Synthetics... Again

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I know this has been hashed to death on the site, but a recent article in Lubes'n'Greases Magazine does an excellent job describing what is a synthetic, suggests what should define a synthetic blend, and gives a brief history of how it's been discussed at high level industry groups.
Originally Posted By: From the Article
It's well accepted that synthetic lubricants may include Group III base stockes made via hydroisomerized refining techniques, the new gas-to-liquids base stocks made from the Fischer-Tropsch process, as well as the arsenal of chemically synthesized products listed in the SAE J357-FEB95. That leaves individual oil marketers to grapple with how to define the synthetic oil lines they offer. For synthetic blends, should they decide on a 30 percent minimum content or something else? Could it be that someone out there will decide - or already has - that just a little bit is enough? For full synthetics, the question is whether using highly dilute additives results in a legitimate product. Will blenders play it fast and loose? Maybe Sir Walter Scott had it right when he said, "Oh! What a tangled web we weave when firs we practice to deceive!"
Read the full article from Steve Swedberg
 
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As for blends, to me, a blend could have any proportion of ingredients, so even if you only have 1% or less of synthetic in there, you could technically call it a blend. I'm not aware of any industry specification or requirement in that respect. Is there one?
 

Solarent

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Not really. But Steve points out the BOI rules where you can change up to 30% of your PAO or Group III oil with minimal re-testing required as a good ruler to measure. That's as close to an industry specification as we can get. I think that 30% rule on blends is a good one to follow. But like you said there can be lots of gamesmanship that can impact. Brands with larger market share are more likely to follow the 30% rule over someone who is just trying to make a mostly conventional oil distinctive.
 
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What does it matter? It is the spec that matters. Regardless of the content you have no assuramce the oil performs better than the specs listed on the bottle whether it says full synthetic or blend.
 
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Originally Posted By: Nate1979
What does it matter? It is the spec that matters. Regardless of the content you have no assuramce the oil performs better than the specs listed on the bottle whether it says full synthetic or blend.
Absolutely
 
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If the marketing is good and it comes in a fancy bottle and a big name race car driver claims his car runs better using the oil then what more do you need, synthetic blend or not? Without the marketing hype how would you know the oil is good? Maybe a friend says his car runs smoother or someone else says another oil causes leaks. You're getting all the info you need.
 
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