76th STLE Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2022

From May 15th to 19th, the 76th STLE Annual Meeting & Exhibition took place in Orlando, FL at the magnificent hotel Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

Participation in this edition was a complete success with more than 1,350 industry professionals from more than 30 different countries. With an exhibition area with more than 90 exhibitors, 37 posters and more than 400 presentations in the field of tribology and lubrication engineering.

IQLubricants was present this year in a 10 square meter stand presenting its novelties as well as having the opportunity to interact with the different lubricant formulators and experts participating in the event.

This year the future PhD and IQL employee Gerard Cañellas, together with UPC (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya) and Eurecat, presented a poster entitled "Tribological behavior of steel optimized automotive AW/FM oil additives in front of non-common materials”. The poster is the consequence of a meticulous study on the influence of different friction modifier and anti-wear additives in a synthetic base oil, on the ability to film forming and reduce traction coefficient in Steel-Steel and Aluminum-Steel contacts in a ball-on-disk contact.

On Wednesday, May 18th, Dr. Maria del Mar presented “Design of Environmental Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) for an Extended Life-Service” during Environmentally Friendly Fluids II session. Despite being one of the last presentations of the day, it aroused the interest of the audience, with more than 50 people in the room.

During the four days of the event, a large number of simultaneous presentations were held in different rooms/sessions. A wide variety of topics were treated as lubrication fundamentals, surface engineering, seals, greases, bearings, MWF, gears, wear, etc, and once again achieving great prominence in the sector, topics such as electric vehicles and environmentally friendly fluids.

Electric vehicles

Requirements of electrical vehicle fluids were extensively presented. The change in the technology was main topic during the conference. 

Lubrication requirements englobe from the compatibility to other material, electrical properties, thermal management, stability, foam, evaporative loss, and lubricity/wear.

Ester fluids have been shown to be comprehensible alternatives, which accomplishes the requirements needed if designed in an optimal way.

The tendency to use low-viscosity fluids sees its continuity in electric cars with the need to add these bases to achieve the desired performance.

Other technical aspects different from the traditional ones to take into account is the influence of the electric current on the tribological behavior of the fluids. These can cause reported bearing failures shown by Nicoll (University Southhampton) and Harder (TU Darmstadt).

Environmentally friendly fluids

As usual in congresses held after the pandemic, the presentations focused on calculating the carbon footprint in the lubricants sector have significant weight and obvious interest in the sector. Organization and product carbon footprint are not complex calculations, but they become more complex when you need to track the entire life cycle of the product/s, especially in new developments where products offer performance improvements. 

The uncertainty around the calculations due to the lax interpretation of the ISOs provokes in the sector a need for coordination to unify calculation criteria that are as rigorous and accurate as possible.

As for the products, obviously the products obtained by condensation chemistry played an important role in this topic/section.

In short, this 76th edition has been a great opportunity to interact with lubricant formulators, applicators, raw material and ingredient suppliers. Even with the current difficulties that our sector is going through, all together we make the sector prosper with new ideas, trends and product improvements.

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