The International Lubricant Standardization Advisory Committee's GF-6A and GF-6B, as well as API's SP standard, will be licensed through API's Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System in 2020. The new standards replace ILSAC GF-5 and AP SN (and SN Plus) as the latest in gas engine oil performance standards and specifications.
“API developed these new performance standards in response to a request from automakers to introduce more robust engine oils that would be capable of meeting the needs of current and future gasoline engines," said Kevin Ferrick, API's director of product programs, in a press release. "ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and API SP represent the fruits of the oil, additive, and automobile industries’ labors to introduce such essential products for the people who use these vehicles every day."
As NOLN contributor Steve Swedberg wrote in his June article, the new ILSAC specifications focused on performance features for increased fuel economy durability, enhanced oil robustness, and improved formulations to protect against low speed pre-ignition. The organization also recognized needs for idle stop engine protection, wear improvements for timing chains and improvements in air entrainment properties.
GF-6B includes all the requirements of GF6A but at a lower viscosity, which is becoming more prevalent in the marketplace. Oils that meet GF-6B will be allowed to display a new mark, the API Certification Mark “shield,” and may be used where SAE 0W-16 oils meeting API SN had been recommended, according to API. The new “shield” came at the request of automakers to prevent confusion and ensure that 0W-16 oils are used only in applications where they are recommended.
The already commonplace "donut" will represent API SP, while the "starburst" will continue to denote the ILSAC certification.
API said that the development of ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and API SP was done over the course of seven years. In that time, seven new tests were developed, evaluated, and measured for precision, and companies ran tests to demonstrate that oils can meet the more stringent requirements. Now, oil marketing companies are working to bring the oils that meet these standards to market to ensure current and future engines perform as designed.