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Oil surface tension #4771041
05/29/18 10:14 AM
05/29/18 10:14 AM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
Massachusetts, USA
cpetroff Offline OP
cpetroff  Offline OP

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
Massachusetts, USA
Looking for a low viscosity oil with a high surface tension. Does PAO 6 or mineral oil have a higher surface tension at room temperature? Any additives that could increase surface tension? Other types of oils that have higher surface tension? Any ideas on how to measure surface tension?

Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4771055
05/29/18 10:37 AM
05/29/18 10:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Looking for a low viscosity oil with a high surface tension. Does PAO 6 or mineral oil have a higher surface tension at room temperature? Any additives that could increase surface tension? Other types of oils that have higher surface tension? Any ideas on how to measure surface tension?

Absolutely, I used to do it all the time in college. You need a surface tensiometer.


1994 BMW 530i, 242K
1996 Honda Accord, 275K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 413K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 281K
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4771193
05/29/18 01:20 PM
05/29/18 01:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 495
California
DGXR Offline
DGXR  Offline

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 495
California
Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Looking for a low viscosity oil with a high surface tension. Does PAO 6 or mineral oil have a higher surface tension at room temperature? Any additives that could increase surface tension? Other types of oils that have higher surface tension? Any ideas on how to measure surface tension?


When you say surface tension, do you mean oil film strength? This is what helps prevent metal-to-metal contact inside engines before oil pressure builds up.

I'm just not sure how the surface tension of an oil relates to its performance.


1995 Corvette coupe LT1 6-speed
2006 Tacoma 2.7 Base SR5 AC
1999 Yamaha YZ400FL
2003 Honda XR400R
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4771197
05/29/18 01:22 PM
05/29/18 01:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
And as far as I know it also isn’t related to the viscosity.


1994 BMW 530i, 242K
1996 Honda Accord, 275K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 413K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 281K
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4771330
05/29/18 03:42 PM
05/29/18 03:42 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 687
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Offline
MotoTribologist  Offline

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 687
NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Does PAO 6 or mineral oil have a higher surface tension at room temperature?

No difference that could be discerned outside of a surface tensiometer.

Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Any additives that could increase surface tension?

Tackifiers should increase the surface tension.

Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Other types of oils that have higher surface tension?

Bar and chain oil would have a pretty stout surface tension

Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Any ideas on how to measure surface tension?

As mentioned above, surface tensiometer

Re: Oil surface tension [Re: MotoTribologist] #4771355
05/29/18 04:07 PM
05/29/18 04:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
Tackifiers make the oil cling but is that a direct correlation to surface tension?


1994 BMW 530i, 242K
1996 Honda Accord, 275K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 413K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 281K
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4771374
05/29/18 04:36 PM
05/29/18 04:36 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,741
San Antonio, TX
Nyogtha Offline
Nyogtha  Offline

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,741
San Antonio, TX
Probably not on basics of surface tension is a function of cohesion while maintaining contact with a different surface is a function of adhesion, but perhaps someone like SOJ can chime in on the specific properties of tackifiers.


"No matter how paranoid you are you're not paranoid enough. Tell the truth. Reach as many people as you can with it. That's your weapon." - Susanne Modeski, aka "Holly" to The Lone Gunmen
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: kschachn] #4771377
05/29/18 04:40 PM
05/29/18 04:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,741
San Antonio, TX
Nyogtha Offline
Nyogtha  Offline

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,741
San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted By: kschachn
Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Looking for a low viscosity oil with a high surface tension. Does PAO 6 or mineral oil have a higher surface tension at room temperature? Any additives that could increase surface tension? Other types of oils that have higher surface tension? Any ideas on how to measure surface tension?

Absolutely, I used to do it all the time in college. You need a surface tensiometer.

I think degree of curvature of a meniscus indicates something on a relative qualitative basis for surface tension without specific quantification IIRC.


"No matter how paranoid you are you're not paranoid enough. Tell the truth. Reach as many people as you can with it. That's your weapon." - Susanne Modeski, aka "Holly" to The Lone Gunmen
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: MotoTribologist] #4771397
05/29/18 05:06 PM
05/29/18 05:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: MotoTribologist
Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Any additives that could increase surface tension?

