Friction modifier oil engine

What is Friction Modifier & How It Improves Fuel Economy?

As the price of petrol continues to fluctuate in Malaysia, there is no denying that most drivers are seeking ways to improve their vehicles’ fuel economy.

There are countless tips and techniques shared on making the most out of every drop of your fuel.

However, did you know that there are proven additives that play a crucial role in improving fuel economy in modern vehicles? 

According to experts, fuel economy can be improved by reducing the viscosity of engine oil via the usage of additives such as friction modifiers. The discussions revolving around the usage of friction modifier is also linked to its capability in enhancing the performance of lower-viscosity engine oils.

Before we go any further, let’s discover what is the meaning of friction.

Definition of friction

Friction is a force that slows down the motion of objects. It is present in all types of mechanical systems.

Friction is the force that slows down movement between two surfaces. There are many different types of friction, but they all have one thing in common: they slow down the motion of objects. Friction can be classified into three categories: kinetic friction, static friction, and dynamic friction.

Kinetic friction occurs when two surfaces are moving relative to each other; static friction occurs when two surfaces are at rest relative to each other; dynamic friction occurs when one surface moves while another surface remains stationary or vice versa.

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Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and material elements sliding against each other.

Friction occurs when two surfaces are in contact with each other. There are many ways that friction can be reduced or eliminated. For example, by lubricating a surface with oil or water to reduce the friction between the two surfaces.

What is a friction modifier? 

Now, how does this friction modifier work in reducing fuel economy? Above all, what is friction modifier, exactly? 

Friction modifier is an oil-soluble chemical that is commonly used as additives in lubricants for internal combustion engines and transmission. 

Generally, it aids in smoothening the movement of engine components to avoid wearing its internal surfaces.

In other words, a friction modifier could ensure that surfaces inside the engine are not directly in contact, thus minimizing friction amongst them. 

Image Credit: Machinery Lubrication

Each friction modifier molecule consists of 2 parts, namely a polar end as its head, and an oil soluble end as its tail. The head part of the molecule attaches itself to the metal surfaces of the engine, creating a shield that protects the metal surface from wearing down other metal surfaces.

The tail part, on the other hand, stacks vertically beside one another to form a layer that covers metal surfaces of the engine. Each molecule cushions metal surfaces from contacting other surfaces, hence preventing them from wear or friction against one another. 

The usage of friction modifiers as engine lubricants increased in the 1970’s due to the urgent need to improve fuel economy and reduce fuel usage.

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In other words, the usage of friction modifiers is popularized by its proven benefits in fuel economy. But how does it work?

How friction modifier helps reduce fuel consumption

Scientifically, friction modifier molecules act as a cushion that reduces friction amongst metal surfaces. By reducing friction in the engine, the engine surfaces would not easily wear. This in turn could lead to an improvement in fuel economy.

Researchers also found out that the molecules can coat engine surfaces, thus ensuring that frictional contact is as light as possible.

In addition, some researchers even found out that friction modifiers become increasingly important for low-viscosity oils and enable further fuel economy improvements when continuing to reduce engine oil viscosity. 

Introducing friction modifiers in engines could offer various benefits to your vehicle, especially in improving fuel economy.

Trying new products might be daunting, but your journey to fuel economy, and overall improved driving experience might start from a bottle of friction modifier. Try one now and share your feedback with us.

Click the link below to purchase your first Cycopro organic friction modifier.

Image credit: WhichCar

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