Hydraulic Fluid Viscosity Selection for Improved Fuel Economy 2009-01-2845
Multiple field trials and nearly a decade of laboratory studies have demonstrated that shear stable multigrade hydraulic fluids improve fuel economy. These studies have determined that fuel efficiency is dependent upon temperature, fluid viscosity and shear stability. This paper presents a viscosity classification system proposed by the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) Fluids Technical Committee. This system is analogous to the SAE J300 viscosity classification system for engine oils. The letter “L” is used in place of “W” as the designation for the low temperature grade. Under this new classification system, NFPA 32L-68 fluids will provide the low temperature viscosity properties of an ISO VG 32 hydraulic fluid and the high temperature viscosity properties of an ISO VG 68. In addition, fluids that meet the requirements of the proposed NFPA Energy Efficient classification system increase fuel economy and productivity while reducing CO2 emissions. A summary of field trial results and explanation of the proposed NFPA Energy Efficient viscosity classification system are provided.