ILSAC GF-6 major milestone

High industry effort culminates in yes vote for proposed limits

The acceptance of the proposed limits for ILSAC GF-6 at the Auto/Oil Advisory Panel (AOAP) meeting represents real progress. Joan Evans, Infineum Americas IL Manager, keeps us up-to-date with recent developments as industry works hard to finalise the specification.

The AOAP’s unanimous show of hands to accept the proposed limits for ILSAC GF-6 on April 3 2019 was the culmination of many cross-industry meetings and much co-operation.

Over the past month, the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee, Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, American Chemistry Council Petroleum Additives Product Approval Protocol Task Group (ACC PAPTG), API Lubricants Group and the Oil Side of AOAP have met to work through compromises to the durability and fuel economy limits that all parties could accept.

ILSAC GF-6 limits

GF-6 limits

Once this had been achieved, ACC PAPTG agreed that the Technology Demonstration Period would end on May 1 2019, two months earlier than previously established. The day following the AOAP meeting, the API Lubricants Standards Group (LSG) voted unanimously to ballot the accepted limits so that the first licensing date could be set.

The first licensing date for ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B has been balloted as May 1 2020
API LogosILSAC GF-6A starburst and draft
ILSAC GF-6B symbol

Along with ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B, API LSG also balloted the specification and user language for API SP and API SP Resource Conserving (RC). These use the same limits for the tests as the ILSAC GF-6A and B specifications and are similar in structure to API SN and SN RC.

These ballots are due back in 30 days time and a follow-up API LSG meeting will be held on May 8 in Detroit to review the outcome and finalise the specifications.

In the meantime, API is progressing the trademarking of the new ILSAC GF-6B symbol, which contains the SAE 0W-16 viscosity grade. This ensures that it is easy to differentiate it from the current ILSAC starburst, which will be used by ILSAC GF-6A.

It should be noted that that API SP will include the SAE 5W-16 grade as well as SAE 0W-16, while ILSAC GF-6B can only be claimed with SAE 0W-16.

Test progress

Base oil interchange and viscosity grade read across (BOI/VGRA) guidelines are critical to delivering ILSAC GF-6 products to the marketplace. Currently, BOI/VGRA for many of the tests are still in the balloting phase. However, it is expected that guidelines for all the tests, with the exception of the Sequence IVB, will be in place by May 2019.

The Sequence IVB BOI VGRA matrix is complete and being reviewed by the industry statisticians. A meeting of BOI VGRA Task Force will take place in Detroit on May 8, where they are expected to review and recommend the guidelines and then pass them to the API LSG for balloting later on the same day.

It is important to note however, that there is currently no BOI for the Sequence IIIH test; there is a provision for up to 30% Group III interchange but no Single Technology Matrix is in place nor expected for programs establishing ILSAC GF-6 or API SP/SP RC.

The Mandatory Waiting Period can now start on May 1 2019, if the ballot is successful, with most of the guidelines in place for program execution. This will last for 12 months, a period determined by API staff to be the minimum to allow sufficient time for oil marketers to prepare their products and labelling for ILSAC GF-6.

At Infineum, we are delighted that industry stakeholders have been able to work together in the specification setting process to agree limits that should provide reliable indicators of performance. Now it is full steam ahead to get these products ready for deployment into the market.

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