ACEA 2021: Understanding the Volvo T-13 Engine Oil Oxidation Test (ASTM D8048)

ACEA 2021: Understanding the Volvo T-13 Engine Oil Oxidation Test (ASTM D8048)

The Volvo T-13 Engine Oil Oxidation test (ASTM D8048) is a diesel lubricant performance requirement expected to be included within the next ACEA Heavy-Duty Engine Oil Sequences upgrade. Applicable to the future ACEA E8 and E11 categories, it is commonly referred to as the “T-13” test.

In addition to the ACEA E8 and E11 categories, the Volvo T-13 test is also expected to be included in two new ACEA F categories, ACEA F8 and F11, for enhanced fuel-efficient engine lubricants with high temperature high shear (HTHS) viscosity of 2.9 – 3.2 cP (mPa.s). The release date for the new F class is uncertain at this time.

Oxidation control remains critical to the performance of modern heavy-duty diesel engines which are running hotter and under more severe operating conditions than ever. One way that heat negatively affects the engine lubricant is through increased oxidation. As oxidation occurs, sludge can build up in the lubricant. The viscosity of the lubricant and the likelihood for deposits both increase, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency, higher oil consumption and greater engine wear; all potentially costly damages to the owner’s equipment.

The introduction of the Volvo T-13 test increases the level of oxidative performance required in comparison to the ACEA E6 and E9 categories and allows for extended oil drain intervals to be explored by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with limits which align with the existing API CK-4 and FA-4 categories.

Each Volvo T-13 engine test is conducted in a 2010 Volvo D13 / Mack MP8 model year platform with a 505 brake horsepower (bhp), 13 liter in-line six-cylinder diesel engine with electronically controlled fuel injection, six electronic unit injectors, variable geometry turbocharger (VGT) and cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). During the test, the engine runs on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.

The newer Volvo D13 / Mack MP8 engine platform was designed to be more fuel-efficient than the previous Mack ASET engine design, which was the core engine for the Mack T-12 (ASTM D7422) engine test. While delivering fuel efficiency gains, it operates at higher temperatures which cause additional performance challenges for the engine lubricant.

The Volvo T-13 test is a lengthy 360-hour test where the engine runs at an elevated sump temperature of 130°C in order to accelerate the oxidation processes that break down a lubricant.  Successful lubricants will complete the test without having a significant increase in viscosity and without significant oxidation of the lubricant as determined by FTIR, a method which can detect the level of oxygen incorporation into lubricant molecules.

Engine lubricants passing the Volvo T-13 test must achieve an increase in kinematic viscosity at 40° C (KV40) of less than 75% between 300 and 360 hours of operation, as well as oxidation of no more than 125 (maximum) absorbance per centimeter at end of test. Measurements are also taken and reported for bearings, cylinder rings and piston liners.

Our View

Lubricants satisfying the strong oxidation and viscosity control demands of the Volvo T-13 test are playing their part in enabling a number of tangible benefits including increased fuel efficiency, lower oil consumption, reduced engine wear and lower operating costs – all welcome news for commercial vehicle owners in today’s ever-competitive marketplace.

Engine lubricants meeting the Volvo T-13 oxidation test have to be correctly-formulated to ensure they deliver the performance and protection demanded for today’s modern heavy-duty diesel engines, where future ACEA E8 or E11 industry performance is demanded by the OEM.

Surpassing, rather than just meeting, the performance demands of the Volvo T-13 test enables oil marketers to deliver higher-performing engine lubricants that exceed the new specifications, providing additional protection and performance benefits to heavy-duty commercial vehicles around the world.

Our team outlines more about the Volvo T-13 engine test in this video.  

 For more information on the ACEA 2021 upgrade for heavy-duty diesel engines, click here or contact your Lubrizol representative.

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