Interlocking gears

Making industrial gear oil  

Challenge: Gear systems today are increasingly complex, with highly accurate cut teeth and finely finished surfaces. They’re also smaller, placing higher loads on the teeth and bearings. These loads, along with vibration and shock loading, can cause frequent gear pitting (particularly micropitting) in surface-hardened gears. And the systems run at higher temperatures. All of these factors demand high-quality lubricant performance.

How we can help: While modern gear-oil lubricants based on mineral oils provide good performance, synthetic gear oils offer a number of significant advantages, including:

  • Improved thermal and oxidation resistance, enabling significantly longer oil life and operation at high temperatures
  • Improved viscosity-temperature behavior for better performance and wear protection at extreme temperatures.
  • Improved low-temperature properties for better wear protection and reduced churning losses
  • Increased gear efficiency, reducing power requirements and oil temperature while extending component life
  • Improved foam performance to control liquid lubricant and foam overflow

We also offer a range of formulation support including:

  • Review of key industrial standards and specifications
  • Guidance for base stock selection
  • A fully approved industrial gear oil formulation that meets key OEM and industry approval

Market trends

1. Harsher environments, higher demands

Gear oils must provide higher performance than ever despite operating in harsher environments. The marketplace is demanding longer drain intervals, stronger protection against wear and micropitting, as well as better gearbox reliability, even as operating loads and temperatures increase. Formulators need to modify their formulation strategies to harness synthetic base stocks performance in their new industrial gear oils.

Higher performance requires synthetic base stocks pyramid.

2. Growth of synthetic base oils

Forecasts* predict approximately 0.5% annual growth in the global industrial gear oil market, reaching 988 kT by 2027. Synthetic industrial gear oils, however, are forecast to grow at nearly 5% per annum, from 112 kT in 2018 to 168 kT by 2027.

* Source: Kline Inc.

Synthetic industrial gear oils by region.

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Inside insights

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    Discover how manufacturers of industrial lubricants have succeeded with help from ExxonMobil synthetic base stocks and technical support.

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Broad portfolio of synthetic base stocks

  • Industrial Mining Shovel with Graphics

    SpectraSyn Elite™ mPAO

    High-viscosity metallocene polyalphaolefin base stock provides high performance at a wide temperature range and exceptional low-temperature properties.

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  • traffic on highway

    SpectraSyn Plus™ PAO

    Advanced low-viscosity synthetic base stock for low volatility and low-temperature fluidity to produce advanced lubricants.

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  • truck taking turn with rolling shutter

    SpectraSyn™ Hi Vis PAO

    High viscosity base stock especially suited for industrial oils requiring high stability under harsh operating conditions.

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  • Cars going through intersection with running shutter

    SpectraSyn™ Low Vis PAO

    Low viscosity base stock offering low-temperature fluidity, low volatility and improved thermal stability.

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  • Industrial Rotary Screw with highlighting

    Synesstic™ AN

    Alkylated naphthalene base stock often used as blend component for additive solvency, seal compatibility and hydrolytic stability.

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  • Airplane taking off at night

    Esterex™ esters

    Organic esters are well-suited as a blend component for additive solvency, seal compatibility or biodegradability.

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