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STLE Northern California Section Meeting

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

All Day Event

Join the Northern California section for their monthly meeting on January 23, which will feature Jack Zakarian and a talk on the limits of VI.

Northern California Section Meeting

Date/Time: Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 12:00-2:00 p.m.

Topic: The Limitations of the Viscosity Index and Proposals for Other Methods to Rate Viscosity-Temperature Behavior of Lubricating Oils

Speaker: Jack Zakarian, Chevron Lubricants

Location: Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, 1919 Fourth St., Berkeley

RSVP BEFORE: Thursday, January 17th


The Viscosity Index (VI), now defined by ASTM D 2270, is a relative number intended to represent the degree of change in viscosity versus temperature for lubricating oils. The basis for the rating scale, which was first defined in 1929, is a comparison of a candidate oil with two reference oils, one defined as “100 VI” and the other defined as “0 VI”. The VI scale has been widely used since its inception because of its simplicity and good correlation to a number of physical and chemical properties. However, the rating method suffers from a number of fundamental problems which are not realized by most users of the method today. This paper examines the assumption basis and historical development of the VI scale with an emphasis on the arbitrary and non-systematic manner in which the “100 VI” and “0 VI” reference series have been defined and modified over the years. This paper has 3 major objectives: (1) to educate users about the limitations of the VI method and the potential for misapplication and misinterpretation of an oil’s VI rating; (2) to propose other, more systematic ways to define the viscosity-temperature behavior of a lubricating oil; (3) to stimulate further discussion and research on ways to improve the VI method.


Jack Zakarian went to work for the Chevron Research Company in 1979 after graduating with a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley. He has worked for Chevron’s Lubricants Business ever since – a total of 33 years – in the area of lubricants and base oil R&D. He is currently the Global Manager for Driveline Technology and leads a team of people located in Chevron’s technology center in Richmond, California. Jack and his team are responsible for developing new and improved formulations for automatic and manual transmission fluids, light- and heavy-duty axle oils, tractor hydraulic fluids, power transmission fluids for construction equipment, power steering fluids, aftermarket fuel additives, and more.

COST: Members and Guests - $25.00* Cash or Check at the door
*Alcoholic beverages are not included in the fee

RSVP to: robert.mills@chevron.com or call 510-242-4275
PRESENTATION: 1:00 p.m. (no charge, but RSVP to reserve a seat)

New Meeting Location:

Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto
1919 Fourth St.
Berkeley, CA

You can get directions and check out the menu by going to their website.



Meeting details to be posted. For more information, contact the section leaders.

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