For the value of Oil Analysis Condition Monitoring and Preventive Maintenance to be fully realised, the end user must have a basic understanding of the lubrication process and the various lubricants used. They are called on to perform many functions in today’s increasingly complex operating environments. As such, lubricants themselves have evolved to a high state of technological development to ensure correct performance and protection of the lubricated equipment. This booklet serves to provide an insight on lubrication, broken into six phases of understanding. 1. The basics of oil analysis 1. Benefits of Oil analysis 2. Reading the Report 3. The Sample Description Sheet Testing of Lubricating oils. Includes tests applicable to Engine Oils, Hydraulic Oils and Drive and EP Gear Oils for Condition Based Oil Analysis 1. Moisture (water) Analysis (ASTM D6304) 2. Particle Size Distribution Analysis (ASTM D6786) 3. Retained Solids (ASTM D4898) 4. Total Acid Number (ASTM D975/D664) 5. Viscosity (ASTM D445) 6. Oxidation (ASTM E2412) 7. Nitration (ASTM E2412) 8. Wear Elements (ASTM D5185) 9. Contamination Elements (ASTM D5185) 10. Additive Elements (ASTM D5185) 11. Total Base Number (ASTM D2896) 12. Pentane Insolubles (Soot) (ASTM D4055) 13. Fuel Dilution (OL1007 – GC) 14. PQ Index (OL1029 – ANALEX) 15. Dispersancy (OL1004) 16. RULER (ASTM D6810/ASTM D6971) 17. Glycol content by GC- HSA (OL1105) Basic explanation of how lubrication works 1. Friction 2. Maintaining Lubricant Performance 3. Additives 4. Filters 5. How do we know that the lubricant is performing as required? Other Testing Requirements 1. Coolant 2. Diesel Fuel Overall summary of oil requirements 1. Engine oil requirements 2. Transmission, Drive and Hydraulic oil requirements 3. Oil Sampling Interpretation of the Analysis 1. Standard Deviation 2. Normalisation Factors






The benefit of this book is to show why it is important to undertake oil analysis and Condition Monitoring of equipment through an effective Oil Analysis Program. Such a program is applicable to any industry or environment that utilises lubrication. As the book progresses it delves deeper into the Oil Analysis Program.


Table of contents 1. Overall summary of oil requirements 1. PQ Index (OL1029 – ANALEX) 15 Dispersancy (OL1004) 16. Transmission. Total Acid Number (ASTM D975/D664) 5. Interpretation of the Analysis 1. Friction 2. Drive and Hydraulic oil requirements 3.HSA (OL1105) 3. Oxidation (ASTM E2412) 7. The Sample Description Sheet 2. Moisture (water) Analysis (ASTM D6304) 2. Viscosity (ASTM D445) 6. RULER (ASTM D6810/ASTM D6971) 17. Wear Elements (ASTM D5185) 9. Basic explanation of how lubrication works 1. Standard Deviation 2. Oil Sampling 6. The basics of oil analysis 1. Other Testing Requirements 1. Filters 5. Contamination Elements (ASTM D5185) 10. Testing of Lubricating oils. Particle Size Distribution Analysis (ASTM D6786) 3. Additive Elements(ASTM D5185) 11 Total Base Number (ASTM D2896) 12. Diesel Fuel 5. Nitration (ASTM E2412) 8. Hydraulic Oils and Drive and EP Gear Oils for Condition Based Oil Analysis 1. Fuel Dilution (OL1007 – GC) 14. Benefits of Oil analysis 2. Retained Solids (ASTM D4898) 4. Includes tests applicable to Engine Oils. Pentane Insolubles (Soot) (ASTM D4055) 13. Additives 4. Glycol content by GC. Normalisation Factors Page 3 3 3 5 7 7 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 13 13 13 16 16 17 18 18 19 20 20 20 20 21 21 21 3 . Coolant 2. Reading the Report 3. Engine oil requirements 2. How do we know that the lubricant is performing as required? 4. How is the lubricant forced between the surfaces? 3.

