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Viscosity Measurements of Three Base Oils and One Fully Formulated Lubricant and New Viscosity Correlations for the Calibration Liquid Squalane



Arno D. Laesecke, Clemens Junker, Damian S. Lauria


The viscosities of three pentaerythritol tetraalkanoate ester base oils and one fully formulated lubricant were measured with an oscillating piston viscometer in the combined temperature range from 275 K to 450 K with pressures to 137 MPa. The alkanoates were pentanoate, heptanoate, and nonanoate. Three sensing cylinders covering the combined viscosity range from 1 mPa•s to 100 mPa•s were calibrated with squalane. This required a re-correlation of a squalane viscosity data set in the literature that was measured with a vibrating wire viscometer with an estimated extended uncertainty of 2 % because the squalane viscosity formulations in the literature did not represent this data set within its experimental uncertainty. In addition, a new formulation for the viscosity of squalane at atmospheric pressure was developed that represents experimental data from 169.5 K to 473 K within their estimated uncertainty over a viscosity range of more than eleven orders of magnitude. The viscosity of squalane was measured over the entire viscometer range and the results were used together with the squalane correlations to develop accurate calibrating functions for the instrument. The throughput of the instrument was tripled by a custom developed LabVIEW application. The measured viscosity data for the ester base oils and the fully formulated lubricant are tabulated and compared with literature data. An unpublished viscosity data set for pentaerythritol tetrapentanoate measured in this laboratory in 2006 at atmospheric pressure from 253 K to 373 K agrees with the new data within their experimental uncertainty and confirms the deviations from the literature data. The density data measured in this project for the three base oils deviate from the literature data in a way that is by sign and magnitude consistent with the deviations of the viscosity data. This points to differences in the sample compositions as the most likely cause for the deviations.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


calibration, lubricants, measurements, oscillating piston viscometer, pentaerythritol tetraalkanoate esters, squalane, viscosity


Laesecke, A. , Junker, C. and Lauria, D. (2019), Viscosity Measurements of Three Base Oils and One Fully Formulated Lubricant and New Viscosity Correlations for the Calibration Liquid Squalane, Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed March 3, 2024)
Created February 12, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021