Oil Analysis Services - Lubricant Monitoring │ CPI Fluid Engineering (2023)

What is oil analysis and what are the benefits of doing it?

Oil analysis is a relatively inexpensive and simple way to help monitor oil condition and equipment condition while possibly preventing big problems from showing up down the road.

During an oil analysis, a small amount of oil is analyzed for additive elements and contaminant and wear metals. The oil is also tested for its physical characteristics, such as viscosity, and for chemical properties, such as TAN. The results of these tests can give the user an indication of the condition of both the oil and the equipment. The main purpose of oil analysis is to generate information about the condition of the lubricant and the equipment. This information can be used to:

  • Reduce unscheduled downtime – Oil Analysis can cut down on unscheduled equipment downtime and maintenance costs by spotting equipment problems before they become serious and costly to fix.
  • Extend drain intervals – Regular testing allows the user to monitor the oil’s condition. By knowing the condition of the oil, the user can make informed decisions about how long it can remain useful.
  • Increase equipment life – Oil analysis can provide detailed information about the condition of the equipment, such as the wear levels and contamination. By detecting problems early, oil analysis allows the user to address problems early and extend equipment life.

What is Trend Analysis and why is trending important?

Trend Analysis is based on current and past sample results where changes in the tested result can indicate the development of problems that can affect the lubricant and compressor performance. The result may be within the products specifications. Trend Analysis plays an important role in determining proper drain intervals as well as in predicting equipment failure.

What does “marginal” mean?

Marginal means that the results are still within specifications but are close to the condemning limits.

How much oil sample do you need to test?

Four ounces is need for routine oil analysis.

When do I take a used oil sample?

Although the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) recommendations provide a good starting point for developing preventative maintenance practices, sampling intervals can easily vary. Extreme conditions and applications can affect the sampling interval. The completed oil analysis report can provide guidance on when a new sample should be taken.

What information needs to be included with the sample?

All customer, distributor, lubricant, and equipment information needs to be entered onto the sample label in order to process the sample. Include on the sample label if there was a lubricant or filter change during sampling. It is imperative that the sample label be applied directly to the plastic sample bottle, not the cardboard canister. The mailing label can be applied to the cardboard mailing canister or if using a box to send in more than one sample, it can be attached to the outside of the box and therefore, does not need to be applied to the canister. Missing information from the sample label can result in a longer turn around time as the laboratory will need to request the information before the sample can be processed.

How long does it take to process a sample?

The laboratory processes most routine samples within 2-3 business days. An Oil Analysis Report will be emailed to the customer contacts with recommendations or customers and distributors can access their reports through the website. The website will show if the sample is completed or in process. If you do not receive your report within the 2-3 business days and the tracking number shows we received the sample, please call 1-800-637-8628 to inquire about the delay.

Why do we need to run a cleaner or an additional fill of cleaner?

A compressor cleaner is used to remove varnish, dirt, and oxidized fluid from a compressor. They are also used to flush a system when converting to a different lubricant to prevent contamination between the two different fluids. A compressor cleaner has a short life, <500, hours so additional fills of compressor cleaner could be needed depending on the cleanliness of the system. More varnished systems will require multiple fills of compressor cleaner.

How long can I run a compressor cleaner?

The maximum life of a compressor cleaner is 500 hours. It is recommended to test the compressor cleaner every 200 hours to monitor the condition of the compressor cleaner.

What is viscosity?

Viscosity is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow. It is one of the most important physical properties of a lubricant. If a lubricant does not have the proper viscosity, it may not flow to the equipment parts that need protection, or have sufficient film thickness to provide adequate lubrication. Kinematic viscosity is the measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow under gravity at a specific temperature.

What causes the viscosity to increase?

The main cause for a fluid’s viscosity to increase is due to oxidation. Contamination and evaporation can also cause the viscosity to increase. If the viscosity is too high it can result in:

  • Increased flow resistance, preventing the lubricant from properly lubricating
  • Increased temperature, which can promote oxidation and degradation of the lubricant
  • An increase in power consumption.

What causes the viscosity to decrease?

Decreased viscosity can be caused by chemical ingestion, solvent contamination, or different fluid contamination. If the viscosity is too low it can result in:

  • Increased fluid leakage
  • Increased wear because of metal-on-metal contact

What causes the Total Acid Number to increase?

