MIDLAND, MICH. - The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) today announced a transmission fluid developed with UCON(TM) Oil-Soluble Polyalkylene Glycol (OSP) Base Fluid successfully withstood the grueling demands of the 2011 edition of the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race near Le Mans, France. The UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluid was selected for use as a co-base in two LMP1 and two LMP2 cars entered by Le Mans-based OAK racing as a result of the power boost it demonstrated in earlier trials.
Of the four OAK Racing cars that entered the race, all four displaying the Dow logo, two completed the challenge. The race was held June 11 - 12 in daylight and darkness on the 13.629 kilometer Circuit de la Sarthe race course. The top OAK Racing finisher was the #49 car driven by Jan Charouz, Shinji Nakano and Nicolas De Crem which finished fifth in the LMP2 class (14th overall). The #35 car finished seventh in the LMP2 class and 25th out of the original 56 starters.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a test of both speed and endurance, underscoring the importance of using lubricants and other consumable products and components capable of standing up to the severe stress conditions experienced during the race. Out of the 56 cars entered, the two OAK Racing LMP2 cars were among 28 cars still running at the end of the race.
UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluids use proprietary oil-soluble polyalkylene glycol (PAG) technology to retain key advantages of synthetic PAG-based lubricants - including low friction and excellent film-forming advantages, as well as other benefits including deposit control, polarity, and high viscosity index values - while offering compatibility with mineral oils and synthetic hydrocarbon base oils. This compatibility can help lubricant manufacturers to formulate fully synthetic or semi-synthetic lubricants that can help reduce friction.
OAK Racing says the transmission fluid was an important factor in the performance of the team's successful race and demonstrated increased power in all four cars. In addition, the lubricant effectively reduced friction, minimizing wear while also limiting build-up of varnish or other deposits in the transmission. OAK Racing plans to continue to use the transmission fluid based on UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluid when it competes in additional high profile races in North America and China later in 2011.
In addition to using UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluid as a co-base in the transmission fluid, OAK Racing leveraged the fluid as an additive in their engine oil, produced by Belgian lubricant manufacturer, MAJOT, SA during several earlier races in the International Le Mans Cup (ILMC) and the qualifying segments of 24 Hours of Le Mans. Based on the positive results demonstrated during these races, the team will use the UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluid in the transmission fluid and engine oil for upcoming ILMC races later this year.
Chuck Carn, Dow Strategic Marketing Manager for Lubricant & Fuel Additives, said Dow is excited to have the opportunity to showcase its new lubricant technology under highly demanding, competitive racing conditions. "The success of the transmission fluid based on UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluid represents the joint effort of MAJOT SA, OAK Racing, and the Lubricant & Fuel Additives team at Dow. We are pleased to be working side-by-side with leaders in auto racing to develop and test an innovative and promising product."
The annual 24 Hours of Le Mans is one of the world's oldest car races and has been held continuously since 1923. The race is held on a mix of closed public roads and dedicated race course on a circuit designed to test the racing performance and endurance capabilities of cars and drivers over a 24-hour period. Custom-built Le Mans Prototypes (LMP), like those fielded by OAK Racing, are high performance open and closed cockpit vehicles and include LMP1 and LMP2, the top two classes racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. LMP1 cars are powered by custom engines and tend to be faster while LMP2 cars are less powerful but lighter in weight.
For more information on UCON(TM) OSP Base Fluid, visit www.dowosp.com.
Dow combines the power of science and technology with the "Human Element" to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.