Lubricants Research Laboratory

About Lubricants Research Laboratory

Lubricants Research Laboratory exterior

Since Lubricants Research Laboratory opened in 1968, we have always worked with our customers to research and develop advanced lubricants and lubrication technology. The products developed at Lubricants Research Laboratory are wide-ranging, including automotive lubricants, industrial lubricants, and grease. Recently, with SDGs in mind, we have been focusing on developing products that are friendly to the earth and workers, such as carbon neutrality and improved working environments.
Lubricants Research Laboratory will continue to anticipate issues from the customer's perspective, use the lubrication technology we have cultivated over many years to advance the "creation of technology that makes dreams come true," and support innovation at the "manufacturing site."

Related Links

Lubricant Division Site

Main initiatives/research contents - 01

Development of fuel-efficient lubricant for automobiles

internal combustion engine

Against the backdrop of global CO 2 emissions reduction targets, technological innovation in the automobile industry is currently accelerating. Lubricating oils are no exception, and even higher functionality is required. At Lubricants Research Laboratory, we are working on the development of new technologies through lubricant design at the molecular level, which fundamentally controls the physical and chemical interactions involved in lubricants.
For example, lowering the viscosity of engine oil improves fuel efficiency in the high-speed range of the engine, but in the low-speed range, a sufficient oil film cannot be formed and metal-to-metal contact increases, resulting in lower fuel efficiency. It gets worse. Therefore, we focused on friction modifiers that can uniquely reduce friction in mixed lubrication and solid lubrication regions where metal-to-metal contact increases, and investigated the behavior of friction modifiers placed in nanoscale gaps formed between solid surfaces. We have established technology to evaluate friction modifiers, select the optimal friction modifier based on its functionality at the molecular level, and develop engine oils that are formulated with it. Additionally, by using a large synchrotron radiation facility (SPring-8), we are working to develop next-generation engine oils that can visualize and control the molecular behavior of polymers contained in oil.

Main initiatives/research contents - 02

EV conversion of automobiles and metal processing oil

EV conversion of automobiles and metal processing oil

With the shift to EVs in automobiles, the main components of parts will change from engines to motors, batteries, and semiconductors, but this will also bring about changes in the needs for metalworking fluids in the parts processing process. At our research institute, we are working on the development of punching oil that aims to optimize the post-machining process for punching electrical steel sheets, which are used as motor core materials to contribute to higher efficiency and higher output density of motors. In addition, during the deep drawing process of lithium-ion battery cases installed in EVs, deep drawing oil is used to stabilize and improve the quality of molded products, and is used in the inverter that converts the battery's DC power to AC to supply the motor. We are also actively working on the development of next-generation products, such as ingot cutting oil for SiC, which is a power semiconductor material that can be used.

Main initiatives/research contents - 03

Development of industrial lubricants (for wind power generation)

Based on the concept of "supporting life and industry around the world," our research institute develops industrial lubricants that meet social trends and the latest customer needs. We develop No. 1 and only 1 lubricants that match the evolution of machinery, from large industrial machinery such as power generation equipment and construction machinery to home appliances such as air conditioners and DVD/BD. In recent years, we have been particularly focused on developing lubricants to help realize a decarbonized society. Among them, wind power generators, which are expected to be the key to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, use bearing/gear oil, hydraulic oil, and grease. In order to reduce the running costs of wind power generation and ensure stable operation over the long term, we believe that it is essential to extend the life of lubricants and to make mechanical equipment including lubricants maintenance-free. Recently, we have been working in collaboration with industry, academia, and government to develop lubricants that will contribute to the advanced use of wind power generation.

wind generator

Main initiatives/research contents - 04

Test analysis and performance evaluation of lubricating materials ~ Mechanism elucidation and digital utilization ~

Various lubricants, including lubricating oil and grease, contribute to the performance and longevity of mechanical equipment by reducing friction and wear, cooling, and surface protection. In addition to carefully analyzing the properties of lubricants, changes in chemical composition during deterioration, film formation on friction surfaces, and micromorphological changes, we also use technology to measure and analyze the harsh conditions of friction surfaces to understand the lubrication mechanism. We provide quick feedback on estimation, base material selection, and performance evaluation, contributing to rapid product development.
Furthermore, in recent years, we have been working on the development of technologies that not only improve the efficiency of development operations but also contribute to improving the productivity of our customers, such as analyzing the causes of abnormalities using AI, searching for new compounds, and remote monitoring systems using the cloud. Masu.

Example of elemental mapping using EPMA
Example of contact stress analysis using precision 3D shape measurement

Main initiatives/research contents - 05

Development of new base materials for lubricating oil

In order to realize carbon neutrality society we must continue to develop high-performance, high-value-added, and environmentally friendly products, but commercially available base materials may not be able to do so. Therefore, our research institute is rapidly developing new base materials for high-performance lubricants while investigating the Know Why. We have organic synthesis, computational chemistry, and industrialization as the pillars of our technology, and by highly integrating these technologies, we respond in detail to the diverse needs and latent needs of our customers. In the laboratory, we synthesize and evaluate various compounds, and use molecular modeling and simulation software to predict how the molecular structure is related to the physical properties and behavior of the base material, and design the optimal compound. We are doing Using pilot plant equipment, we can quickly respond to the optimal compounds discovered in the laboratory by producing dozens of liters of samples within a short lead time and providing them to our customers. Our research institute's major achievements to date include high-performance traction oil that was installed in the world's first toroidal CVT vehicle, car air conditioner oil that boasts a large global market share, and refrigeration oil for air conditioning, which are helping to realize fuel efficiency and a low-carbon society. contributes to.

toroidal cvt oil
Freezer oil for alternative CFCs


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