SECTION 1 1. Benefits of Oil analysis The costs are relatively small insurance premiums for optimum serviceability of equipment. The sample analysis report is a composite of several key areas. Fault Cause and Prevention Diagnosis. The recommendations from previous reports are included to assist with corrective action. A detailed trend analysis of the oil’s characteristics. Oil Analysis provides the benefits of : Extending Equipment Life. Condition Monitoring and Diagnosis for Warranty purposes. Improved Safety Control Effective Maintenance Scheduling and Reduction in unscheduled Downtime. contamination levels and histories.1. “monitor trend” or “take action” rating. Customers are invited to call Oilcheck to discuss any oil-specific issues contained in their reports. Enhancement to the Service Log for Better Resale Value. Reading the Report (Hitachi Probe used as an example) The oil diagnostic analysis will provide each report with: A “satisfactory”. Evaluation of maintenance systems. A set of recommendations for “monitor trend” and “take action” results. Determination of Optimum Oil Change Interval 1.2. The key sample information The results table The customer and equipment information Recommendations Trending graphs Did you know info and links Advertisements 4 .

The benefit of this is the previous samples recommendations are also available to assist you in what action you may choose to take. hours on the oil and equipment. The results determine the characteristics & contamination in the oil due to wear or the introduction of contamination into the oil such as.received dates. without the correct details. Authorised Signatory The report also contains the contact details of the person who supervised the analysis and wrote the recommendations 5 . This area dictates where the sample is from and links in previous samples to the current sample. • Moisture (contamination) • Dust and dirt (contamination) • Component wear (contamination) A brief recommendation from the analysis performed on the sample will indicate where the potential problems or in the event of failure where the actual problems lie. for example the Sample Number (which may be quoted in the event of any questions) . report and K numbers for the sample. The Key Sample Information Sections also includes the previous status of past samples. you simply will not receive the report. Did You Know 60% of failures are due to the wrong type of oil used in the compartment? The Customer Details are also just as crucial.Key Sample Information This section of the report shows the basic logistics of the sample. The Operation details give information to the Laboratory to categorise the results by Oil grade and type. Results Table Customer and Equipment Info The Equipment details are the most crucial to the reporting process. Recommendations This section of the report shows values of the specified tests.

) 1. A sample with the wrong or unidentifiable information is a waste of time. Page 1 • Machine Details • Oil Details • Report Recipients and Contact Details Page 2 • Compartment Codes It is ESSENTIAL that all the Information be filled out Clearly and Correctly.Trending Graphs Trending is a very important part of the oil analysis system. this will occur due to a normalisation factor applied to the results (for more information on normalising please refer to the Normalisation and standard deviation Section.) In short the graphs give you the ability to compare apples with apples by adjusting the results to suit what we call standard hours (engine 200 hours & Drive and Hydraulic 500 hours.3. Using the trending graphs with the analysis of your results will give you a far better indication of how the compartment you have sampled compares with the previous samples results. The results on the graphed results will be different to the results in the results table. this will ensure the Probe data base is correct and the information you receive is also correct. 6 . Sample Description Sheet The Sample Description Sheet can be broken down into several key areas.

as stated above this is the same information provided in your last report and will be exactly the same every time you receive a report unless you change the info. At the bottom of the sample description sheet there is now a facility to put in your own comments about the sample. Further to that the comment will also be printed on your report this will help you maintain a record of your findings. in the bottom left hand corner you will find a K number Sticker. 3. 3. Pack up the Oil sample as you would normally and send it to the lab as you normally would with the pre-filled in Sample Description Sheet enclosed.Pre-Filled or Populated Sample description Sheet Kilometres on the equipment clearly and carefully along with any other information. This facility enables you as the customer to ensure the information is 100% correct and takes the hassle out of filling in the sample Description Sheet every time. If the sample information is not correct this is the time to change it by simply crossing out the information and writing it in the white space on the back of the form (page 2 of the Sample Description PDF) 2. the barcode is the proof of purchase. and place on the printed pre-filled Sample Description Sheet. 4. The sample description sheet is also available as an attachment to your email and can also be available to be sent with the report on completion of the analysis. The purchased Oil analysis Kit will have a blank Sample Description Sheet provided. Check the information and change as discussed 2. Fill in any missing blanks that may be present. For example “engine oil smells like it has fuel contamination please check first and let me know ASAP” the laboratory will instantly act on this comment. Hitachi currently use this provision. Use your saved time wisely and fill in the Hours or Kilometres on the oil & the Hours or 7 . Remove the K number sticker. What to Do 1.Just a few points 1. This service is available to all at no extra charge.

