Oil & Fluid Analysis
Oil Analysis is a proven technique for accurately predicting component wear and lubrication life in your machinery to determine its condition.
Oil analysis works by gathering a small sample of oil from an operating piece of machinery and performing a number of physical and chemical tests on the sample to determine the condition of the lubricant, the level of contaminants in the oil and the health of the machine. As a result of tracking and comparing oil analysis samples over the life of a particular machine, trends can be established which can help extend equipment life and eliminate costly repairs.
Virtually any industry that operates mechanical equipment can benefit from oil analysis. Whether it’s oil from a critical or noncritical rotating asset, regular sampling can provide a wealth of information about the health of both the machine and the lubricant.
With a critical machine failure potentially costing thousands of pounds per hour in downtime, can you really afford not to monitor the lifeblood of your equipment?
By using our independent laboratory for oil testing and analysis, you’ll get a total unbiased service, quick access to your results and feedback from oil experts with years of experience.
Whether you require a one-off oil analysis test or a managed oil analysis programme that become part of your organisation’s condition based maintenance strategy, we can tailor our service to your exact requirements.
How does the process work?
Oil & Fluid Sample Kits
The cost per sample for an oil analysis kit depends on the volume, type of sample and carriage cost for delivery of the kits. Price is inclusive of the analysis and report, turnaround time from receipt of the samples in our laboratory is 1-3 business days.
- 60ml bottle
- Bottle label
- Component information ticket
- Sample tubing and small zip plastic bag
- Sample pump (additional extra)
- Prepaid return envelope
Ferrous Wear (FW)
Ferrous wear (FW) gives a direct measure of the amount of material in an oil sample. Measuring and tracking the amount of ferrous wear debris present in oil is a good indication of overall machine condition.
Viscosity is the prime quality of oil. It measures the oil’s resistance to flow and shear at a specific temperature. Typically, the viscosity is measured at either
40°C (100°F) or 100°C (212°F). The viscosity of the oil is critical indictor that you are using the correct lubrication. If the viscosity is too low or too high, this may not provide sufficient lubrication to the equipment components, potentially increasing the chance of excessive wear.
Elemental analysis measures the wear metals, additives and contaminants – such as aluminium, iron, copper and silicon – in oil to determine abnormal wear.
Increases in wear metals can identify incorrect lubricant usage and internal component wear.
Water in oil can be detrimental to the oils chemistry and performance. As little water as 0.1% for gearboxes and 500ppm (0.05%) for chiller compressors can
affect the lubrication and corrosion within a unit.
Total Acid Number (TAN)
TAN is a common test to be used on oils which are in use for a significant period of time or that may be subject to high temperatures, such as compressors,
hydraulics, engines etc. A change in TAN from the trend or new oil reference value could indicate oil additive degradation, overheating or oxidisation/
Total Base Number (TBN)
TBN measures the level of acid in an oil sample, expressed in terms of the equivalent number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide required to neutralise
all basic constituents present in one gram of oil. TBN can help extend oil usage far beyond the normal range.
Particle counting is considered to be the most valuable oil analysis test. It works by analysing the oil’s cleanliness in accordance with ISO 4406, a system
for representing particle concentrations in oil, to determine the severity of particulate contamination in hydraulic oils or filtered systems.
Measuring the flash point is a sensitive test used for fire resistant fluids or to determine the presence of fuel. In piston engines it may be a sign of injection
pump wear, blocked injectors or inefficient combustion.
Infrared is a spectroscopy technique which looks at the molecular bonding within the oil’s structure by utilising the fact that each unique bond has a specific infrared frequency at which they absorb energy.
Total Insoluble Matter (TIM)
TIM is a measure of Soot and oxidation products in engine oils. The results can give an indication of poor combustion and also provide a measure of the oils discrepancy capabilities (additives in engine oil are designed to disperse soot and prevent coagulation which would reduce lubrication properties and potentially block filters).
Bacterial growth produces organic acids as a by-product which can attack internal surfaces, components and seals. Microbial contamination of certain circulating systems (such as steam turbines or fuel systems) must be kept to a minimum in order to prevent biocidal mats/bacterial sludge’s from forming.
Managed Oil Analysis
Our independent managed oil analysis services takes support to a higher level than just routine analysis and reporting. It becomes part of your organisation’s maintenance programme.