Automobile gears (or cogs) are rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs which mesh with another toothed part in order to transmit torque. The arrangement of two or more gears forms automotive transmission system. Automotive gear oil can be petroleum or synthetic based, used especially for lubricating automotive gears for all class of vehicles. It provide high transmission efficiency, reduce engine heating, provides proper clutch friction, insure better oxidation and protects gear teethes from corrosion.
Automotive gear oil generally has high viscosity level in comparison to transmission fluid and automotive engine oil. This is necessary for better performance and protection of gears. The high viscosity level provides better transmission of lubricant throughout the gear trains. Devices requiring heavy oil do not have to use extra force to transfer the oil, since only a fraction of the lowermost gears are covered in an oil sump. Gear oils have extreme pressure or EP stabilizer and anti-wear stabilizer to deal with the sliding action of gears. Based on technology, gear oils can be broadly categorized as synthetic gear oil and petroleum-based gear oil. Synthetic gear oils are superior to petroleum-based gear oil as they provide superior resistance to shear breakdown and reduce energy consumption due to its low friction coefficient.
The gear oils are standardised by American Petroleum Institute (API STANDARDS) based on the viscosity level and their use in automatic and manual transmission based vehicles. The different classification of the API includes GL-1, API GL-2, API GL-3, API GL-4, API GL-5 and API GL-6 and, SAE 75W-90, SAE 75W-140, SAE 80W-90, SAE 85W-140 and LS- for limited slip. For maximum transmission efficiency, gear oils must lubricate, cool and protect complete gear systems. It also supposes to transfer damaged particles away from the contact areas, guarantee protection against extreme pressure and temperature and reduce noise in the transmission operation.
North America is the largest market for automotive gear oil mainly attributed to large volume of motor vehicle in this region, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. The market is witnessing an escalating growth in Asia Pacific region. China, in recent years, has become the global hub for the automobile industry. Some of the other region in Asia Pacific such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines have emerged as the largest small cars markets in the world.
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Growing middle class, rising disposable income, developing surface transportation infrastructure, growing aspiration of owning private vehicles, increasing mobility due to development of satellite township near megacities and increase demand of goods carriers from micro, small and medium size enterprises are fueling the market for automotive gear oil in Asia Pacific region. Growing automotive aftermarket and do it yourself (DIY) culture in North America and Europe is fueling the growth of automotive gear oil in retail sector in these two region.
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Some of the major players operating in the automotive gear oil market include Saudi Arabian Oil Co., Total S.A, Gazprom, ROSNEFT, LUKOIL oil company, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Exxon Mobil Corporation, BP p.l.c, Statoil, Chevron Corporation., Sinopec Lubricant Company, JIANGSU LOPAL TECH. CO.,LTD and Ashland Inc.