2 Particle Size Distribution Analysis. The local frictional effects within the lubrication system be it hydraulic.3 Retained Solids Content in Hydraulic Oils. due to the dark opaque nature obtained during use. By passing the oil through a filter membrane all particles larger than 1 micron are retained. Results are presented utilising SAE AS4059 or ISO 4406 cleanliness level codings. Establishing the level of cleanliness enables assessment of the filter effectiveness for clear lubricants only. The filter is then weighed and a weight of the filtered material will give us through a calculation the Retained solids content. Engine oils. cannot be analysed in this manner. Using a light scattering principle. particle size analysis for the various micron sizes are computed. engine blow by gasses and coolant leaks. engine. transmission.SECTION 2 Tests Performed for Condition Based Oil Analysis 1) Moisture (water) Analysis (ASTM D6304) 2) Particle Size Distribution Analysis (ASTM D6786) 3) Retained Solids (ASTM D4898) 4) Total Acid Number (ASTM D975/D664) 5) Viscosity (ASTM D445) 6) Oxidation (ASTM E2412) 7) Nitration (ASTM E2412) 8) Wear Elements (ASTM D5185) Iron Chromium Copper Lead Tin Nickel Aluminium 9) Contamination Elements (ASTM D5185) Aluminium (contained in dirt) Silicon Sodium Potassium 10) Additive Elements(ASTM D5185) Calcium Zinc Phosphorus Sulphur Molybdenum 11) Total Base Number (ASTM D2896) 12) Pentane Insolubles (Soot) (ASTM D4055) 13) Fuel Dilution (OL1007 – GC) 14) PQ Index (OL1029 – ANALEX) 15) Dispersancy (OL1004) 16) RULER (ASTM D6810/ASTM D6971) 17) Glycol content by GC. Various applications of hydraulics will dictate acceptable solids content but usually retained solids content in excess of 8 . Moisture can be sourced from the atmosphere when the compartment is cooling down. A good Particle Size Analyser utilises a laser scanner and can detect particles from 2 to 400 microns.1 Water Content by Fischer. PARTICLE SIZE ANALYSIS USING LASER EXTINCTION ASTM D6786 Contamination of an oil based lubricant by water can damage the metal-to-metal surfaces that the lubricant is designed to protect. can cause temperatures in excess of the boiling point of water which would in effect cause steam cleaning of the oil away from the surfaces. The boiling of the water or moisture can also promote oxidation in the oil and be blamed for corrosion and poor lubrication on the metal surfaces. 2. Retained or Total solids content of hydraulic oil is also determined by filtration to 1 micron. etc. An example of standard particle count ranges and the required limits areas are as per the diagram.HSA (OL1105) 2.(ASTM D6304) Coulometric Karl AUTOMATIC COULOMETRIC KARL FISHER FOR WATER DETERMINATIONS (ASTM D6304) 2.

