API agrees 'provisional' solution for GF-6 ROBO test backlog

Indpendent test laboratories are struggling to manage the flow of ILSAC and API SP standard tests.

With the 1st May deadline looming for the first-licensing date for the new ILSAC GF-6A, ILSAC-GF-6B and American Petroleum Institute (API) SP standards, demand has been high for the ASTM D7528 (“ROBO”) test which measures an oil’s ability to maintain low temperature viscosity after aging.

This testing backlog at independent laboratories has come months after OATS reported the rollout of the already delayed GF-6 specifications appeared to be gathering pace with many major lubes producers announcing new compliant ranges.

As a temporary solution to the problem, Provisional Licensing is being granted by API to an applicant if the candidate engine oil meets all API licensing requirements except for the ROBO test. After Provisional Licensing closes on 1st August 2020, a licensee with a provisionally licensed formulation will be given six months to obtain a compliant ROBO result.

As the August deadline approaches, API will review the situation and decide whether the provisional licensing agreement should be extended.