Typical Technical Properties
Motor Oil Technical Terms
Relevant ASTM test results are reported on AMSOIL product data bulletins as "TYPICAL TECHNICAL PROPERTIES."
Here is a guide to typical technical properties for AMSOIL motor oils courtesy of AMSOIL INC.
- ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), founded in 1898, is a scientific and technical
organization formed for the development of standards on characteristics and performance of materials and
- ASTM is the world's largest source of voluntary consensus standards.
- ASTM operates through a system of committees and subcommittees. Its committees function in prescribed
fields under regulations that ensure balanced representation among producers, users, general interest and
- ASTM standards govern the majority of testing performed on motor oils in North America.
KINEMATIC VISCOSITY: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-445
Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids Significance & Use: The proper
operation of equipment depends on the proper kinematic viscosity at operating temperature of the oil used for its
What it means: Kinematic viscosity is a measure of a liquid's flow under the influence of gravity. It's handy to
think of a lubricant's kinematic viscosity as its "I.D. card." AMSOIL formulates its synthetic lubricants to
tighter viscosity limits than other manufacturers do, so AMSOIL synthetic lubricants' kinematic viscosities are
midrange, close to neither the high or the low limit. That helps components work their best and helps the
lubricants stay in grade.
VISCOSITY INDEX: Test Number and Name: ASTM D-2270 Standard Practice for Calculating Viscosity Index from
Kinematic Viscosity at 40 deg. C. and 100 deg. C.
Significance & Use: Viscosity index indicates how much of a
lubricant's viscosity will change according to changes in temperature between 40 deg. C (104 deg. F) and 100 deg. C
(212 deg. F), which roughly define the normal temperature range of most operations.
What it means: The smaller a lubricant's viscosity as a result of temperature change, the higher that lubricant's
viscosity index. High viscosity index lubricants, such as AMSOIL products, protect better in operations with
COLD CRANK SIMULATOR APPARENT VISCOSITY: Test Number &
Name: ASTM D-2602 Standard Test Method for Apparent Viscosity of Engine Oils at Low Temperature Using the
Significance & Use: Apparent viscosity has been established as a
valid predictor of engine-cranking viscosities at specified low temperatures. Apparent viscosity depends on
temperature and shear rate.
What it means: Cold cranking viscosity affects the startability of
engines and other equipment in cold temperatures. Low cold cranking viscosities, such as those of AMSOIL synthetic
lubricants, make for easier cold cranking and more dependable cold temperature starting.
BORDERLINE PUMPING TEMPERATURE: Test Number & Name: ASTM
D-3829 Standard Test Method for Predicting the Borderline Pumping Temperature of Engine Oil.
Significance & Use: Borderline pumping temperature is a measure
of the lowest temperature at which an engine oil can be continuously and adequately supplied to the components of
an automotive engine.
What it means: The lower the borderline pumping temperature, the
lower the temperature at which the engine is protected by circulating oil. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils' extremely
low borderline pumping temperatures assure excellent low temperature protection.
POUR POINT: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-97 Standard Test
Method for Pour Point of Petroleum Oils
Significance and Use: The test determines the lowest temperature at which an oil flows as the jar is tilted for a
prescribed period. The pour point of an oil indicates the lowest temperature at which an oil may be used in some
What it means: The lower the pour point, the more useful the
lubricant is in cold temperatures. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants offer exceptionally low pour points.
FLASH AND FIRE POINTS: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-92
Standard Test Method for Flash and Fire Points by Cleveland Open Cup.
Significance & Use: Flash point is the lowest temperature at
which application of a flame causes specimen vapors to ignite. Flash point is used to assess the overall hazard of
a material and is used in shipping and safety regulations to define "flammable" and "combustible" materials.
Fire point is the lowest temperature at which a specimen sustains
burning for five seconds.
What it means: Lubricants with high flash and fire points, such as AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, are safer to use
and transport than lubricants with lower ones and have a greater high temperature operating range.
NOACK VOLATILITY: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-5800
Determining the Evaporation Loss of Lubricating Oils (Noack's Method)
Significance & Use: Test determines the evaporation loss of lubricating oils at high temperature. Evaporation
loss is particularly important to motor and cylinder lubrication, due to the high temperature of these operations
and the tendency of evaporative loss to increase in high temperatures. Significant evaporative loss of oil leads to
excessive oil consumption and destructive changes in oil properties.
What it means: Lubricants with low Noack scores, such as AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, lose less to volatility than
lubricants with higher scores. Low-loss oil keep their original protective and performance qualities longer than
high-loss oils do, which keeps oil consumption low and fuel economy and equipment protection high.
HIGH TEMPERATURE/HIGH SHEAR VISCOSITY: Test Number &
Name: ASTM D-4683 Standard Test Method for Measuring Viscosity at High Temperature and High Shear Rate by Tapered
Significance & Use: Viscosity at the shear rate and temperature
of this test is considered representative of the condition encountered in the bearings of automotive engines in
severe service. Lubricant viscosity in the bearings of automotive engines in severe service is a critical factor in
What it means: Lubricants with high scores, such as AMSOIL synthetic lubricants, maintain their viscosity in high
temperatures after exposure to high shear. That means they continue to protect engine bearings even after exposure
to severe service conditions.
FOUR BALL WEAR TEST: Test Number & Name: ASTM D-4172B
Standard Test Method for Wear Preventive Characteristics of Lubricating Fluid (Four-Ball Method)
Significance & Use: Test method determines the relative wear preventive properties of lubricants in sliding
contact under the test conditions. Lubricant comparisons are made by comparing the average wear scars on three
fixed balls made by one ball in rotating contact with them in baths of the test lubricants.
What it means: The smaller the average wear scar, the better the protection. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants deliver
much smaller wear scars- and much better protection- than other lubricants do.
The Four Ball Wear Test may be conducted at various levels of severity. Independent laboratory testing shows AMSOIL
Series 2000 and Series 3000 motor oils' wear scars are significantly smaller than those of popular competitor oils
in extremely severe test conditions, making these oils ideal for extreme service operations.
Summary: Compare Amsoil's synthetic lubricants technical
properties with those of ANY other motor oil and you'll see exactly why we say....when you compare, there is simply
no comparison. AMSOIL out performs them every time.
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