1 Feb 2021

Shell process oils from Nordmann

Nordmann News spoke with Claudia Schoke, Business Manager Industrial, Oleochemicals & Lubricants at Nordmann in Hamburg, and Eduardo David de Azevedo, Product Application Specialist Process Oils at Shell, about the specifics, requirements and special advantages of using process oils in the automotive sector.

Eduardo David de Azevedo, Product Application Specialist Process Oils at Shell and Claudia Schoke, Business Manager Industrial, Oleochemicals & Lubricants at Nordmann in Hamburg (left to right)

How important are process oils in the automotive industry?

Claudia Schoke: Very! Process oils play a major role in the production of rubber compounds like ethylene propylene diene rubber (EPDM) for example, which is important for the automotive sector. These elastomers are important for the production of automotive component parts with a relatively high density and which provide good sound insulation, among other things. This makes them very suitable for producing insulating materials, hoses and seals for vehicles.

What is special about Shell Catenex X 446?

Eduardo David de Azevedo: This new product that our company has developed is a paraffinic process oil that utilizes base oils made with gas-to-liquids technology (GTL), a process through which natural gas is synthesized to produce liquid fuels and lubricants. The end product, Shell Catenex X 446, is characterized by a low viscosity and a higher flash point, achieving today’s highest quality standards. It is manufactured in Germany and non-hazardous.

Why are process oils used to produce EPDM rubber compounds?

Eduardo David de Azevedo:  Process oils play a key role in the production of EPDM rubber compounds because their unique properties support the cross-linking of polymers molecules. Shell Catenex X 446 has been specially developed for high processing temperatures of up to 300°C, allowing them to be used for salt bath or peroxide vulcanization without causing soot formation. The salt bath vulcanization is a manufacturing process that allows for very smooth and dense surfaces to be achieved.  

Due to its formulation containing GTL technology, Shell Catenex X 446 has a lower viscosity than other comparable products based on crude oils. This can be of great benefit to a lot of rubber compounds manufacturers.

What big challenges in the automotive sector can be solved by using process oils?

Claudia Schoke: For many automakers, it’s becoming more and more important to tone down the typical “new car smell” in vehicles and indeed to avoid it as much as possible. While just a few years ago it was impossible to imagine making new cars that didn’t carry a strong  rubber odor, the demands of end customers have changed dramatically in this respect – especially in the Asian market.

What sets Shell Catenex X 446 apart in this regard?

Eduardo David de Azevedo: It has a low, consistent number of aromatic hydrocarbons and a low fogging value, which significantly reduces the level of odor and emissions inside vehicles. The product therefore meets the requirements of many manufacturers, as well as the high standards of end customers.

What countries does Nordmann distribute the product in?

Claudia Schoke: We are proud to have Shell Catenex X 446 in our product portfolio for several European countries – Denmark, Germany, Finland, Norway, Poland and Sweden – and are continuing to work on expanding our sales areas. We’re looking forward to the many exciting projects that we plan to launch together with our partner Shell.