Shell Aviation is shipping its new Ascender high-performance turbine oil, unveiled here yesterday, to GE Aviation in Ohio for its first qualification tests on the Boeing 787’s GEnx powerplant.

The latest addition to the AeroShell aviation lubricants range, Ascender is designed to minimise engine-damaging carbon deposits while also having the least possible effect on the powerplant’s elastomer seals. Previously, oils with good anti-coking performance have tended either to cause seals to swell excessively and leak, or to become brittle and fail prematurely.

“We worked for more than five years to create an oil that would deliver the optimum balance between low coking and seal integrity,” says Adele Cross, lead scientist on Ascender development. “We went back to basics and altered the oil’s DNA. And when the formulation was right, we put the prototype through the most extensive lab testing ever applied to an AeroShell lubricant.”

The company says that in tests to measure the embrittling effect of the oil on fluorocarbon elastomer seals it did twice as well as a competing product. “And it flew through the SAE 5780 approval process, setting a new benchmark for high-performance turbine oils,” says Cross. “It offers less coking, more protection and reduced aircraft maintenance downtime.”

GE Aviation is the first engine manufacturer to receive Ascender for ground and flight trials. “Once those trials are under way we’ll be offering it to all the other leading engine companies,” Cross says.

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Source: Flight Daily News