Tackifiers should increase the surface tension.

If that is the case then it would bead up and become less prone to adhesion.


1994 BMW 530i, 242K
1996 Honda Accord, 275K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 413K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 281K
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: Nyogtha] #4771399
05/29/18 05:07 PM
05/29/18 05:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
kschachn Offline
kschachn  Offline

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 11,284
Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: Nyogtha
I think degree of curvature of a meniscus indicates something on a relative qualitative basis for surface tension without specific quantification IIRC.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/measure-surface-tension-with-a-penny/


1994 BMW 530i, 242K
1996 Honda Accord, 275K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 413K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 281K
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: kschachn] #4771402
05/29/18 05:10 PM
05/29/18 05:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 687
NJ, USA
MotoTribologist Offline
MotoTribologist  Offline

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 687
NJ, USA
Originally Posted By: kschachn
Tackifiers make the oil cling but is that a direct correlation to surface tension?

It depends on the type of tackifier. Those that improve cohesive properties will increase surface tension. Those that improve adhesive properties, should either have no effect or decrease the surface tension.

I suppose "polymer" would have been better than "tackifier" since tackifiers are typically referred to as adhesion-increasing additives.

Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4771725
05/29/18 09:46 PM
05/29/18 09:46 PM
Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 143
Hammehead Offline
Hammehead  Offline

Joined: Mar 2018
Posts: 143
Originally Posted By: cpetroff
Looking for a low viscosity oil with a high surface tension. Does PAO 6 or mineral oil have a higher surface tension at room temperature? Any additives that could increase surface tension? Other types of oils that have higher surface tension? Any ideas on how to measure surface tension?

You can compare surface tension between oils, by droppin it in water at 25C and see the one that beads up faster and remains most floating is the winner.


ToYota Corolla XEI 2010 1zzfe
Kawasaki Ninja ZX9R B4
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Citroen C5 phase I
I used to use syn, now whatever is on sale and never had problems. This noob knows stuff.
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: kschachn] #4771924
05/30/18 06:36 AM
05/30/18 06:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,741
San Antonio, TX
Nyogtha Offline
Nyogtha  Offline

Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,741
San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted By: kschachn
Originally Posted By: Nyogtha
I think degree of curvature of a meniscus indicates something on a relative qualitative basis for surface tension without specific quantification IIRC.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/measure-surface-tension-with-a-penny/


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meniscus_(liquid)


"No matter how paranoid you are you're not paranoid enough. Tell the truth. Reach as many people as you can with it. That's your weapon." - Susanne Modeski, aka "Holly" to The Lone Gunmen
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: Hammehead] #4771948
05/30/18 07:21 AM
05/30/18 07:21 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Ducked Offline
Ducked  Offline

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,825
Taiwan
Originally Posted By: Hammehead

You can compare surface tension between oils, by droppin it in water at 25C and see the one that beads up faster and remains most floating is the winner.


Yeh, right.

And you'll be quoting "bead-up-speed" and "floatingness" to how many decimal places of what?

I've seen behaviour of an oil droplet suggested as a measure of oil degradation, and tried to read up on it quite a while ago. IIRC the idea is that polar compounds are formed during degredation which lower the surface tension via their greater affinity with water. IIRC again

(a) It doesn't work very well with modernish oils because they can contain polar molecules when fresh.
(b) Quantifying it by measuring surface tension is the mother of all metric nightmares.
(c) Surface tension measurements form the basis of no operational industrial oil quality tests, at all.

But maybe I missed something, or there's been a breakthrough.

Last edited by Ducked; 05/30/18 07:24 AM.
Re: Oil surface tension [Re: cpetroff] #4772264
05/30/18 12:13 PM
05/30/18 12:13 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
Massachusetts, USA
cpetroff Offline OP
cpetroff  Offline OP

Joined: May 2018
Posts: 2
Massachusetts, USA
Appreciate all the help.

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