Base oils

Base oils represent the predominant component in the majority of lubricants. The finished product may contain 70% to 99% base oil.
The quality of base oils is closely linked to the type of crude oil and the process used. The base oils can be of different nature:

Minerals: mix of hydrocarbons obtained from crude oil by a conventional refinery process or by a standard hydrogenation process. Products of a different viscosity within the distilling process are called “cuts”.

The number of “cuts” and relative viscosity properties depend on the manufacturer and type of process. The following oils are normally produced:

  • a very fluid stock (SN 80 ÷ 100 or spindle)
  • a fluid stock (SN 125 ÷ 170 typically 150)
  • a medium stock (SN 350 ÷ 600)
  • a BrightStock (BS 150 ÷ 200)


Non-conventional base oils: Distillates obtained from petroleum stocks by general refining processes and chemical/physical after-treatment (HC method).

Synthetic base oils: all base types obtained through synthetic processes. Obtained through oligomerization and hydrogenation of olefins, they are of a higher quality than HC products.



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Last updated on 07/11/19