Environmentally friendly lubricants are in demand. This also applies to forestry work with chainsaws. In this area, even the use of biologically harmless oils is mandatory everywhere. By design, the lubrication of the chain is what is known as “loss lubrication” and the lubricant ends up on the forest soil, together with the saw dust. Unfortunately in former times this application was used as a cheap and secret way to dispose waste oils. Thankfully this is not done any more today. Usually the basis for modern chainsaw lubricants are vegetable oils (e.g., rapeseed oil), which we all know from preparing delicious French fries in our deep fryers at home. However, this vegetable oil still lacks essential components to withstand the violent stresses that occur when a chainsaw is used.
High demands on saw chain oil
Both the individual joints of the chain links and the guide groove in the sword are subject to constant wear and are heated by friction. At the tip of the guide bar the lubricant faces strong spinning forces which may centrifuge the lubricant away even before the chain gets in contact with the tree trunk. So the balance between low lubricant viscosity for smooth running conditions, and high lubricant tackiness to withstand the spinning forces is very difficult to adjust for the lubricant developer.
After usage of the chainsaw comes the next requirement for the traces of lubricant still remaining on all surfaces of the device. Special additives have to prevent the polymerization of the unsaturated ingredients of vegetable oils. If gumming or polymerization happens, an extensive cleaning of all machine parts has to be done prior to the next usage – this is totally unacceptable in modern forestry where cost effectiveness and efficiency are dominating the business.
Biodegradable and harmless
According to the German, “Federal Office for Agriculture and Food” the annual consumption of chainsaw lubricants in the German forestry is more than 6000 mt per year. As already mentioned above, each and every kilogram ends up as lost lubricant together with the sawdust on the forest soil. Even without access to worldwide statistical data, you can imagine the enormous quantities of chainsaw oils emitted into nature in densely-wooded regions with intense forestry all around the globe. A very good biological degradability as well as toxicological harmlessness for plants and animals is mandatory for all ingredients of such a lubricant. LANXESS started the development of environmentally friendly lubricant additives for the usage in environmentally critical applications many years ago. Today we offer a comprehensive portfolio of products like Additin® RC 2317, Additin® RC 3890 or Additin® RC 4810. These products exhibit outstanding technical performance and are all environmentally friendly and nontoxic at the same time. Ideally suitable for the formulation of a wide variety of bio-lubricants.