PCS Instruments

HFRR (High Frequency Reciprocating Rig)

High Frequency Reciprocating Rig


The High Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR) is a microprocessor-controlled reciprocating friction and wear test system which provides a fast, repeatable assessment of the performance of fuels and lubricants. It is particularly suitable for wear testing relatively poor lubricants such as diesel fuels and for boundary friction measurements of engine oils, greases and other compounds. It has become the industry standard test for diesel fuel lubricity and conforms to ASTM D6079, ASTM D7688, CEC F-06-A, ISO 12156, EN 590, JPI-5S-50 and IP 450.

The system comprises of a mechanical unit, control unit and optional PC software. The control unit includes a keypad, LCD display and a built in microprocessor so that the complete test cycle can be automatically controlled directly from the unit in standalone mode. Alternatively the control unit can be connected to a PC to allow data logging, graphical representation of test parameters and results file storage.

The control unit is pre-set with ISO/ASTM/CEC profiles for performing standard diesel lubricity tests. The control unit displays the average film and friction of each test. The unit also includes a humidity probe option, the output from which is automatically logged at the beginning and end of the test in accordance with the CEC F-06-A test method. By manually inputting the X and Y wear scar readings, the unit will automatically calculate and display the WS1.4 value. For users who need a simple printed record of the test there is an optional mini printer which attaches to the control unit.

The HFRR is easy to calibrate and follows a fully automated test control sequence, freeing up operator time. Test specimens are a single use ball and disc which conform to all international diesel fuel test standards. Specimens in other materials and to different specifications are also available. Outside of diesel fuel testing, current HFRR applications include gasoline testing, measuring grease behavior under boundary conditions, the evaluation of marine engine lubricants and investigations into fretting, both dry and in the presence of lubricant.

The new control unit is backwards compatible with all RTD mechanical units so most current HFR2 users can upgrade their existing electronics unit if they choose.

Key Features

  • Standard test for diesel fuel lubricity.
  • Wear scar assessment with the standard specimens requires only one measurement.
  • Only a small volume of lubricant is required - tests can be carried out on field collected or experimental fluids; film formation by boundary additives can be observed by electrical contact potential (ECR) changes.
  • Fast, repeatable friction and wear measurement.
  • Independently proven repeatability and reproducibility.
  • Fully automated microprocessor controlled test sequence.
  • Easy to calibrate.
  • Small, compact bench top system.
  • Available with mini-printer option or full computer controlled software.
  • Preloaded with standard diesel fuel lubricity test procedures CEC/ASTM/ISO.
  • Optional automatic recording of humidity and air temperature at start and finish of test using built in digital humidity probe.
  • Calculates WS1.4 where necessary.

Recognised Standards

The six recognised international standard tests using the HFRR, reflect the quality of the test system:

  • CEC F-06-A-96
    Measurement of Diesel Fuel Lubricity.
  • ASTM D6079
    Standard Test Method for Evaluating Lubricity of Diesel Fuels by the High-Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR).

  • ASTM D7688
    Standard Test Method for Evaluating Lubricity of Diesel Fuels by the High-Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR) by Visual Observation.

  • ISO 12156-1
    1997 Diesel Fuel - Assessment of Lubricity Using the High Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR). Part 1 Test Method.
  • BS EN 590
    Automotive Fuels - Diesel - Requirements and Test Methods.
  • JPI-5S-50-98
    Gas Oil - Testing Method For Lubricity.
  • IP 450/2000
    Diesel Fuel - Assessment of Lubricity Using the High Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR). Part 1 Test Method.


The HFRR can be operated in two configurations, 'Standalone Mode' or 'Remote Mode'.

Standalone Mode

Configuration 1

Standalone Mode

The standalone configuration is the basic option where the HFRR is controlled from the control panel that situated on the control unit. This configuration can only be used for performing standard diesel fuel tests and the results are displayed on the LCD readout.

If a paper record of each test is required, we supply a dedicated thermal mini-printer that can be connected to the serial port of the control unit.

Read more about standalone mode...

Remote Mode

Configuration 3

Remote Mode

The remote configuration is for users requiring an enhanced operation of the HFRR allowing graphical presentation of data, digital storage of records including the option to install a selection of accessories not available when running in standalone mode.

The PC is connected to the HFRR control unit via a serial cable and the supplied software is designed to run all pre-set test methods or can be edited for specific user-defined test runs. A printed record of the test is available if a standard printer is connected.

Read more about software options...

Test Requirements

What is supplied with a standard HFRR unit?

  • Control unit (electronics box that controls the mechanical unit).
  • Mechanical unit (the operational part of the instrument that runs the test).
  • Communication cables (multiway and RTD cables that connect between control unit and mechanical unit).
  • Accessories to run a standard diesel fuel test - (Screw set, Tool set, Weight hanger cord, Weight set, Upper and lower specimen holder, Main RTD temperature probe).
  • Calibration kit (used to periodically calibrate/check the instrument).

What additional equipment is required to run an HFRR test?

  • Test Specimens - every HFRR test will require an upper (ball) and lower (disc) specimen; supplied by PCS instruments.
  • Microscope - a metallurgical microscope and measuring device is required to measure the wear scar after a test.
  • Ultrasonic bath >40W - This is required to clean specimens and equipment correctly. Can be purchased through PCS Instruments if required.
  • Solvents - required for cleaning the HFRR components and specimens.
  • Pipette - apply 2ml of diesel fuel to the lower specimen holder every test. Can be purchased through PCS Instruments if required.
  • Reference Fuel - for diesel fuel testing, two type of reference fuels (high and low lubricity) are required to be periodically tested to check if the HFRR is running correctly. The specific requirements are different for each test method.
  • Relative humidity/temperature control/measurement - test conditions must be recorded depending on test method used.
    Related accessories - Humidity Cabinet and Humidity and temperature probe.

A complete range of accessories can be viewed on the HFRR accessories page.

HFR2 Upgrade Options

If you already have a PCS HFR2 with the old electronics unit you can easily upgrade to the new control unit without returning the old HFR2 system for alteration. The computer currently used on the HFR2 cannot be re-used to run the new software.

Although, customers with an early thermocouple mechanical unit will need to return the mechanical unit for upgrading to RTD temperature probes. Costs will depend on the age of machine.

  Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Upgrade HFRR Control Unit
Existing Mechanical unit
HFRPC Software only  
Computer (supplied by PCS)    

Option 1

This option consists of the existing mechanical unit and upgrade control unit. This option would run the HFRR in standalone mode using the control panel located on the control unit.

Option 1

Standalone Mode

Option 2/Option3

  • Option 2 - Existing mechanical unit, upgrade control unit and HFRPC software.
  • Option 3 - Existing mechanical unit, upgrade control unit and supplied computer (includes pre-installed HFRPC software).
Option2/Option 3

Remote Mode

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Leaders in Tribology Test Equipment

Tribology Test Equipment, Fuel Test Equipment & Traction Machines

PCS Instruments, 78 Stanley Gardens, London, W3 7SZ, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 8600 9920, Fax: +44 (0)20 8600 9921, Email: info@pcs-instruments.com