As such.7 Nitration A major component of air is the gas Nitrogen.500 parts per million by weight (0. In applications where the lubricant has only minimal exposure to air such as sealed gear compartments and hydraulic systems. The Neutralisation number of an oil is calculated as the amount of acid OR base necessary to make the lubricant chemically neutral. In extreme cases. the infra-red signature of the lubricant shows the extent of presence of nitration.11). The thickness of an oil is graded and calculated as the Viscosity in mm2/s (Centistokes). so does the nitration level. it can react with the lubricant and oxygen to produce an effect called Nitration. Nitrogen. in the combustion process in engines. have on the lubricant. Oxygen. Conversely a high oxidation level will indicate the likelihood of the oil thickening and eventual failure of the lubricated component due to a lack of effective lubrication.6 Oxidation Lubricants will oxidise when exposed to air or products of combustion in engine oils. The Viscosity Index of the lubricant is a calculated value based on the viscosity values at 400C and 1000C. called oxidation inhibitors or anti-oxidants. Again. However. Viscosity measurements of new and used oil characterise the lubricant as to its grade. the VI can be used to characterise or confirm the identity of a lubricant as mono-grade or multi-grade. oxidation and sulphation products The nature of the soot (carbon formed by incomplete combustion of the fuel) is such that nitrogen oxides and nitration products are absorbed and retained in the sump oil. TOTAL ACID NUMBER (ASTM D664) AND TOTAL BASE NUMBER (ASTM D2896) ANALYSIS BY AUTOTITRATOR 2. the value for a new oil is low and would reflect the relatively small amount of nitrogen based products formulated into the lubricant as anti-oxidants. the temperatures exceed 600 degrees C. the oxidation level would not be expected to increase to the same extent as occurs in engine lubrication. the nitration effect would be minimal since the exposure to air and high heat (>300 deg C) is rarely encountered. Some can however. like the viscosity value itself. The main Neutralisation Number value used is the Total Acid Number (TAN) and this is a measure of the oils acidity expressed in the same terms as the TBN value (2. 2. Viscosity grades are listed as SAE or ISO. As the soot content of the used oil increases. ISO oils are specified at 400C. fuel and lubricating oil combine to form nitration products including nitrogen oxides which by and large are exhausted to atmosphere. SAE oils are specified at 1000C. As would be expected. Once in the crankcase the nitration product will combine with soot. the lower the amount of oxidation. AUTOMATIC CANNON VISCOSITY DETERMINATIONS AT 40 AND 100oC (ASTM D445) 9 . In compartments such as gear boxes or hydraulic systems. Again. Oxidation preventing additives.4 Neutralisation Number Number or Total Acid 2. 2.5 Viscosity for Liquid Lubricants. The oxidation level can be determined using infra-red signatures of the lubricant and any increase in oxidation from the “new oil” value is a measure of how the oil is standing up to the harsh environment in which it must operate. the major cause of the oxidation. are generally incorporated into most formulations to counteract the effect that oxygen and heat.05 %) is considered unacceptable and will indicate that the oil filtration system is either by-passing or ineffective and requires attention. The smaller the number quoted in the report. as in the case of oxidation. find its way past the rings and into the crankcase. the lubricant life is generally longer in these compartments than in engines.

Potassium may be present in coolant formulations and it is not an additive for engine oils as such. namely silica or alumina (sand). but also as iron oxides associated with the presence of water or a corrosive reaction to additives. its presence could be caused by a coolant core or water pump leak. It can also be produced in new engines during the run-in period. by additive incompatibility from fluid mixing. Iron generally comes from the liners in engines or from hydraulic cylinders. Larger generation of copper is typically triggered by water. Some traces are possible from some alloys. and in cooler cores. hydraulic pumps.AUTO-FOURIER TRANSFORM INFRA-RED ANALYSIS ASTM E2412 2. pumps. Titanium in the form of titanium oxides can be found in oil analyses as a contaminant from operation in bauxite mines. Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the world. Silicon up to approximately 10-15 ppm may reflect presence of silicone oil based anti-foam additive. it is also produced by harder abrasives. Highly oxidized engine oils attack bearing material. Copper is a soft metal from bronze alloys that are present in engines. and from planetary gears and carriers in final drives and differentials. Chromium is also found in final drive and differential bearings. Aluminum is generally present in association with silica in a 1 to 5 ratio and enters together with dirt. it is an indication that it is being sourced from the bearings/bushings. titanium in oils may indicate break-down of the paint allowing particles to be present in the oil. silica (dirt). ranging from 10 to 100 parts per million or more. It is harder than any metal used in mobile equipment and can scratch hard surfaces easily.9 Contamination Elements Silicon is the principal component of dirt and it is found in its natural and oxidative form as silica. Some industrial equipment reservoirs have in the past been painted. Aluminum is a wear element that generally comes from pistons in engines. When combined with other elements such as 10 . It enters the system in its oxidative form as alumina. However. Chromium is a very hard metal wear particle produced by engine piston rings. or from thrust washers. Titanium is not a typical wear metal present in oil analysis from construction equipment. lines and reservoirs in hydraulic systems. New oils can promote high copper generation during run-in periods. high temperature operation and most importantly. 2. differentials. In new engines. Nickel it is seldom seen in oil analysis but when it shows up it is an indication of turbocharger cam plate wear. High aluminum associated with silica can indicate dirt. Some bearings can include aluminium (eg refrigeration compressor bearings and some main engine bearings) Tin is a metal used in soft alloys of bronze in combination with lead. Chromium readings indicate that something harder than it is present. which increases lead readings. If aluminum is found in hydraulic systems. or in combination with silicon as aluminium silicate and it is extremely hard. Silica (the oxidative form of silicone) appears in nature associated with alumina in a typical 5 to 1 ratio. when tin is present in engines. final drives. Lead is a very soft metal used in alloys in combination with tin for engine bearings and bushings. it could generally be assumed it comes from dirt ingestion. Copper is also found in final drives equipped with park brakes and slip spin/diff lock differentials. it is usually associated with lead and copper to indicate bearing wear.8 Wear Elements Iron can be present as fine particles produced by abrasion or wear. Lead is present in hydraulic pump alloys as well. Aluminum in final drives can only be dirt or sand. its presence could indicate liquid silicon material used as sealant during assembly. but without glycol traces. As titanium dioxide is used as a paint filler. When present with Glycol (in association with potassium and sodium) it could be coming from the oil cooler. although some small readings of about 1 to 2 parts per million (ppm) could sometimes be present. It typically washes out after first oil change. rocker arm or piston wrist bushings. It is generally present in small amounts in hydraulic pumps. but also from thrust washers in the camshaft. When it is associated with lead and/or tin. Chromium in hydraulic systems is typically from valve spools or cylinder rods. In engines.

