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Knowledge Center Gear Oils: Part 2 – How to Make the Proper Gear Oil Specification Learn how leading oil standards (ISO VG, AGMA, CLP, API) used in the gear oil industry impact oil selection.

  • The first step in identifying the proper gear oil to use is to follow OEM recommendations.
  • This quick overview explains a few of the standards used in the gear oil industry to simplify gear oil specification.

Often, specifying the proper gear oil for an end user is as simple as following an OEM recommendation. This should always be the first step in identifying the proper gear oil to use. But OEMs use several standards to define the desired performance characteristics and the type of oil for a given application, temperature range or operating condition. To make sure your specification is correct, it’s worth knowing the common industrial gear oil standards, which include:

ISO VG
Viscosity of a gear oil is one of the most important physical gear oil characteristics. With so many different international standards defining viscosity requirements, the International Standards Organization Viscosity Grade (ISO VG) was developed with input from all international organizations.</p

AGMA
The latest version of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) standard for the lubrication of enclosed gear drives is ANSI/AGMA 9005-F16. This document provides both end-users and equipment manufacturers with lubrication guidelines for open and enclosed gearing. The standard defines several recommended test requirements for various viscosity grades and various oil types.

CLP Gear Oils
The CLP rating is a German oil standard, similar to the AGMA standard, and is defined by DIN 51517-3. This document outlines the minimum physical test requirements needed to meet the CLP standard. It covers petroleum-based gear lubricants that contain additives to improve rust protection, oxidation resistance and EP protection.

API Specification
The API specification is written by the Lubricants Group of the American Petroleum Institute and is developed to assist automotive manufacturers and end users in the proper selection of transmissions, transaxles and axle lubricants.

Read Part 1 on different base stock chemistries.

Read Part 3 on oil changes and flushing procedures.

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