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Nix to Nexcel
Dear LubesnGreases,
Steve Swedbergs February column on Castrols Fitting Idea, a concept for a pre-filled oil module that plugs into a car engine and takes 90 seconds to replace, was very well written. Nexcel is a nice thought, but will it move forward into wide production? Talking with others in the fast-lube business, I do not think so. Why?
First of all would be the cost – which is not known – and the cost of recycling the used units. (Of course, Castrol would want its oil in all these units, and that is not going to fly.)
Second, the do-it-yourself market is almost all gone, and dealerships do not really want to get into the plug-in business. Perhaps the hard-core motor head might want to convert, but I doubt it. These folks like to get oily.
How much does the unit hold, and how does one check the oil level? In my years in the business, I and others have found that the current crop of 2.0-liter engines, holding about 4 quarts on refill, typically consume an average of 2 quarts of oil per 4,000 miles. With small engines, if you do not have a dip stick theres a risk that the engine could run dry because most people do not understand what the dashboard lights mean. Being that these units are a total package, what happens when they do not perform as stated – who gets sued?
Next, these things also look like they have some weight to them. The OEMs biggest fight is getting rid of weight to gain fuel economy. And with the smaller engines and compartments they fit in, adding something the size of a good-size battery is almost out of the question.
Finally, I think Castrols claim that Nexcel could save 28 million barrels of oil a year is just blowing a lot of smoke. We all know that over the years used oil was bringing in $1.50 and more per gallon. And with those rates, no one wasted oil – it was all put back into the system.
R. Scotti Lee, Ph.D.
Wilmington, Delaware
Irresponsible on Formaldehyde
Dear LubesnGreases,
I must protest in strongest terms the title and opening paragraph of Does Formaldehyde Have a Future? (March 2016, page 20). They give the erroneous impression that formaldehyde is the most widely used biocide in metalworking fluids.
As the retired manager of research and product developmentat Cimcool Fluid Technologies (division of Milacron LLC),a past president of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrications Engineers, and an instructor in STLEs education courses, I can state that to my knowledge formaldehyde is definitely NOT used in metalworking fluids. It is irresponsible to create this inaccurate rumor and the resulting hysteria about the perceived dangers of metalworking fluids.
It is true that Hexahydro-1,3,5-tris(2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine is a very widely used microbicide and that it is a formaldehyde condensate – a totally different molecule with formaldehyde as a starting material. However, the toxicological properties of triazine are totally different from those of formaldehyde and use of triazine does not expose machine operators to formaldehyde.
Jerry P. Byers, CMFS
The Villages, Florida

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