result
of temperature change, the higher that lubricant's viscosity
index. High viscosity index lubricants, such as AMSOIL
products, protect better in operations with temperature
SIMULATOR APPARENT VISCOSITY: Test Number & Name: ASTM
D-2602 Standard Test Method for Apparent Viscosity of Engine
Oils at Low Temperature Using the Cold-Cranking Simulator.
& Use: Apparent viscosity has been established as a valid
predictor of engine-cranking viscosities at specified low
temperatures. Apparent viscosity depends on temperature and
What it means:
Cold cranking viscosity affects the startability of engines and
other equipment in cold temperatures. Low cold cranking
viscosities, such as those of AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, make
for easier cold cranking and more dependable cold temperature
PUMPING TEMPERATURE: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-3829
Standard Test Method for Predicting the Borderline Pumping
Temperature of Engine Oil.
& Use: Borderline pumping temperature is a measure of the
lowest temperature at which an engine oil can be continuously
and adequately supplied to the components of an automotive
What it means:
The lower the borderline pumping temperature, the lower the
temperature at which the engine is protected by circulating
oil. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils' extremely low borderline
pumping temperatures assure excellent low temperature
POINT: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-97 Standard Test
Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Oils
Significance and Use: The test determines the lowest
temperature at which an oil flows as the jar is tilted for a
prescribed period. The pour point of an oil indicates the
lowest temperature at which an oil may be used in some
What it means:
The lower the pour point, the more useful the lubricant is in
cold temperatures. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants offer
exceptionally low pour points.
FIRE POINTS: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-92 Standard
Test Method for Flash and Fire Points by Cleveland Open
& Use: Flash point is the lowest temperature at which
application of a flame causes specimen vapors to ignite. Flash
point is used to assess the overall hazard of a material and is
used in shipping and safety regulations to define "flammable"
and "combustible" materials.
Fire point is
the lowest temperature at which a specimen sustains burning for
What it means: Lubricants with high flash and fire points, such
as AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, are safer to use and transport
than lubricants with lower ones and have a greater high
temperature operating range.
VOLATILITY: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-5800 Determining
the Evaporation Loss of Lubricating Oils (Noack's Method)
Significance & Use: Test determines the evaporation loss of
lubricating oils at high temperature. Evaporation loss is
particularly important to motor and cylinder lubrication, due
to the high temperature of these operations and the tendency of
evaporative loss to increase in high temperatures. Significant
evaporative loss of oil leads to excessive oil consumption and
destructive changes in oil properties.
What it means: Lubricants with low Noack scores, such as AMSOIL
synthetic lubricants, lose less to volatility than lubricants
with higher scores. Low-loss oil keep their original protective
and performance qualities longer than high-loss oils do, which
keeps oil consumption low and fuel economy and equipment
TEMPERATURE/HIGH SHEAR VISCOSITY: Test Number & Name:
ASTM D-4683 Standard Test Method for Measuring Viscosity at
High Temperature and High Shear Rate by Tapered Bearing
& Use: Viscosity at the shear rate and temperature of this
test is considered representative of the condition encountered
in the bearings of automotive engines in severe service.
Lubricant viscosity in the bearings of automotive engines in
severe service is a critical factor in bearing wear.
What it means: Lubricants with high scores, such as AMSOIL
synthetic lubricants, maintain their viscosity in high
temperatures after exposure to high shear. That means they
continue to protect engine bearings even after exposure to
severe service conditions.
WEAR TEST: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-4172B Standard
Test Method for Wear Preventive Characteristics of Lubricating
Fluid (Four-Ball Method)
Significance & Use: Test method determines the relative
wear preventive properties of lubricants in sliding contact
under the test conditions. Lubricant comparisons are made by
comparing the average wear scars on three fixed balls made by
one ball in rotating contact with them in baths of the test
What it means: The smaller the average wear scar, the better
the protection. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants deliver much
smaller wear scars- and much better protection- than other
The Four Ball Wear Test may be conducted at various levels of
severity. Independent laboratory testing shows AMSOIL Series
2000 and Series 3000 motor oils' wear scars are significantly
smaller than those of popular competitor oils in extremely
severe test conditions, making these oils ideal for extreme
Compare Amsoil's synthetic lubricants technical properties with
those of ANY other motor oil and you'll see exactly why we
say....when you compare, there is simply no comparison. AMSOIL
out performs them every time.
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