Now that we have discussed the different types of additives, we can go into more detail about what properties each one adds to a lubricant. Knowing which additives to look for can help you make a better-informed decision as to what product is best for you.  Additive types include:

Oil Modifiers – Improve the performance of the base oil

-Viscosity Index Improvers – Viscosity Index improvers are used to thicken low viscosity base stocks and increase viscosity index

-Pour Point Depressants – Decreases the pour point temperature of a lubricant, allowing it to stay liquid longer and function at lower temperatures

-Seal-swell controllers – Prevents elastomer shrinkage and deterioration of seals in the system while allowing lubricants to keep their other properties

Oil Protectors – Reduces the rate at which undesirable changes take place

-Anti-Oxidants – Increases resistance to oxidation in the base oil, allowing lubricants to operate at higher temperatures and extending life.  Oxidization is a major cause of sludge

-Metal deactivators – Deactivates metal ions caused by oxidization and natural acid content, which prevents the residues from forming

-Anti-foam agents – Prevents the formation of foam and breaks up foam common in industrial applications

Surface Protectors – Impart entirely new performance characteristics to a lubricant

-Antiwear and extreme pressure additives – Ionically bonds to metal surfaces, generating a film and preventing metal to metal contact.  Extreme pressure additives function similarly, but are capable of bearing greater loads

-Corrosion inhibitors – Creates a protective film to protect against wear caused by oxidization materials, other additives and water. 

-Detergents – Reacts with chemicals that cause sludge, gum, lacquer and carbon deposits and cause them to remain soluble rather than settle into the lubricant.

-Dispersants – Prevents the accumulation of contaminants and oxidization products to minimize sludge.  They coat contaminants and keep them in suspension.

-Friction Modifiers – Reduces friction and wear in machine components by adhering to surfaces and reduce contact by asperities.