The First In Synthetics

From AMSOIL Action News – February 1994

After 64 hours in Sequence IIIC testing, most reference oils turned solid, while AMSOIL exhibited a modest nine percent viscosity increase.

Picture of AMSOIL 5W30 Motor Oil Bottle - 1994

In 1877, Charles Friedel and James Crafts observed the formation of synthetic hydrocarbons suitable for lubrication.

In 1931, F. W. Sullivan, Jr., V. Voorhees, A. W. Neeley and R. V. Shankland, all of Standard Oil Company of Indiana, presented the results of their polymerization research to the Division of Petroleum Chemistry at the 81st Meeting of the American Chemical Society. They also published “Synthetic Lubricating Oils,” in Volume 23, Number 6, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry.

Germany furthered development of synthetic lubricants during the second world war. The 1937 Zurich Aviation Congress included a report on German development of ester based fluids.

H. Zorn et al of the I. G. Farben Industrie in Germany independently discovered the process for synthesizing hydrocarbons that Sullivan et al discovered in the U.S. In fact, Zorn and his group filed a German petroleum application just weeks after the U.S. group filed a similar application here.

Research was taken further in the mid-1960s when A. J. Amatuzio began a serious drive toward development of a synthetic motor oil for internal combustion engines. Shortly after, others joined the race. A United States company called Eon and a French company, Motul, formulated synthetic motor oils and although each lays claim to developing the first, neither succeeded in passing American Petroleum Institute testing. It was A. J. Amatuzio and AMSOIL INC. that attained API qualifications, receiving an SE rating in 1972, and owns legitimate right to claim “The First in Synthetics.”

Category SE, introduced in 1972, denoted service typical of gasoline engines in passenger cars and some trucks of model years 1972 through 1979. SE oils provided more protection against oil oxidation, high temperature engine deposits, rust and corrosion than previous performance category oils did.

Engine testing compares the results obtained by reference oils of known characteristics to the results obtained under identical conditions by the test oil. To simulate “real life” conditions, test parameters vary from test to test. The test oil must perform adequately under light load, low temperature conditions as well as in high load, high temperature conditions.

AMSOIL 10W-40 motor oil performed remarkably in all conditions. For example, Sequence IIIC viscosity increase test data are collected every eight hours up to 64 hours total test time. One reference oil experienced a 2183 percent viscosity increase by 40 hours and was solid by hour 48. Another went to 532 percent viscosity increase by hour 24 and was solid by hour 32. Another showed an increase of 6438 percent by hour 32, at which point its test was terminated, due to low oil level. The best reference oil lasted 64 hours and showed a viscosity increase of 102 percent. The AMSOIL 10W-40 exhibited a modest nine percent viscosity increase over the course of the 64-hour test.

Its performance was impressive throughout. No stuck valve lifters, compression rings nor oil rings. Minimal rust, sludge and varnish. No clogging of the push rods, oil ring, oil screen or PCV valve. Oil consumption and wear were nil.

AMSOIL is the first in synthetics.

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