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TOSOL’s creation history: interesting facts

How the need for a coolant arose

In the early 19th century, Jean Etienne Lenoir, a Belgian engineer, created the first internal combustion engine that was able to compete with the existing then steam engine. Cooling of the working pistons in Lenoir engine was performed with air, but this method of cooling would result in thermal expansion of the cylinders, and therefore lead to jamming. So Lenoir decided to improve his engine, and instead of the air, all the questions of engine cooling he began solving with water.
But the water did not allow the engine to run at optimal performance either, so the engineer decided to feature its construction by an oil lubrication system. Unfortunately, natural water, often crude, even in conjunction with the lubrication system could not be the perfect cooler. It had many weak points: salt in the water led to formation of scale and sludge on engine constructs, the boiling point of water is not high enough, while at low temperatures water quickly freezes when the engine isn’t working, losing its fluidity and eventually destroying the engine. This way antifreeze appeared…

From the first antifreeze to Tosol

The first antifreezes appeared in our country in the 1920’s. Glycerin was the base of the antifreezes, so in addition to a low freezing temperature the antifreezes could also ‘boast’ of low fluidity and high viscosity. That jelly didn’t feel comfortable passing through the tubes of the radiator and the cooling system channels, so the manufacturers had begun working on improving the formula.

First, they added ethanol to the glycerol, but, together with improved fluidity they got many additional problems: the thing is that ethanol is a strong psychotropic poison and the behavior of drivers involuntarily sniffed an amount of such antifreeze, sometimes would went beyond any logic and posed a danger to the health and lives of those around them. Therefore, a mixture of glycerol and ethanol had not caught on in the market, probably because a worthy alternative was found. That was a mixture of glycerol and ethylene glycol. This way Tosol appeared.

Tosol: what and why

Tosol is the name of antifreeze, intended to cool car engines at high temperatures, which does not freeze at low temperatures. Tosol is composed of various additives that protect the automotive cooling system against corrosion, and attach some protective properties to the fluid.

The name Tosol given to the antifreeze wasn’t random. This is an abbreviation: “Tos” is the name of the Institution department, where the creators of the coolant used to work, and the ending “OL” is a Russian sign of chemical nomenclature, which indicates that the fluid includes alcohol (ethylene glycol is dibasic alcohol).

For a long time Tosol was virtually the only optimal antifreeze on the domestic market. Today there are quite a few brands, but you will always recognize TOSOL by its remarkable blue color.

How Tosol was invented

The history of the invention of Tosol is inextricably linked with Volga Automobile Plant. More than three decades have passed since the plant began producing the next series called "Zhiguli". At those days there was only one type of antifreeze, and it wasn’t compatible with the cars. According to the results of the research in Italy that antifreeze had low alkalinity reserve, abundant foaming, could contribute to the corrosion of metals, which, of course, negatively affected engine operation. That’s why they decided to develop a new, more perfect formula of antifreeze.

It was a hard three-year long work of the staff of the Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, who worked on the formulation of the new coolant, which would have the best properties for the domestic automobile industry. The result of the work of the scientists came as Tosol, the antifreeze with a new improved formula.


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