Environmentally friendly hydraulic fluid for shock absorbers launched

by | Jan 5, 2024 | 0 comments

KYB has unveiled an environmentally friendly hydraulic fluid called SustainaLub. shock absorbers

KYB has unveiled an environmentally friendly hydraulic fluid for shock absorbers called SustainaLub.

The newly developed SustainaLub aims to be a truly environmentally friendly shock absorber hydraulic fluid that eliminates the environmental risks associated with petroleum. SustainaLub is a sustainable product that is both carbon neutral and recyclable. Full release to the market is planned for 2026.

Shock absorbers play an important role in stabilising the movement of a car by using hydraulic pressure and friction. Hydraulic oil supports this operation. Without this oil, the shock absorber cannot perform efficiently. Conventional hydraulic fluids are packed with years of research, know-how and advanced technology, but many of their main components are base oils derived from petroleum.

As a specialized global manufacturer of hydraulic equipment, KYB has long been involved in maintaining and improving the safety and comfort of automobiles. Using that experience, we are striving to achieve environmental balance without compromising performance or reliability. Not only does SustainaLub improve maneuverability and stability by applying it to the various damping force valves that we already offer, but it also improves the feel of the product by applying friction control technology, for example KYB Prosmooth shock absorbers. With Prosmooth, internal shock absorber friction is controlled by using newly developed materials for sliding parts, and variable hydraulic fluid additive adjustment technology. This product delivers both a luxurious ride and superb cornering.

This new fluid contributes to carbon neutrality by switching from petroleum derived base oil to naturally derived base oil.  It absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere during cultivation of the plants used for the base oil raw materials, also reducing CO2 emissions during transportation. It is biodegradable up to 60% or more according to the Eco Mark certification standard (OECD301). The base oil and additive formulation is recyclable, reducing environmental issues in the long term.

All new KYB products undergo reliability evaluation at the KYB Development Centre in Japan. Thorough performance and quality evaluation involves both bench tests and actual vehicle testing on our state-of-the-art test track. This in-house design of a hydraulic oil recipe is unique to a manufacturer specializing in shock absorbers.

The KYB team participating in the All Japan Rally Championship JN-2 class introduced SustainaLub to its vehicles from round 6 onwards. They analyzed and verified the performance and durability in the harsh race environment (see https://kybsport.com/teams/kayaba-rally-team for more information on this vehicle).

In addition, SustainaLub was trialed in the vehicle used in the LEXUS ROV (Recreational off-Highway Vehicle) Concept customer experience program. It was used for LEXUS’ first ROV equipped with a hydrogen engine. The data accumulated also contributes to technology development for future practical applications, and work toward the realization of a carbon-neutral society.

The ROV Concept features a Lexus first hydrogen powered engine, designed to offer a distinctive driving experience not possible with regular passenger cars. This was achieved through a compact body size and exceptional off-road capabilities. By using a hydrogen engine, the ROV aims to balance environmental consciousness and the thrill of feeling the heartbeat of an engine. ROV utilizes low environmental impact technologies in its vehicle components thanks to the co-operation of partner companies like KYB, who share the same vision.

Replacing petroleum-based oil in KYB shock absorbers with this new hydraulic fluid will save up to 15.6 million liters of oil per year.

KYB plans to ultimately apply this technology to all hydraulic products involved in realizing a sustainable mobility society. As a specialized manufacturer of hydraulic equipment, KYB has long been working to improve the ride comfort and handling stability of automobiles. Based on this experience, KYB will continue to pursue advances in performance and reliability while keeping environmental impact at the forefront of development.

About KYB

KYB Corporation produces ride control, hydraulic, and electronic products for use as original equipment and replacement parts in automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, specialty vehicles, buses, aircraft, railroad cars, industrial applications, agricultural applications, and civil engineering projects. KYB global headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan. By consistently developing world class ride control products, KYB has become the world’s largest supplier of OE and aftermarket shocks and struts. Today, our annual sales exceed $4.2 billion. We have 32 facilities in 21 countries, and 15 manufacturing plants in Asia, the United States, and Europe. The varied uses and applications of KYB products and equipment demonstrate our commitment to helping create a safer, more efficient, and more comfortable society.


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