The main cause for a fluid’s TAN to increase is oxidation. Lubricant hydrolysis and contamination can also cause the TAN to increase.

What is oxidation?

Oxidation is a process that occurs when a lubricant is exposed to oxygen. The negative effects of oxidation on an oil product include acid formation, sludge and varnish formation, increased viscosity, and lubricant decomposition. Since the major component of a lubricant, and base oil, is also the component that is most susceptible to oxidation, controlling this process is particularly important. A number of factors can accelerate the oxidation process, including increased temperatures and the presence in the lubricant of acids and metallic catalysts. Two of the most common causes of accelerated lubricant oxidation are high operating temperatures and over-extension of the drain interval. Oxidation stability is the ability to resist the oxidation process. Oil with good oxidation stability will typically have a longer working life than an oil with poor stability, and may hold up better under extended drain operation conditions.

What does it mean when the fluid has varnished?

The by-products of oxidation can lead to the formation of a varnish contamination. The varnish is what causes the smell of crayons. There are many problems associated with fluid that has varnished but one of the main problems is increased component wear due to varnish attracting dirt and contaminant particles. There will also be increased maintenance costs due to cleanup and disposal of oil.

Why is my antioxidant level below normal?

Antioxidants are one of the primary additives used in lubricant formulations. The main function of the antioxidant is to prevent the lubricant from breaking down. When a lubricant breaks down, it will typically result in polymerization or volatilization of the oil. The antioxidant prevents this by reacting with the breakdown product of the lubricant to prevent further decomposition. For this reason, the antioxidant level in a lubricant will drop with time or is considered sacrificial. An increase in Total Acid Number is a direct correlation to the depletion of antioxidants.

Why is moisture content of a lubricant important?

Moisture content of a lubricant is important as the presence of water, even at low levels, can:

  • Reduce the efficiency and useable lifetime of lubricant additives, especially at elevated temperatures
  • Contribute to premature corrosion and wear of bearings
  • Support undesirable bacterial growth
  • Reduce the load carrying ability of the lubricant
  • React with the lubricant and some additives to form undesirable by-products (varnish, sludge, organic and inorganic acids).

What does the ISO code mean for PC?

The results formulate the ISO (International Standards Organization) code fraction. The ISO code (i.e. 3/2/1) represents the ratio between particles present at levels greater than 4 micron (the denominator(1)) versus the particles present at levels greater than 6 micron (the middle number (2)) versus the particles present at levels greater than 14 micron (the numerator (3)).

Why is the PC ISO code high when there are not metals present?

The particle count test is counting metal particles and non-metallic particles. Non-metallic particles could consist of water, dirt, or any solid material. The particle count test can not distinguish from metallic and non-metallic particles.

What is the difference between wear metals, contaminant metals, additive metals, and particles?

Wear metals are minute particles of metal formed from the erosion between moving parts, abrasion, or corrosion. Wear metals are related to surface interactions and more specifically the removal of material from a surface as a result of mechanical action.

  • Three Types of Wear
    • Abrasion
      • Solid Contaminates-Sand (Silica)
    • Corrosion
      • Water reacts with the metal surface
    • Contact Fatigue
      • Metal to metal contact

Contaminant metals cause the fluid to be impure. These impurities can come from ground water, coolant, or another fluid type. Additive metals are any material added to a base stock which enhances the existing properties of the base oil and/or imparts new performance properties. Additives are used as anti-wear agents, detergents, pour point depressants, rust and corrosion inhibitors, foam inhibitors, etc. Particles include metallic and non-metallic, fibers, dirt, water, bacteria and any other kind of debris.

Where are the metals coming from?

Common Sources of metals:

  • Silver (Ag): bearing alloys
  • Aluminum (Al): coolers/heat exchangers, bearings, bushings, pistons, blowers and pumps
  • Copper (Cu): heat exchangers, tubing, bearings, bronze/brass, bushings, and pistons
  • Iron (Fe): bearings, cylinders, pumps, gears and motor walls
  • Lead (Pb): bearings
  • Barium (Ba): lubricant additive
  • Calcium (Ca): lubricant additive and ground water
  • Sodium (Na): water, coolant
  • Molybdenum (Mo): steel, lubricant additive
  • Magnesium (Mg): lubricant additive
  • Phosphorus (P): lubricant additive
  • Silicon (Si): sand, dirt, seals, lubricant additive
  • Zinc (Zn): galvanized parts, brass/bronze alloy, and lubricant additive


What is SOS oil analysis? ›

SYSTEMATIC OIL SAMPLING. (S.O.S) S.O.S ANALYSIS TESTS. Defective bearings, piston rings that don't move and high oil consumption. These are all symptoms of engine problems associated with engine oil condition.

