Resources - Glossary - RSC Bio Solutions
Acute toxicity
A generic term for any illness caused by a single exposure to a toxic substance.
Ashless Technology
A lubricant which does not contain any metal additives, such as zinc, calcium, magnesium, etc. Frequently lower toxicity and described by environmentally safe/friendly (see above).
ASTM
American Society for Testing and Materials, now known as ASTM International.
Biodegradability
Ability of a product to break down into component parts in the environment.
Controllable Pitch Propellers
A marine propeller which changes its pitch or bite into the water for most efficient vessel operation.
EAL – environmentally acceptable lubricants
A term used by the US EPA and others to describe a safer lubricant. EPA’s Vessel General Permit defines an EAL as biodegradable, low toxicity and non-bioaccumulative.
Eco-Toxicity
The potential for biological, chemical or physical stressors to affect ecosystems.
Environmentally Safe/Friendly
A vague term frowned upon by FTC describing some sort of environmental attribute. Frequently looked at as “green washing."
Environmentally Sensitive Area
Designation of an agricultural area which needs special protection because of its landscape, wildlife or historical value.
Exceptional Oxidation Stability
Ability of a lubricant to withstand heat. Typically a good measure of the life of the fluid.
Foam Suppression
An important characteristic of a lubricant is that rapid agitation or aeration not produce a foam which has minimal lubricating properties.
Hydraulic Environmental PAO (polyalphaolefins) and related products (HEPR)
A biodegradable hydraulic fluid which uses polyalphaolefins and related hydrocarbons as the base fluid. These base stocks are synthesized from crude oil derivatives.
Hydraulic Environmental Polyalkylene Glycols (HEPG)
A biodegradable hydraulic fluid which uses polyalkylene glycols (PAGS) as the base fluid. PAGS are synthesized from hydrocarbon oxides. Typically used in areas where fire is a hazard and requires special seal materials.
Hydraulic Environmental Synthetic Esters (HEES)
A biodegradable hydraulic fluid which uses synthetic esters as the base fluid. Synthetic esters share a similar chemical structure to HETG types but are synthesized rather than derived from natural sources. Typically have low resistance to break-down when mix with water.
Hydraulic Environmental Triglycerides (HETG)
A biodegradable hydraulic fluid which uses triglyceride esters as the base fluid. Vegetable oils are all classified as triglyceride esters.
Hydrolytically Unstable
Breaks down when comes in contact with water. Typically a trait of HETG and HEES. A term typically applied to esters which, when in the presence of H2O and heat, decompose to form acids and alcohols which are detrimental to a lubricant.
Inherently Biodegradable
Will break down “one day” with no defined timing or amount > 20% and < 60% by the OECD 301 test variants.
Minimally Toxic
Does not kill living organisms in low concentration. Defined by how much product you can put into a test sample when half the population dies LC 50. LC50 ≥ 100 mg/L for hydraulic and gear fluids and ≥ 1000 mg/L for total loss lubricants such as greases and two stroke fluids.
Non-bioaccumulative
Does not accumulate in living organisms. Required for the 2013 VGP (see above) Defined as Log Kow < 3 and > 7 by OECD 117/107 is the main criteria.
Non-biodegradable
Persistent in the environment < 20% by the OECD 301 test variants.
OECD 301B
One of the standard tests used to determine a lubricant’s biodegradable nature by measuring the degree by which total decomposition to H2O and CO2 occurs.
Readily Biodegradable
Most biodegradable or rapidly biodegradable ≥ 60% by OECD 301 test variants or D7373
Rudder Bearings
Bearings that control friction and prevent water ingress into a marine vessel.
Seal Deterioration
Lubricants can deteriorate seals by swelling or shrinkage, which will harden or soften the seals. The lubricant base stock composition and/or the additives present can cause seal distress.
Stabilizers
A device used to stabilize a marine vessel with regards to roll motion about its longitudinal axis.
Stern Tubes
A hollow metal tube which houses the propeller shaft at the aft end of a vessel.
sVGP
Small Vessel General Permit = Proposed EPA document which will build on the 2013 VGP and will cover non-recreational and non-military vessels less than 79 feet in length. The establishments that own and operate vessels that will be subject to the sVGP are primarily associated with the fishing and water transportation industries, and with the oil and gas sector within the mining industry.
Synthetic Ester
Similar to a triglyceride but with a non-vegetable-based acid and alcohol.
Thrusters
A propulsion device which allows a marine vessel increased maneuverability for docking without using the main engines.
VGP
Vessel General Permit = EPA document which specifies the requirements for marine vessels greater than 79 feet built after December 19, 2013 with respect to vessel discharges. Now requires the use of EAL (see above) in all oil to water interfaces, and environmentally acceptable cleaners on decks and hulls.
Water Separability
Ability of a product to separate from water. Also identified as demulsibility, a characteristic of a lubricant by which water rapidly separates from the lubricant after vigorous agitation.
Wire Ropes
A type of cable which consists of several strands of wire twisted into a helix.