Counterfeit lubricants in circulation

The audacity of product pirates knows no bounds: counterfeiters in Asia are applying the name and logo of BITZER to imitation refrigeration compressor oil

Deceived buyers rely on BITZER quality yet the low-quality liquids jeopardise their original compressors and, in turn, their overall production.

On the hunt for the counterfeiters

Last year, for example, BITZER tracked down several counterfeit oils in Vietnam. Acting without permission, a company there had labelled containers of imitation oil as original BITZER products and marketed them. According to their labels, the containers contained the high-quality oils B320SH, BSE32, BSE170 and B100. In reality, however, they contained low-value liquids whose chemical formulas differed greatly from the high-quality originals and placed the operation of the system at great risk. BITZER specialists examined the counterfeit products and concluded that there were significant differences between them and the real thing in terms of viscosity and moisture content.

Pre-programmed damage

Using the counterfeits can lead to a lack of lubrication, chemical reactions and damage to elastomer parts in the compressors. This puts the entire compressor at risk. For example, the moisture content of a counterfeit BSE170 oil was three times higher than the admissible limit. ‘Damage is practically pre-programmed in that case,’ says Philippe Maratuech, Director of Services and After-Sales at BITZER.

‘Ultimately, experts set this limit for a good reason. A high moisture content in polyester oils like BSE170 is particularly critical. It causes hydrolysis which, in turn, leads to acid forming in the refrigerant circuit. Possible consequences include copper cladding, defects in moving parts such as roller bearings and even motor damage. In this case, it becomes very expensive for users to replace the compressor and to dry and clean the system.’

BITZER quality

In contrast, lubricants certified by BITZER have an exceptionally low moisture content, below even the standard specifications. The oils are also optimised for BITZER compressors and their chemical compatibility has been tested extensively under realistic conditions. The special materials that have been introduced alongside the new low-GWP HFO refrigerants and HDFO/HFC blends have also been tested in minute detail. Thanks to their outstanding lubricity and excellent viscosity–temperature behaviour, BITZER refrigeration compressor oils guarantee reliable compressor operation, good oil circulation and a long compressor lifespan. This is because BITZER oils undergo distinctively strict quality controls. Additionally, detailed safety information sheets are available in a variety of languages as standard for all certified BITZER oils.

If you have doubts as to the authenticity of your oil, you can contact your BITZER representative at any time.