Making the most from your oil analysis data

Oil analysis also known as OA is used to get accurate information of the lubricant and the condition of the machine. With the help of oil analysis one can eliminate heavy costs involved in the maintenance of the machine. Tribologists are there to interpret the data of oil analysis.

Oil analysis helps to identify two primary oil conditions that can cause hazards to the equipment:

  • Measuring the acid number and oil viscosity help to detect the chemical changes that has occurred due to thermal degradation of the oil.
  • Metallic contaminants in the oil are detected by Atomic Emission Spectroscopy which also indicates lube mixing.

Tribologists use the Oil analysis data and distinguish the new oil from the used one to replace the oil at the correct time. A careful Oil analysis data sometimes make the oil sweetened either by putting some quantity of fresh oil or by adding replenishing additives that were drained.

What is the use of oil analysis?

  • Amount of dirt contaminants present in the oil.
  • Fuel liquefaction of lubrication oil.
  • Limitless bearing wear.
  • Quantity of antifreeze in the oil.
  • Lubricant is correctly applied or not.

Through oil analysis one can peer inside the engine, transmission and hydraulic system without dismantling the machine.

How to take an oil sample for oil analysis?

An oil sample represents the condition of all of the oil in the machine. It is useful to get the oil hot and thoroughly mixed before taking it as a sample.

Taking the oil sample at the time of draining is more preferable because during draining some of the used oil will be drained and one could store the remaining oil in an appropriate container.

One can have oil sample by sucking out the oil by connecting a plastic tube with the oil reservoir.

How to choose the best oil analysis laboratory?

There are many oil analysis laboratory and choosing the right one is definitely a herculean task. Some points are given below that may help one to choose the right laboratory.

  • Turnaround time is one of the most important factors. It means the time which the laboratory has taken to test the sample. It should be 24 to 48 hours after the sample has been received by the lab.
  • Alert notification through email, telephone call, fax or by sending message should be given to the person if some kind of abnormality is detected during testing.
  • One has to find out whether the industry is specialised in that kind of testing equipment’s oil or not.
  • The analyst should interpret the environmental information, condition of the fluid, contaminants parameters and machine wear parameters and directs the person for the next step that should be taken to save the machine.
  • One should find out a laboratory that performs wide range of tests and not only one that fits the person.
  • Oil analysis test is mainly based on “you get what you pay for.” So one should not prefer price over quality service.

Oil analysis data serve as a tool to measure the condition of lubrication management procedure. So it is important to make the most from oil analysis data and prevent the machine from its early breakdown.