What is checked for in oil analysis? ›

What is Oil Analysis? Oil Analysis (OA) is the process of testing contamination levels and the chemical make-up of oils (and also fuels and other fluids), in laboratory conditions, in order to identify; their properties and any contamination or wear debris that have been introduced from machinery.

What is ppm oil analysis? ›

Elemental Analysis. Elemental Analysis of oil is usually performed using Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) spectroscopy. The units reported are milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) - aka parts per million (ppm) for convenience.

How do you do an oil sample analysis? ›

Set the engine at low idle. Remove the dust cap from the valve and wipe the valve with a clean cloth. Insert the probe into the valve and collect about 100 ml (4 fl oz) of oil into a waste container. If the oil flow is slow at low idle, have someone accel- erate the engine to high idle while extracting the sample.

What are the three categories of oil analysis? ›

There are three main categories of oil analysis: fluid properties, contamination and wear debris.

What is API in oils? ›

API stands for the American Petroleum Institute. The organization evaluates every blend of motor oil. It assigns an API rating to motor oil blends that meet ILSAC's current standards. ILSAC stands for International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee.

How many types of oil tests are there? ›

At Wearcheck, every sample gets four basic tests: ICP spectroscopy, particle quantification, viscosity at 40°C and water screening.

What are the eight lube oil tests? ›

For all types of lube oils on ships, following Lube oil tests are carried out:
  • Water Content test. 5 ml of sample is taken inside digital water content meter mixed with 15 ml of reagent containing paraffin or toluene. ...
  • pH Test. ...
  • Viscosity Test. ...
  • Spot test. ...
  • Flash point test. ...
  • Water Crackle test.
13 Aug 2019

Why is lubricating oil testing important? ›

Why is lube oil testing important? Oil analysis can help identify problems in the machinery such as abnormal wear, lube oil degradation, contamination of harmful agents, etc. all of which can lead to the potential failure of the machinery and its components.

What are the parameters of oil? ›

4 key parameters in the analysis of gas engine oils
  • Viscosity. The viscosity is the most important physico-chemical parameter of any industrial oil. ...
  • Basicity index (TBN) The basicity index is a measurement of the oil's alkaline reserve. ...
  • Acidity index (AN) ...
  • i-pH.
20 Apr 2017

What is a good TBN in oil? ›

Without this base reserve, strong acids accumulating inside the engine can result in corrosive wear. Generally, a TBN value for a new engine oil can range anywhere from about 6.0 – 13.0 mgKOH/g.

What ppm means? ›

This is an abbreviation for "parts per million" and it also can be expressed as milligrams per liter (mg/L). This measurement is the mass of a chemical or contaminate per unit volume of water.

How is oil analysis used for condition monitoring? ›

Oil analyses offers an insight in the quality of the lubricant and the lubricity properties, providing a diagnosis of the machinery condition by early detection of abnormal wear and intrusion of contaminants in the system.

Why is oil sampling important? ›

Taking oil samples regularly for analysis keeps the maintenance department informed of the machine's condition, and maintenance can be planned around operations, saving both time and money. Viscosity is crucial for optimum lubrication, and can change due to contamination or oxidation.

What are the 4 main types of oil? ›

The Four Main Types of Oil
  • Light Distillates. These include, among others, gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel and several varieties of petroleum. ...
  • Middle Distillates. These include the majority of Grade 1 and 2 fuel oils and diesels, along with domestic fuel. ...
  • Medium Oils. ...
  • Heavy Fuel Oils.

What are the 4 components of oil? ›

Constituents of crude oil. Hydrocarbons are generally divided into four groups: (1) paraffins, (2) olefins, (3) naphthenes, and (4) aromatics (Figure 1.8). Among these groups, paraffins, olefins, and naphthenes are sometimes called aliphatic compounds, as different from aromatic compounds.

