Base oils are made of crude oil and are also called mineral oils. These oils can be divided into five groups. In this blog, we will study these five groups of base oils so that you can better understand and use these different types of oils. The first three of these five groups consist of mineral-based oils. These base oils have varying lubricating abilities on the basis of the level to which they are refined.

Group 1

The base oils of group 1 are solvent refined. These oils are refined through a simple process that is as uncomplicated as it is old. This process removes substances like aromatics that aren’t as desirable.

Group 1 base oils are almost 90 percent saturated and their index of viscosity is 80 to 100. The temperature at which these oils operate is up to 65 degrees Celsius.

Group 2

The base oils categorized in this group are mineral-base oils that are created through a process known as hydrogenation. Some people also call this process ‘hydrocracking’. This is believed to be a better process of refining the oils as compared to the solvent method. It transforms the unwanted aromatics into useful hydrocarbons.

Group 3

The base oils of group 3 are also created from the hydrogenation process. The difference lies in the extra heat and pressure that are used in this process. This additional heat and pressure make it possible to convert more aromatics and unwanted components in the oil into hydrocarbons. In this way, the effectiveness of the process is increased and offers up to 90 percent saturates and the viscosity index of up to 120. Group 3 oils are often referred to as synthetic oils due to the fact that they involve the modification of hydrocarbons.

Group 4

The oils categorized in the fourth group are synthetic polyalphaolefins. These are the most commonly used types of oil. These oils are created from ethylene gas. Group 4 oils can operate at various and wider ranges of temperatures. These oils have a higher index of viscosity and greater oxidation stability if compared with mineral base oils. These oils that are included in this group are preferably used in situations in which higher temperatures are in play.

Group 5

The rest of all base oils are categorized in the fifth group. This group mainly includes synthetic oils and polyalkylene glycols which are abbreviated as (PAG), silicones, and diesters. Synthetic oils are mostly used as an alternative to petroleum refined oils. One of the examples is in jet engines in which extremely high temperatures are involved. Synthetic oils are used for such engines.

Why understanding oil is important

The understanding of oils and lubricants is very important. It helps you make the right decision about selecting the right oil that would serve your purpose. If you know the composition, viscosity index, and temperature details, you will be in a better position to choose the best oil for the job.

A decision based on detailed knowledge about oil will not only enable you to choose the right oil but will also save you the money and time that would have been wasted on getting the wrong oil.

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