Developing Next Generation Axle Fluids: Part I - Test Methodology to Measure Durability and Temperature Reduction Properties of Axle Gear Oils
Light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have become extremely popular in the United States in recent years, but this shift to larger passenger vehicles has placed new demands upon the gear lubricant. The key challenge facing vehicle manufacturers in North America is meeting government-mandated fuel economy requirements while maintaining durability. Gear oils must provide long-term durability and operating temperature control in order to increase equipment life under severe conditions while maintaining fuel efficiency. This paper describes the development of a full-scale light duty axle test that simulates a variety of different driving conditions that can be used to measure temperature reduction properties of gear oil formulations. The work presented here outlines a test methodology that allows gear oil formulations to be compared with each other while accounting for axle changes due to wear and conditioning during testing.