TGA scan--Homemade Noack test

Not open for further replies.
Apr 6, 2004
Midland, MI
I have access to some TGA equipment and while I was doing some work on a project at work I decided to make a crude 200C Nock test and run a couple of tests when no one was using after hours. My test was pretty standard. A TGA basically measures weight change v. temp. so I made a test which held my sample at 200C for 1 hour and then analyized the weight change. The test really ends up being 63 mins as I have about three minutes to get to temp. SO far two tests finished: Royal Purple 10w-30 after one hour left a residue of 66%-so it lost 34% of its mass. Castrol Syntec 10w-30, same test -Residue of 73%, so a loss of mass of 27%. Just a couple of oils I had laying around the garage. I plan on continuing to test a few oils after hours in my pursuit of more oil knowledge, I will post as I get more results.
Interesting. If your procedure is tight and consistent, you will have some useful comparisons. I can hardly wait for the Valvoline.
The tests should be very consistent, as I am using a TA Insturments TGA which is extremely expensive. To give you and idea as to its accuracy by weight, my samples will read something like this--Starting weight 15.031 mg--final weight-10.973 mg. The stest ramps quickly to 140C, then overshoots because of the quick heat ramp, however I then ramp at a set 20C/min to 200 then hold isothermal at 200C--the proceedure to get to 200C is exactly 3 mins so the total test is 63 mins. There are ASTM methods for Noack tests using a TGA but I din't want to pay the $ to get the ASTM method--I figure this is pretty close to what I am looking for regardless.
hey, very cool test! lucky you got your hands on that machine [Smile] gotta get some more oils in there [Wink]
Since you have access to the test equipment, why not follow the ASTM D-5800 protocol? I think Noack volatility for motor oils is tested at 250 deg C.
I think that you have a good test set-up and procedure! I'm glad that you are not running the oil up to 250C. That is way too hot - an unrealistic temperature in my opinion. I think that 200C is acceptable, but is still pushing the high-limit of "realistic". I suggest the following oils for your comparison: Pennzoil Dino 10W-30 Pennzoil Dino 5W-30 Valvoline Dino 10W-30 Valvoline Dino 5W-30 Mobil 1 Synth 10W-30 Mobil 1 Synth 5W-30 Mobil 1 Synth 0W-20 German Castrol (of course) I think that these oils will cover most of the oil usage & "emotions" on this board. It is clear that this is going to cost some money. Is that a problem? The key is to do every test exactly the same way. You have a good procedure, so please carefully stick to it. I wonder if your characterization time & effort is better spent when the new-grade oils (SM?) are introduced in the near future. I think that it is important to use the latest offering of whatever you characterize. Testing 2-year-old oil is probably not useful, for example. Thanks!
So far I have just tested what I have been using in my vehicles, and a couple of inexpensive dinos. After seeing the results I am getting at 200C I find it hard to believe that industry uses 250C unless they are running under an atmosphere other than air, i.e. Nitrogen. I suspect that my testing will be drawn out over a couple of months as I am basically using work equipment when available, so I have to be careful of how often I run things and what the traffic on the machine looks like. So far Syntec--27% loss RoyalPurple-34% loss Exxon Superflo--40% loss (238C-FP) Havoline--59% loss (258C-FP) Citgo UL-HM--63% loss (238C-FP) ALl above are 10w-30 and the Flash Points above are what's listed on spec. sheets from said companies.
i'd like to see Synergyn 3W-30 and Schaeffer's 30 wt pure synthetic in there, but those are quite hard to get oils unfortunately [Frown]
ANother one to add. Looks like Chevron and Havoline are not exactly the same as of yet. I noticed as I had both in glass vials next to each other that the Chevron was much darker looking than the Havoline. ANyway, the chevron showed a 42% loss, not bad so far with my test method. Like I said before, after these tests I have run I have to wonder what atmosphere the ASTM test is run in, I just cannot believe it is air, if anyone knows feel free. I will post as I add more oils, looks like it will be a slow compilation.
Thanks for providing this info to us. 15mg sounds like the weight of a single drop, maybe somewhat less? That must be an amazingly sensitive scale to read out to the nearest 100,000th of a gram!
Yeah, it is from TA Instruments, probably the largest supplier of Thermal Analysis equipment in the world, and it doesn't come cheap.
Yeah, and when I see the posted % loss (noack) for a lot of the mineral oils ou there, I have yet to see one over 15%. Based on what I am seeing at 200C, I can only conclude that these test cannot be tested in air, but must be in a Nitrogen atmosphere. That, or the equipment that I am using that was just recently clibrated is already in need of service.
I have a modest proposal: How about including Walmart's 10-30 conventional oil and fleet 15-40 oil. Some of us sceptical cheapskates actually use this stuff. Maybe we would as a result become enlightened regarding the error of our ways and become converted true believers in high-priced, heavily and expensively hyped "premium" oils. (Or maybe not?) My $0.02
Only addition, a 52% loss of 10w-40 Castrol GTX, the only 10w-40 I had in the garage. Motorbike, If you have some oils you would like me to check when I can feel free to contact me, as I am out of everything I had around. I would like to do some more synthetics, both PAO & G-III, as I was amused by the fact that the Royal Purple seemed to lose out to the G-III Syntec, however, as I usually run non-syns I haven't ran out to spend the $4-$5 /qt for the drop of oil I need for the test.
On another forum a fellow ran TGA's and the Syntec 10w-40 was better in terms of less loss than the Delvac 1 so I can see where the Castrol Syntec 10w-30 might hold up well against other oils . Open up to allow PM's so I can get an address and I'll send you a load of sample oils of the synthetic type .
Another Dino to add, Citgo Supergard 10W-30(already have done the UltraLife High Mileage above). 50% loss, not bad compared to the Dinos I have looked at so far, especially since I just bought some for $0.67 a quart. Motorbike is being kind enough to send me some small samples, and I will add as I can. I am also thinking about doing some runs under Nitrogen atmosphere to see how/if everything trends the same.
My source that turned me onto the Synergyn oil just contacted me to remind me to send some of it along with the other oils . I trust these guys when it comes to the synthetic oil recommendations given to me because ............ just because [Smile]  - [ August 24, 2004, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: Motorbike ]
Not open for further replies.