Archer Premium Arpeco - Protecting Against Abrasive Wear - Whitepaper

Did you know that 70% of component replacements or “loss of usefulness” are due to surface degradation? Of this 70%, 50% is caused by wear through surface fatigue, adhesion or abrasive wear. Within a diesel engine, abrasive wear is caused by metal-to-metal contact or abrasive contaminants, such as soot.

How is abrasive wear controlled in an engine?


Within a diesel engine, the components are protected by oil in various lubrication regimes – boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic. In a boundary lubrication regime, metal-to-metal contact occurs between two sliding surfaces. This is common during start-up or shutdown of equipment, when over 70% of wear occurs in an engine, or under heavily loaded conditions.  The best way to avoid boundary lubrication is through appropriate selection of lubricant viscosity and the use of an oil with the proper anti-wear or extreme pressure additive. In a diesel engine oil, zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) is a common anti-wear additive that reacts with metal surfaces by responding to high temperature and high-pressure contact. ZDDP forms a sacrificial, protective film on the surfaces as they roll or slide over one another. Over time, the chemical film from the additive is worn away instead of the metal surface.


Abrasive wear can also be caused by contaminants, such as soot. Soot is a by-product of combustion and can be a common contaminant in diesel engine oil due to incomplete combustion. Soot can lead to abrasive wear in an engine, and through agglomeration, it can also increase the viscosity of the oil, reducing engine efficiency. A high performing diesel engine oil contains robust dispersant additives to hold soot particles well in suspension. This prevents the agglomeration of soot particles or settling of particles on surfaces that can scratch or score the metal surfaces.

Viscosity Modifiers

The viscosity modifier in a multi-viscosity engine oil will also affect abrasive wear conditions through quicker cold starts and stay-in-grade capabilities throughout the drain interval. At low temperatures, viscosity modifiers contract so they do not impact the fluid viscosity. At high temperatures, these modifiers “relax” and increase in viscosity equating in a proper lubricating film for longer protection. Higher performing viscosity modifiers will shear less over time and will flow quicker during cold starts.  

So how well does Archer Premium Arpeco protect against abrasive wear?

Through industry testing conducted as part of the transition to API CK-4, Archer Premium Arpeco exhibited outstanding wear protection within the cylinder liners, piston rings and main bearings as demonstrated through the OM501LA engine test (MB 228.51 specification limits shown below). Archer Premium Arpeco unveiled an 88% improvement over the specification limit for cylinder wear protection, while exhibiting zero bore polish, and a 65% improvement over the limit for bearing wear protection through its industry-leading viscosity modifier, a robust dispersant package and a premium ZDDP anti-wear additive.

How else can Archer Premium Arpeco help protect your diesel engines? Contact your local Archer Lubricants Distributor for more information or visit ArcherOil.com.