Yours is probably one of the most frequently asked questions in my lubrication training seminars—and one of the most difficult to answer since there is little available research that can be used to rate and compare the popular "supermarket" additive products that are currently available. Fortunately, we can classify additive products in two categories:
1. Industrial additive products—marketed as an enhancement or replenishment to a known compatible industrial base oil stock. They're sold primarily through industrial representatives to meet your specific need, come with a published specification and compatibility testing data sheet, and are often backed up with a manufacturer's engineering service.
2. Consumer additive products—what many people think of as additives. They're what we typically see on midnight infomercials. Although these types of products are often targeted at the consumer automotive market, many of them find their way into the industrial world.
Users must carefully weigh their decision to use these types of products against a number of facts:
Remember, there is no maintenance panacea, especially in the world of lubrication. When failure consequences can be high, the rule of thumb is to always let the additive manufacturer recommend the use of the additive. MT