Sodium is found as an additive in some instances as a detergent. Molybdenum may be present in some oil formulations as a solid lubricant additive (molybdenum disulfide) and may be used as an additive in grease. 2. or fuel washing the oil seal away in cases 11 . The TBN is expressed as the Equivalent mass in milligrams (mg) of potassium hydroxide (KOH) per gram of the oil. molybdenum or boron it is an indication of coolant contamination. In engine oils. Metals are analysed using an instrument called Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometer (ICP-OES).000 and13.12 Pentane Insolubles or Soot Content. Levels of at or above 0. Phosphorus is found in extreme pressure (EP) as well as in anti-wear /anti-oxidant additives and friction modifiers in engine oils. Sulfur is found in extreme pressure additives in combination with phosphorus. Boron without the presence of potassium is an indication of an additive. Some of root causes of these detrimental effects could be excessive periods of idle running. Sodium may also be present in coolant formulations but also in many salts. When burnt. or seawater.10 Additive Elements Boron is an EP (extreme pressure) additive but it is also found in coolants. Argon gas is excited electrically and produces a plasma with a temperature of between10. on the basis that material less than 0. however. calcium additives have an ash content of generally >1% in engine oil formulations Magnesium as magnesium petroleum sulphonate is also a detergent that leaves generally < 1% ash. Barium as barium petroleum sulphonate can be used as a detergent in oil formulation as well as corrosion inhibitors. Zinc is part of ZDDP (Zinc Dialkyl Dithio Phosphate) additive that acts as an anti-wear.000oC into which the sample is sprayed. Elements all have specific wavelengths the data collected is allocated to each of the wavelengths selected to give the metal content in parts per million.8 micron would not be likely to cause problems. The material removed is weighed and expressed as a percentage of the oil. The laboratory can also monitor the amount of detrimental soot contained in an engine oil by filtration of the material insoluble in a solvent called Pentane.sodium.35 % by weight indicate a detrimental effect on the oil and reflects “elevated sooting” which may be caused by poor ring seal. The TBN value of an oil is calculated from the amount of acid that is required to counteract its basic characteristics. if its presence is associated with potassium and/or boron and/or molybdenum it is a generally an indication of coolant contamination. In small amounts it may be found as an additive. hydraulic fluids and gear oils. reserve alkalinity is included in the formulation to neutralise acids formed by combustion. It reacts with sludge and varnish to neutralize them and keep them soluble. cold running. 2. Values below 0.11 Total Base Number for Engine Oils. Soluble molybdenum additives are added to formulations in some cases also. It cleans carbon deposits from engines and acts as a corrosion inhibitor and dispersant. This is reflected by the Total Base Number (TBN) of an engine oil. This filtration is at 0.8 micron in size.35 % by weight are usually considered acceptable in the normal service interval for a diesel engine. 2. Corrosion inhibitors are added to counter acidic effects on metals. Calcium as calcium petroleum sulphonate is a detergent. anticorrosive and anti-oxidant additive.

