Understanding The Difference



The use of Petroleum oils...

The use of petroleum based oils is a dying trend. The unequal molecular structure makes it a non-static oil and it has a very low flash point which means it dries out very quickly. It also has a very high impurity volume because it hasn't been truly purified, nor can it to high level. The trace metals found in Petroleum crude are as followed:

  • Antimony, Arsenic
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt
  • Lead
  • Manganese, Mercury, Molydbendum
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Vanadium and so on. 

These impurities with a low flash point make it a very low quality valve and slide oil. 

Petroleum oils dry off quickly and leaves a residue that make the valves and slides start to stick. It also advances metallic bonding between similar metals because of molecular breakdown known as degradation. In the past using metals with different make ups such as brass to nickel and monel (a nickel copper alloy) to brass helped slow down these processes, but the addition of steel has created a multitude of variables as it is not considered to be a lubricious metal. 


Mineral Oils 

The Musical industry has always been a "catch-up" industry. It takes most of its knowledge from other industries that invest into the research needed to further the understanding of oils and lubrication.  In the Musical Instrument Industry there is a huge misunderstanding of Synthetics to True Synthetics. 

Synthesized or Hydro cracked mineral oil is the standard for synthetic lubricants.  This is not a true synthetic and it has made a huge impact in the industry for reasons we ponder to this day. Synthesized mineral oils benefit is that it bonds with pretty much any other oil or lubricant and with solvents and surfactants and rarely changing the structure. 

Its greatest issue is that it breaks down easily with the organic acids found in your saliva.

 It will create a yellow to brown sludge in the instrument over time, this is due to its high water absportion rate being emulsified but still has better stabilization properties than a low end petroleum oil and is more cost effective than PAO's, PAG's, PG's or Esters.


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PAO's and the Future

The search for a stable molecular structure with the additive of organic matter is crucial in musical instrument production today. The impurities put into the body has risen dramatically over the years such as:

  • Sugars
  • Dairy Products
  • Processed foods
  • Sodas and other sweetened beverages
  • high protein foods and supplements
  • Beer

PAO's have a systematic molecular structure that has a higher absorption of acids than any other oils produced today. This is beneficial because it will take oxidizing agents and stop them from causing harm to the instrument so they can be flushed through the horn. 

The stability of the molecule itself is also something that has many beneficial factors that are crucial to the instrumental world.

The benefits of PAO's over mineral oils are:

  • Greater Oxidation stability
  • Superior Volatility
  • Excellent Low-Temp Viscosity 
  • Consistent Quality Base tock - Very low or nonexistent impurity crude base
  • Low Flash 
  • Temperature Resistant
  • Highly Static

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