What are 3 oil functions? ›

Oil. Its basic functions within an engine include reducing friction, cooling, sealing, cleaning, and serving as protection for moving parts.

What is API viscosity? ›

The API degrees indicate whether a crude oil floats on water or sinks. Light crude oils flow easily and contain more volatile components, while extra-heavy crude oils are highly viscous to nearly tar-like and show a higher density. Intermediate oils are between these extremes.

What is API and ASTM? ›

API - American Petroleum Institute. ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers. ASM - American Society of Metals. ASNT - American Society for Nondestructive Testing. ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials.

What is SN CF in oil? ›

There are two categories: gasoline and diesel. Category S is for “Spark Ignition”, for Gasoline and category C is for “Compression Ignition', for Diesel. For both, the letter S or C is followed by another letter. For example, SM or CF. The higher the letter, the more recent the technology of the oil.

How lubricants are tested? ›

Typical tests include oil viscosity, viscosity index, atomic emission spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, water contamination and particle counts. Finally, there is testing used to monitor new oils in storage. Many are unaware that lubricants in storage have a shelf life.

What is ASTM oil? ›

ASTM's petroleum standards are instrumental in the evaluation and assessment of the physical, mechanical, rheological, thermal, and chemical properties of crude oils, lubricating grease, automobile and aviation gasoline, hydrocarbons, and other naturally occurring energy resources used for various industrial ...

What are the two 2 different classifications of oil? ›

The American Petroleum Institute (API) developed a classification system to identify oils formulated to meet the different operating requirements of petrol and diesel engines. The API system has two general categories: S-series and C-series.

What are the 5 types of lubricants? ›

Here given are the common lubricants and their uses:
  • Greases. Greases are composed by utilizing oil (typically mineral oil) and combining it with thickeners (such as lithium-based soaps). ...
  • Oils. These thin liquids are composed of long polymer chains with some extra additives. ...
  • Penetrating Lubricants. ...
  • Dry Lubricants.
11 Feb 2020

What are the 3 or 4 types of lubrication systems? ›

There are three different types of lubrication: boundary, mixed and full film. Each type is different, but they all rely on a lubricant and the additives within the oils to protect against wear. Full-film lubrication can be broken down into two forms: hydrodynamic and elastohydrodynamic.

What are the 4 types of lubrication systems? ›

Types of lubrication systems
  • Oil Lubrication System.
  • Splash Lubrication System.
  • Recirculating Oil System.
  • Air-Oil Lubrication System.
  • Grease Lubrication System.
  • Dual Line Lubrication Systems.
  • MQL (Minimum Quantity Lubrication) System & Near Dry Machining.
  • Wet Sump Lubrication System.

What are the 6 elements of oil? ›

Consider the following enemies of cooking oil: Oxygen, salt, soap, heat, carbon buildup and water. All of these elements pose a great threat to the quality of your restaurant's cooking oil and food you serve, and are abundant in any commercial kitchen.

Is a higher TBN better? ›

Total Base Number (TBN) is a property that measures oil's ability to neutralize acids formed during engine operation. Generally, oils with a higher TBN better neutralize acidic materials and combustion by-products resulting in longer oil life and improved protection against corrosion.

What is the unit of TBN? ›

Total Base Number (TBN) is a measurement of basicity that is expressed in terms of the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide per gram of oil sample (mg KOH/g).

What happens when TBN is low? ›

The lower the TBN reading, the less active additive the oil has left. A low TBN test result, meaning very little additive is left, is down around 1.0 or lower.

What is the PPM formula? ›

PPM Calculation

The formula for ppm is ppm=1/1,000,000=0.0001 p p m = 1 / 1 , 000 , 000 = 0.0001 .

What is PPT and PPM? ›

The symbols ppm, ppb, and ppt are used to escape this problem. They are best thought of as non-SI units for dimensionless quantities with the meanings 106, 109, and 1012 respectively. They are abbreviations for the words parts-per-million, parts-per-billion, and parts-per-trillion.

What is the ppm range? ›

TDS is most often measured in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter of water (mg/L). The normal TDS level ranges from 50 ppm to 1,000 ppm.

