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Technical Paper

Effects of Base Stocks on Lubricant Aeration

Aeration properties of lubricants is an increasing concern as the design of powertrain components, specifically transmissions, continue to become more compact leading to smaller sumps and higher pressure requirements. Although good design practices are the most important factors in mitigating the aeration level of the fluid, the fluid properties themselves are also a contributing factor. This paper investigates the aeration properties of specific base oils commonly used to formulate modern transmission fluids using the General Motors Company Aeration Bench Test found in GMN10060. The test matrix includes thirteen different fluids representing a cross-section of base oil types, manufacturers, and viscosity grades. Per the procedure found in GMN10060, the bench test measures the aeration time, de-aeration time, and percent maximum aeration of the fluid at three temperatures, 60°C, 90°C, and 120°C. In the end, the results are compared with four commercially available transmission fluids.
Technical Paper

Seal Testing in Aerated Lubricants

Typical seal immersion testing in lubricants does not aerate the lubricant as typically seen during normal operation of a transmission or axle. This paper will discuss a new test apparatus that introduces air into transmission fluids and gear oils during seal immersion testing. The seal materials selected for the testing are from current vehicle applications from several different material families. The test results compare the standard properties: change in tensile strength, elongation, hardness, and volume swell. Several tests were completed to investigate and refine the new testing method for seal compatibility testing with transmission fluids and gear oils. Initial results from the first data sets indicate that lubricant aeration helps improve test repeatability. In addition to aeration, the test results explore appropriate fluid immersion temperature for repeatability and appropriate test duration.