The environmental issue is an increasing major concern of society worldwide and fastly developing into a primary driving force for new technological developments.
Local and global emission limits result in significant changes in design and engineering for automotive components to obtain lowest emission and to minimise fuel consumption, but maintaining driveability and durability at acceptable costs.
These new engine and driveline technologies not only put lubricants in a more demanding role, also lubricants themselves can play directly a part in emissions and fuel consumption performance of vehicles.
Furthermore, constraints on lubricants composition are beginning to be encountered which sometimes results in complex and conflicting requirements.
A key issue for the development of future lubricants is the availability of common, modern and realistic performance tests, capable of wide acknowledgement, acceptable precision and field correlation. Also essential are meaningful classification/specification systems which can be reliably based on those tests.
There is a growing need for a better worldwide cooperation of the corresponding industries to deal with these complex issues in a cost effective manner for the benefit of the common customer-the vehicle owner and driver.
Performance demands placed on automotive lubricants are changing rapidly at a time when compositional aspects related to the environment are becoming increasingly important.
The highly competitive European vehicle market is showing a trend towards smaller motors, higher power density and more complex engine technologies. The next generation vehicles will be equipped with compact and extremely efficient gasoline or diesel engines with low exhaust and noise emissiom.
Stimulated by public concern about environmental issues stringent legislation has been created by the European Union and other European countries to minimise tailpipe emissions further in several stages, both for passenger cars and commercial road transport. Consequently new engine technology and even more sophisticated combustion control systems are essential to meet stringent future emission legislation and these are stimulating changes in lubricant appetites.
Lubricant performance in the European market, already high compared to other markets, will need designs to provide higher engine cleanliness and wear protection, at higher temperatures with low oil consumption and extended drain intervals. In particular car diesel engine oils will be required to perform at much enhanced levels. In addition the importance of environmental elements such as seal compatibility, low lubricant vo