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Chemistry and properties of small engine motor oils

  1. Dec 17, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Compare the properties of a engine oil used in your lawnmower with that used in a snow blower. relate these properties to the intermolecular forces in each type of oil.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    i think this has something to do with carbon chains and how in winter the oil may get thicker and become pasty in the engine and how in summer it may get too thin and not be able to lubricate the pistons?

    i am not too sure about this one. some help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2007 #2
    you're on the right track, would you use the same oil for both machines? what property are you looking at to help you choose which oil to use in which machine.

    What is it about the structure of the carbon chains that will help you decide which oil to use?
     
  4. Dec 17, 2007 #3
    the longer the chain is, the higher the melting and boiling point. so if the chain is too big the oil may become pasty in winter and will need a really hot winter to make it prefectly lubricant. so you want engine oil with a medium size carbon chain?
     
  5. Dec 18, 2007 #4

    chemisttree

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    The problem asks to "Compare the properties of a engine oil used in your lawnmower with that used in a snow blower. relate these properties to the intermolecular forces in each type of oil."

    Carbon chain length is not a property but gives rise to some. Talk a little bit about the intermolecular forces in each type of oil.

    Both of these oils are used both to lubricate the engine and to cool it (these engines have no radiator). One is designed to work in the summer and the other in the dead of winter when it is extremely cold. They both have to flow just after the engine is started and when the engine is hot. What properties are important in these cases? What type of intermolecular forces give rise to these properties?
     
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