Synthetic Oil VS Mineral Oil
There are two main types of oils used in the lubrication industry, but a question frequently asked is which one is better; synthetic oils or mineral oils, below we have done a comparison for each of their benefits, synthetic oil vs mineral oil.
What are Mineral Oils?
Mineral oil has been on the market for over 100 years, its a natural oil that comes directly from the ground and is a product of the oil refining process.
Mineral oil is inexpensive with moderate performance. As much as mineral oils are affordable they also have:
A low viscosity index: At extreme temperatures mineral oils are more likely to thin out at extreme high temperatures and thicken at extreme low temperatures.
Limited thermal stability for high temperature applications: Mineral oils when exposed to high temperatures will thin out and cause a thinner lubricating film, this reduces the time between re-lubricating so you will need to use more product in a shorter time period.
Limited low temperature: When exposed to low temperatures mineral oils will thicken, the presence of wax results in a higher pour point meaning it is not suitable for use in low temperatures.
What are Synthetic Oils?
Synthetic oils are man-made oils that have been refined, distilled, purified and broken down through chemical engineering, increasing the purity. Due to this synthetic oils are expensive, but the benefits of synthetics out weigh the expense.
Synthetic oils have performance, energy and thermal advantages over mineral oils. However the main properties that make the synthetic oils perform better are:
Excellent Thermal stability for high temperature applications: Synthetic oils have a great oxidation stability at high temperatures which means these is less sludge, carbon or acid build up. This means the oil has a much longer life.
Very low pour point: Synthetic oils don’t thicken at low temperatures and the absence of wax means it is suitable for use in extremely low temperature applications.
High Viscosity Index: This reduces the change in viscosity of synthetic oils whilst at extreme high or low temperatures, meaning they don’t thin out or thicken.
The use of synthetic oils results in reduced costs and increased uptime. This is due to the high viscosity index of the synthetic fluid that provides a higher lubricating film thickness at high temperatures combined with the excellent thermal stability.
These extend the life time of the oil and the time between draining and re-lubricating.
The use of synthetic oils results in the following benefits:
- Reduced cost of lubrication
- Reduced down-time.
- Longer oil life
- Extended re-lubrication period.
- Reduced wear on components.
- Resulting in a longer component life.
- Continuous Production
- Low Maintenance Costs
- Reduced Power Consumption
- Lower Running Temperatures
Synthetic Oil VS Mineral Oil
Below is a comparative table displaying Synthetic oil VS Mineral Oil
|Synthetic Oil||Mineral Oil|
|High resistance power||Low resistance power|
|Have excellent thermal stability|
(for the same Mineral oil viscosity)
|Limited high temperature|
|Long re-lubrication period||Short re-lubrication period|
|Low pour point – extreme low temperature||Limited low temperature|
|High performance||Moderate performance|
|High viscosity index||Low viscosity index|
|Exhibits good biodegradability||Limited biodegradability|
Synthetic oil is the most superior oil, synthetic oils and mineral oils can be mixed in most instances, but we would recommend to do a complete system flush to remove all contaminants and used oil. Synthetic oils should not be mixed with Polyalkylene Glycol (PAG) lubricants.
The shelf life between synthetic oil vs mineral oil is the same, both products have a shelf life of 5 years. This is not to be confused with with service life of the oil.