By Tom Curtis
President, Lubrizol Additives

Lately, we’ve been talking about the importance of durability. The reliable operation of modern engine technology—whether it’s passenger car, heavy duty, stationary or anything else—depends on enhancing durability at every level. And at Lubrizol, we firmly believe that high-performing lubricant technology is a major part of that equation.

But there’s more to this story. Sometimes it can be easy to take for granted the time, effort and perhaps most importantly, the resources that go into creating the machines and equipment that enable modern life. Ensuring the long and useful life of a passenger car, for instance, requires enhanced durability at every level.

It’s critical to also remember that durability is inextricably linked to sustainability, and sustainability is one of the most critical goals for society at large in today’s world. We’ve seen that at every level in the automotive industry, and rest assured, the tide will likely not be turning back any time soon.

Good durability ensures that any given piece of equipment works for an extensive period of time, and by extension, that it does not need to be replaced frequently. A long and useful life saves resources that would go into a replacement vehicle. Consider this from the Scientific American, which cites a 2004 Toyota study that found “as much as 28 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions generated during the lifecycle of a typical gasoline-powered car can occur during its manufacture and its transportation to the dealer; the remaining emissions occur during driving once its new owner takes possession.”

The same principles hold true for all sorts of equipment used throughout the industrial world. Large pieces of equipment that exist at an automotive stamping plant, for instance, represent major capital investments, and require significant resources to replace if durability isn’t up to par. Elsewhere, a large turbine at a hydro-electric power plant is designed to last decades—so long as durability is maintained as the design specifies.
And beyond the resources that cars, trucks and industrial machines require to create, disposal of decommissioned equipment creates more scrap that must be processed and recycled, necessitating the use of more resources … and the cycle continues.

Which brings us back to durability and its critical importance to cars, equipment and machines throughout our world. No option should be left on the table when it comes to increasing durability—and we should be actively promoting and advocating for solutions to enhance durability.

High-performance fluids and lubricants are one of those solutions, heightening durability among machines across industries. As has been demonstrated in the passenger car industry, higher lubricant performance has helped overcome LSPI on a broad scale, a destructive issue that has hampered the proper operation of turbocharged gasoline direct injection (TGDI) engine technology for several years. The 2018 introduction of API SN Plus helped ensure the ongoing durability and performance of countless vehicles that continue to proliferate on roadways all over the world.

Our view: Beyond the engine oil industry, high-performance lubrication is part of the answer to increasing durability—and therefore sustainability—in all sorts of industrial machines and equipment. The lubricants industry must continue to advocate for higher performance, and stressing the importance of durability and sustainability is one way to continue conveying that message.