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KYB Launches Revolutionary Hydraulic Fluid for Shock Absorbers

Autosphere » Mechanical » KYB Launches Revolutionary Hydraulic Fluid for Shock Absorbers
SustainaLub is a sustainable product that is both carbon neutral and recyclable. Full release to the market is planned for 2026. Photo KYB

Shock absorbers play an important role in stabilizing 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. The newly developed SustainaLub aims to be a truly environmentally friendly shock absorber hydraulic fluid that eliminates the environmental risks associated with petroleum.

KYB’s SustainaLub improves maneuverability and stability by applying it to the various damping force valves already offered, 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.

Naturally delivered oil-base

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 the 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 involve 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 their vehicles from round 6 onwards. They analyzed and verified the performance and durability in the harsh race environment.

SustainaLub was also trialled 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 will contribute to technology development for future practical applications.

Full release to the market is planned for 2026.

The ROV Concept

The ROV Concept features Lexus’s 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 cooperation 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 litres of oil per year. KYB plans to ultimately apply this technology to all hydraulic products involved in realizing a sustainable mobility society.

 

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