Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-32-0510
2020-01-24

Identifying the limitations of the Hot Tube test as a predictor of lubricant performance in small engine applications 2019-32-0510

The Hot Tube Test is a bench test commonly used by OEMs, Oil Marketers and Lubricant Additive manufacturers within the Small Engines industry. The test uses a glass tube heated in an aluminum block to gauge the degree of lacquer formation when a lubricant is subjected to high temperatures. This test was first published by engineers at Komatsu Ltd. (hence KHT) in 1984 to predict lubricant effects on diesel engine scuffing in response to a field issue where bulldozers were suffering from piston scuffing failures [1]. Nearly 35 years after its development the KHT is still widely used to screen lubricant performance in motorcycle, power tool and recreational marine applications as a predictor of high-temperature piston cleanliness - a far cry from the original intended performance predictor of the test. In this paper we set out to highlight the shortcomings of the KHT as well as to identify areas where it may still be a useful screening tool as it pertains to motorcycle applications.

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