Croda Inc. opened a facility to make esters for lubricants at its Atlas Point manufacturing site in Delaware. The project will increase the companys U.S. capacity for all esters by 15 percent.
According to Croda, the site will now be able to manufacture synthetic esters of sufficient quality to be used in high-performance automotive and industrial lubricants. Demand for such lubes is growing, driven by increasing market demands for improvements in fuel economy and sustainability.
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Some examples would be synthetic motor oils and transmission fluids on the automotive side, as well as fire resistant hydraulic fluids and metalworking fluids in the industrial area, Chris Donaghy, sales director for Croda Lubricants and Polymer Additives, told Lube Report.
The Atlas Point site will supply food-grade esters for lubricant base fluids and additives in addition to water-soluble lubricity additives for stamping and drawing lubricants.
Food-grade esters are used as lubricant base fluids and additives in food-ovens where chains and conveyor belts need lubrication, Donaghy said. They are also used in hydraulic systems where food is prepared and processed. Water-soluble lubricity additives are used in metal-forming applications ranging from can drawing to tube forming.
Donaghy noted that esters that are thermally stable, have good low temperature properties and are made from renewable resources are the fastest growing grades of materials.
The 2011 Nonconventional Base Stock Guide from LubesnGreases magazine lists more than 50 esters plants worldwide. According to the guide, which was mailed this week to print subscribers of LubesnGreases, Croda has four esters and two phosphate esters plants.
Based in Edison, N.J., Croda Inc. is the North American headquarters for Croda of East Yorkshire, United Kingdom.