Grasas y Aceites, Vol 62, No 1 (2011)

Vegetable oils as hydraulic fluids for agricultural applications

G. Mendoza
Fundación TEKNIKER, Spain

A. Igartua
Fundación TEKNIKER, Spain

B. Fernandez-Diaz
Fundación TEKNIKER, Spain

F. Urquiola
Verkol Lubricantes, Spain

S. Vivanco
Verkol Lubricantes, Spain

R. Arguizoniz
Agria Hispania S.A., Spain


The formulation of environmentally friendly lubricants following the criterion of the European EcoLabel is expensive owing to the lack of technological development in this area. The present work deals with the development of lubricant formulations from vegetable oils, in particular using high oleic sunflower oil as base fluid. These new biolubricants have to perform as good as the reference lubricants used in the real application (an agricultural tractor) but with the additional condition and value of their biodegradability without toxicity. Formulation development has been performed by Verkol Lubricantes, involving the selection of the base oil and the design of the additive package. The investigation performed by Tekniker in the laboratory has covered different aspects, characterizing the most important physicochemical properties of the lubricants, including their behavior at low temperatures and their resistance to oxidation. The tribological properties of the new biolubricants have also been studied, analyzing their ability to protect the interacting surface from wear, as well as the level of friction generated during sliding. Moreover, the compatibility of the new formulated oil with all the seals present in the real application has been taken into consideration. The selected lubricant is now being tested in agricultural machinery from AGRIA.


Biodegradable Lubricants; High Oleic Sunflower Oil; Hydraulic fluids; Friction; Tribology; Wear

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