What is lubrication monitoring? ›

2. Lubricant condition monitoring. LCM, commonly known as used oil analysis program (UOA), is applied while analyzing the lubricant properties and often reveals possible contamination within the lubricant and changes in its properties.

What are the 2 types of oil life monitoring systems used today? ›

Depending on the vehicle manufacturer and the specific equipment used, oil indicators come in two basic varieties: algorithm-based and direct measurement. Algorithm-based oil indicators measure lots of factors and then plug the resulting numbers into a formula.

What is the unit of oil quality? ›

Oil Quality: API Gravity

This is because lighter oils are generally easier to produce and refine than heavy oils, and therefore tend to have higher value. Oil density is sometimes expressed in terms of its specific gravity, but more often is given as API gravity.

What is the best oil quality? ›

The higher the sulfur content and the heavier the density, the lower quality the crude oil. A lighter density oil with low sulfur content (like West Texas Intermediate (WTI) from Texas) is the highest quality, which means it sells for more money.

What is oil classification? ›

As mentioned above, there are three types of liquid oil - natural, mineral, and synthetic oil.

What are 3 reasons to use samples? ›

Samples are used to make inferences about populations. Samples are easier to collect data from because they are practical, cost-effective, convenient, and manageable.

What is the main purpose of sampling? ›

The aim of sampling is to approximate a larger population on characteristics relevant to the research question, to be representative so that researchers can make inferences about the larger population.

What is the purpose of Spectrometric Oil Analysis Program? ›

Spectrometric oil analysis programs (SOAP) can provide an early warning of abnormal wear occurring, not only from internal distress such as a failing bearing, but also external factors such as operating in a dusty environment without adequate filtering of intake air.

How is the spectrometric oil analysis done? ›

Spectrometric or Spectrochemical Oil analysis was first used on an industrial scale in 1960. Analysis is done by the use of Atomic Spectroscopic methods like Atomic Absorption & Atomic Emission Spectrometry.

What does SOS stand for Caterpillar? ›

SOS stands for Scheduled Oil Sampling (Caterpillar Inc.)

Is an oil analysis worth it? ›

The oil analysis may reveal potential problems, but if they aren't costly or more than you expect to spend, it could still be worth it to buy the car — especially if it meets your other requirements. If the cost of maintenance may be too high, there is no reason you should have to go through with the purchase.

Which instrument is used in spectrophotometric analysis? ›

Spectrometry is measured by a spectrophotometer; an instrument that is made up of two instruments – a spectrometer and a photometer. The spectrometer produces the light of the wavelength and the photometer measures the intensity of light by measuring the amount of light that passes through the sample.

What are the 3 basic types of spectroscopes? ›

There are three basic types of spectroscopy: atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), atomic emission spectroscopy (AES), and atomic fluorescence spectroscopy (AFS).

What are the 6 parts of spectrometer and their functions? ›

Parts of Spectrophotometer

A spectrophotometer consists of four general parts; light source, an optical system (monochromator), sample holder, and detector (photometer). Any spectrophotometer requires light of various wavelengths. Commonly tungsten lamp provides a visible spectrum of light in a spectrophotometer.

What is SOS Fullform? ›

The expression “Save Our Ship” was probably coined by sailors to signal for help from a vessel in distress.

How many dots are in SOS? ›

In formal notation SOS is written with an overscore line, to indicate that the Morse code equivalents for the individual letters of "SOS" are transmitted as an unbroken sequence of three dots / three dashes / three dots, with no spaces between the letters.

What is scheduled oil sampling? ›

Let's start by defining scheduled oil sampling as a program that allows you to get an insight into the health of your machine by collecting, analyzing and interpreting small amounts of oil and other fluids stored in the cavities of the components in your machine, including the engine, powertrain, hydraulics, braking ...

How much does it cost to do oil analysis? ›

The cost of an individual oil analysis test will run you anywhere between $8 to $20.

How long does an oil analysis take? ›

How long does an oil analysis take to perform? Routine oil samples for condition monitoring take 48 hours to process in the laboratory. In emergencies the laboratory can expedite the sample through the system, often in a matter of hours.

How long does it take to do an oil analysis? ›

Once received, it takes the lab between 48-72 hours to turn the sample around, which means that on average, almost 17 days have gone by before results are available to the customer.

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