The test of time: Finding the lifespan of an Edison Award-winning lubricant - Energy Factor
Science & technology

The test of time: Finding the lifespan of an Edison Award-winning lubricant

Dec. 1, 2016

When inventors Jim Carey, Angela Galiano-Roth and Gary Dudley set out to find a lubricant formula that would extend oil life, they encountered an unexpected hurdle: The lubricant they created was so tough and durable, it outlasted the tests designed to wear it out.

“It’s a good challenge to have: How do we extend the life of the test equipment to outlast the life of the lubricant?” said Dudley, who, along with his ExxonMobil colleagues Galiano-Roth and Carey, earned this year’s Edison Patent Award in the industrial product category from the Research and Development Council of New Jersey for their breakthrough research and development.

“A big selling feature of a lubricant is not only that it protects the equipment, but that it can last hours and hours without being changed. Knowing the lubricant lifespan is a critical decision factor for our industrial customers,” Dudley added.

Changing the lubricant less often would reduce the amount of environmental waste for our customers and our plants. Designed primarily for use in air compressors, the lubricant has applicability in the energy industry, but also where air compressors are used – basically, almost everywhere.

The extraordinarily resilient lubricant pushed Dudley and his colleagues to develop testing protocols that could outlive the life of the lubricant. Once they did that, the team found that their lubricants lasted three times longer than previous synthetic formulas—24,000 hours, to be precise.

Of course it will take actual market testing to see how much longer specific equipment will be able to run on the new lube. Carey describes the achievement as “a mind blower.”