Coninuously variable transmission fluids

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A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a belt-and-pulley system that provides infinite gear ratios. This transmission style was popularized by vehicle manufacturers in Japan but is becoming common in the US and other markets. Constant metal-on-metal traction is required to avoid slippage in the belt-and-pulley system while also minimizing friction for energy efficiency.

Like other types of transmission oils, CVT fluids are moving to lower viscosity – lower than 6 cSt kinematic viscosity at 100°C – despite high pump pressures that increase shear and raise temperature. Along with this challenge, formulators must meet increasing demands for longer drain intervals – from 60K to 100K KM, with some OEMs targeting fill-for-life – as well as low-temperature performance.