History of engine oil
On September 6, 1866 American John Ellis founded the Continuous Oil Refining Company (Later to become Valvoline). While studying the possible healing powers of crude oil, Dr. Ellis was disappointed to find no real medicinal value, but was intrigued by its potential lubricating properties. He eventually abandoned the medical practice to devote his time to the development of an all-petroleum, high viscosity lubricant for steam engines ? then using inefficient combinations of petroleum and animal and vegetable fats. He made his breakthrough when he developed an oil that worked effectively in high temperatures. This meant no more gummed valves, corroded cylinders or leaking seals. In 1873 Ellis officially renamed the company to Valvoline after the steam engine valves the product lubricated.
In small two-stroke engines
An example is lubricating oil for four-stroke or four-cycle internal combustion engines such as those used in portable electricity generators and "walk behind" lawn mowers. Another example is two-stroke oil for lubrication of two-stroke or two-cycle internal combustion engines found in snow blowers, chain saws, model air planes, gasoline powered gardening equipment like hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and soil cultivators. Often, these motors are not exposed to as wide service temperature ranges as in vehicles, so these oils may be single viscosity oils.
In small two-stroke engines, the oil may be pre-mixed with the gasoline or fuel, often in a rich gasoline:oil ratio of 25:1, 40:1 or 50:1, and burned in use along with the gasoline. Larger two-stroke engines used in boats and motorcycles may have a more economical oil injection system rather than oil pre-mixed into the gasoline. The oil injection system is not used on small engines used in applications like snowblowers and trolling motors as the oil injection system is too expensive for small engines and would take up too much room on the equipment. The oil properties will vary according to the individual needs of these devices. Non-smoking two-stroke oils are composed of esters or polyglycols. Environmental legislation for leisure marine applications, especially in Europe, encouraged the use of ester-based two cycle oil.
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