Viscosity 101

For our first ever #techtiptuesday we want to talk about Viscosity. This is a word that a lot of people know, but may not understand what it truly means. Viscosity is the resistance of a substance to flow. In the video you see two fluids side by side, water, and honey. Water has a low viscosity, or is less viscous meaning that it flows more easily. Honey has a high viscosity, or is very viscous meaning that it doesn't flow as easy.

When looking at the viscosity of oils they use a system of numbers to describe the viscosity of the fluid. The lower the number the lower the viscosity and the higher the number the higher the viscosity. Using the proper viscosity of fluid is crucial to the correct operation of the machine they are in.

Lighter viscosity oils are better for use systems that require fluids to move through small tubes/jets where the oil needs to flow quickly through the system. This is most common in suspension systems, and other hydraulic applications.

Higher viscosity oils are better for applications where there is a lot of metal to metal contact. Since the oil doesn't flow as easily it helps create a better barrier between components. This is most evident in transmissions and gear housings.

Engine oils can span from low to high viscosity. Recent trends in the automotive sector have seen the recommended viscosity of engines oil become lighter to help improve fuel economy. This is because the lighter the viscosity means it flows easier, this means there is less resistance, therefore the engine power needed is reduced, and the fuel economy goes up.

One of the most commonly asked questions we see is "what viscosity should I use in my.....?". The answer is simple, whatever the OEM recommends for viscosity as they designed the machine and will know what will help it run at peak efficiency.

Spectro Oils offers a wide variety of viscosity choices in each of our product lines to ensure that we have something for every machine!

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