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ILSAC and API Set to Commence New Licensing Merits in 2020

ILSAC (International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee) and API (American Petroleum Institute) are set to introduce new licensing standards in the form of API SP, GF-6B, and GF-6A. The new merits will be used in place of the current AP SN, AP SN+, and ILSAC’s GF-5 standards. As explained by the director of product programs at API, this move was motivated by increased market demand for sturdier engine oils with the capacity to support optimum functionality of modern, as well as future, gasoline engines. It is expected that all oil products licensed against these new and improved merits will be equal to the task of protecting modern gasoline engines. 

Compared to previous standards, GF-6A, GF-6B, and API SP are designed with a primary focus on improved oil sturdiness, upgraded product formulations for increased protection against pre-ignitions at minimum speed, and enhanced fuel efficiency. Ideally, to develop these standards, ILSAC and API conducted performance tweaks aimed at addressing the growing need for timing chain wear enhancements, upgrades on air entrainment mechanisms, as well as added protection for stop or idle gasoline engines. As such, API and ILSAC took their time to design the most relevant and efficacious standards for modern oil products with up to 7 years of research and development for all three new standards. During this period, tests were run to assert that these oils would meet all the basic requirements in addition to an extra 7 new tests that looked into precision qualities. API’s EOLCS (Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System)-the department responsible for formulating the new standards-manager, Harmening Jeff, stated that “The 7 new tests are designed to ensure that the testing protocol is an accurate representation of contemporary gasoline engines and automobile parts”. 

Noteworthy, the GF-6 category will be divided into two distinct sub-divisions namely GF-6A and GF-6B. The latter will focus more on low viscosity oils while the former will focus primarily on conventional products. These categorizations were warranted by the fact that low viscosity oils are becoming increasingly popular in today’s market. The two merits will have different testing protocols and logos. The ordinary starburst emblem will now represent GF-6A while the donut-shaped logo will signify GF-6B. 

The transition from Gf-5 to Gf-6, however, will not be instant. It will be a gradual process that could take up to 1 year, a period during which automobile users can expect to find both GF-6 and GF-5 star busted oils at their nearest dealers.