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Feb 27

Why Group II High-Viscosity White Oil Is the Future of Automotive Interiors

The oil industry has almost entirely moved beyond Group I oils. But certain gaps in specialty oil availability among Group II products have lingered, such as high molecular weight (MW), high-viscosity white oils.

Reduced sulfuric content, resistance to oxidation, fewer impurities, and improved clarity have made Group II oils highly desirable in most contexts. The automotive industry is one example of an industry that is continually under pressure to adopt Group II products.

But the highest molecular weight, or high viscosity index (HVI) process oils, which offer the lowest volatility, have historically been derived using the Group I process.

Thanks to advancements in Group II refining, new very high MW, low-volatility products hold the key to achieving the automotive industry’s goals.

(Learn more about our new high-viscosity white process oil, Renoil 2400-LV below.)

Moving on from Group I (Bright Stock) High-Viscosity White Oil

Much of the trend toward replacing Group I with Group II and III oils has been driven by the automotive industry, which has continually pushed for higher thermal/oxidative stability and better fuel economy from lower viscosity oils.

That trend is only accelerating, driven in part by IMO 2020, the International Maritime Organization’s new limit on sulfur content in fuel oil.

As the seafaring industry transitions to IMO 2020-compliant, Group II/III oils, it will represent a significant drop in worldwide demand for Group I bright stock.

This may be the tipping point that accelerates Group I plant closures, a subsequent drop in supply, and further limiting of availability.

Beyond availability, the automotive industry has another incentive to further advance the transition to Group II products: the elimination of VOC emission and automotive fogging.

Lower-Volatility Process Oils: Group II Very High MW, High-Viscosity White Oil

The next frontier for automakers will be to make unintended “new car smell” a thing of the past. Or, more importantly, eliminate its cause: the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions that eventually produce fogging on windshield interiors in high heat.

Manufacturers of lightly-colored interior moldings, floor mats, and other thermoplastic elastomer-based products have made significant progress in recent years, significantly reducing automotive fogging by using low-volatility clear process oils less likely to release VOCs.

Chevron ParaLux, a Group II oil with a viscosity of 585 (SUS @ 100 degrees F), has long been the industry standard. But Signal Fluid Solutions has continuously worked with refiners to innovate in support of the synthetic rubber and TPE industries (and by extension, automakers).

Introducing Renoil 2400-LV: A Low-Volatility, High-Viscosity White Oil/Process Oil

Over the years, we have worked with our refiner partners to develop Renoil 1000-LV and Renoil 1500-LV to offer greater purity, higher color stability, and lower volatility.

Our work continues with Renoil 2400-LV. This very high molecular weight, high-viscosity (2485 @ 100 degrees F) technical grade white oil is designed to help the automotive industry:

  • Achieve the desired “soft touch” only low-volatility process oils can provide.
  • Provide exceptional color stability for a wide range of lightly-colored interiors.
  • Eliminate interior VOC emissions and automotive fogging.

Product Specifications

Properties ASTM Specification Results
Viscosity SUS @100F D445 2485
Viscosity cSt @40C D445 467
Viscosity cSt @100C D445 34.2
Viscosity Index D2270 105 min 109
API Gravity D1298 29.5
Specific Gravity @60/60F kg/liter D1298 0.8788
Density (lbs/gal) Calc 7.32
Pour Point F(C) D97 5(-15) max -2(-19)
Color ASTM D1500 0.5 max L0.5
Color Saybolt D156 +27
Flash Point COC F(C) D92 482(250) min 532(278)
CCR wt% D189 0.01
Acid Number D664 0.01 max 0.01
Sulfur ppm D4294 0.01 max <5
Meets FDA 21CFR178.3620(b) technical grade white mineral oil
requirements for indirect contact with food.

Partner with Signal Fluid Solutions for Superior Process Oil Performance

Support for the synthetic rubber and TPE industry is in the Signal Fluid Solutions DNA. We were founded four decades ago to serve specialty niches such as automotive interiors, and since then have expanded to serve a wide range of specialty needs:

  • Food, agriculture, personal care and medical grade applications
  • Base oils and lubrication
  • Transformer oils (electrical insulating oils)
  • Synthetic isoparaffin light distillates (gas-to-liquids)

In addition to our innovative work developing new products for our customers, we’ve built an extensive infrastructure to provide our customers with unparalleled supply security and logistical support.

Learn more about the benefits of partnering with Signal Fluid Solutions. Contact us today!

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