Friction Modifiers Market: Overview

Friction modifiers, often referred to as boundary lubrication additives, are oil soluble chemicals used in lube oils as additives for transmissions and internal combustion engines. These lubricants are added to reduce wear and friction in machine components. They are essential in a borderline of lubrication regime, where these help prevent solid surfaces from greasing into each other, thereby reducing friction and wear. Although they signify only a small portion of the total engine oil market, they play a vital role in modern engine oils by reducing friction in major metal-metal interaction points in engines and transmissions. Apart from enhancing fuel economy by decreasing friction, these help minimize light surface contacts, reduce engine wear and noise, and help to avoid micro-pitting of metal surfaces when these are used in industrial gear lubricants.

Products that are used as friction modifiers include natural and synthetic fatty acids, esters, and few solid materials such as molybdenum disulfide and graphite. These molecules help provide a cushioning effect to coated surfaces when one surface comes in contact with another surface, provided the frictional contact is minimum. However, in case of a heavy contact, molecules are brushed off, thereby eliminating any potential benefits of additives.

The major function of a friction modifier differs based on its application. For instance, in a combustion engine, it reduces the amount of friction, thus gaining fuel economy. However, in industrial applications, automatic transmissions, and clutches, it reduces slippage and regulates friction to enhance efficiency. Friction modifiers are designed to increase lubricity of machine components or reduce friction in order to achieve better fuel economy. In the last few years, the U.S. government has increased the fuel economy standards to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) to 54.5miles/gallon. This is for gasoline engines only; however, there is a slight push for diesel engines as well. Reduction in viscosity of engine oils is required to achieve this goal.

Friction Modifiers Market: Drivers

The market for friction modifiers is driven by the increase in demand for fuel efficient lubricants, stringent regulations pertaining to fuel economy standards, and continuous development in technology for friction modifiers. Furthermore, expansion of the automotive industry and vehicle parc is anticipated to boost the market. However, shift in trend toward the usage of alternative fuel sources and expansion of the electric vehicles sector is anticipated to hinder the market.

The global friction modifiers market can be segmented based on type, function, and region. In terms of type, the global friction modifiers market can be divided into organic friction modifiers, and non-organic friction modifiers. The non-organic friction modifiers segment is further bifurcated into metallo-organic compounds and mechanical types. Based on function, the market can be classified into friction reduction, slippage reduction, and others.

Friction Modifiers Market: Regional Outlook

Based on region, the global friction modifiers market can be segmented into North America, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. In terms of consumption, Asia Pacific dominated the global friction modifiers market in 2017, closely followed by Europe and North America. The region is anticipated to dominate the global market during the forecast period. This can be ascribed to the recognition of countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and India as automotive hubs. Owing to continuous progresses and modifications in technologies that are employed for manufacturing friction modifiers, significant investments in R&D activities are witnessed being in the region, in order to the improve friction modifiers.

Friction Modifiers Market: Key Players

Key players operating in the global friction modifiers market are Akzonobel N.V, Abitec Corporation, Adeka Corporation, Multisol Ltd., Wynn’s, Archoil, Nyco SA, PMC Biogenix, Inc., and CSW Industrials Inc.

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