PE Clarus Gas Chromatograph POOR Totally unacceptable or no dispersant properties in oil. 2.large particle occurrence which may reflect presence of metal particles due to fatigue fracture or pitting of the metal components.12 Fuel Dilution by Gas Chromatography.medium sized particles causing gouging of metal and resulting in larger than normal particles being generated. the 4% margin can be the difference between engine failure or not. An increase in viscosity at 100oC can lead to deterioration in the lubrication efficiency which can effect correct operation of bearings. Consideration of change-out of the oil at this stage would be recommended depending upon other results of analysis. other parameters of analysis will be adverse. 2. Although indication of fuel dilution can be determined from viscosity values in some instances. as expected. This is due to excessive fuel in the oil which can have the effect of thinning it out to an unacceptable level.4%. while the large chips of iron would be expected to have a large effect. Oil in this state will be considered overdue for change and will also be reflected in adverse test results in other areas. significant and severe wear can be determined and reported as the PQ Index. Since most of the metal fragments referred to in the above wear scenarios are iron in nature. The soot content can be checked as TOTAL SOOT by using a technique known as THERMOGRAVIMETRIC ANALYSIS which is commonly referred to as TGA Soot. Determining the extent of the contamination by fuel by accurate means is essential for the effective monitoring of engine performance. can have a thickening effect of the oil and thereby disguise fuel dilution problems. In instances where the 2 stroke engine of the Detroit type are used. cams/lifters.15 Dispersancy. Normally. Sludging is the combination of mainly moisture and soot or wear debris from the engine. measures the effect of the wear particles on a magnetic field.small wear particles due to typical welding/breaking cycle as outlined in earlier discussions Significant wear . Other methods employed in the past included approximation from flash point values to an accuracy of + or .of defective injectors and this in turn could be evidenced by increasing viscosity and depletion of anti-oxidant and dispersant additive. Dispersancy is simply assessed using the “blotting paper” test and is adjudged as: GOOD Satisfactory dispersant properties in oil. This production of large metal chips can in turn induce enough wear to cause further disintegration and rapid onset of failure. another product of incomplete combustion of the fuel.2% v/v by separating and quantifying the actual fuel content. the effect of the particles on a magnetic field can be used to detect the type of wear. It can adversely affect the engine operation through filter plugging. the particles resulting from the wear process can be of several types. The instrument used in the laboratory for determination of Particle Quality (PQ). have the least effect on a magnetic field. 12 . deposition on moving surfaces and by thickening of the oil to an extent that incorrect lubricant supply will result. Small fragments would. When calibrated on known standards. FAIR Unsatisfactory dispersant properties. 2. Gas Chromatography can precisely determine the fuel dilution in a lubricant to as low as 0. “sooting”. These in turn become the cause of even larger particle generation Severe Wear . An oil change is required. namely: Normal Wear . Dispersant additives are incorporated in engine oil formulations to ensure that minimal accumulation of contaminants that result in sludging will occur.14 PQ Index When wear occurs in equipment. an index or relationship number can be produced and from this the criteria for satisfactory. Fuel dilution in an engine oil can be caused by several factors.

Another method by Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) analysis is unreliable and subject to many interferences from oxidation products in the oil as well as moisture. It stands to reason therefore that monitoring the AO level in an oil (or grease) can provide data that permits accurate determination of how much life the oil still has. The amount of remaining active Anti-oxidant additive compared to the new sample give the % of Remaining Useful Life (%RUL) 2.17 Glycol by gas chromatography method Glycol contamination in an engine due to coolant leakage is a major problem and requires accurate and reproducible assessment.16 RULER measurement of Anti-Oxidant Content Oils. AO’s are sacrificial additives in that they are the first to be consumed in their function of protecting the equipment that is lubricated and more specifically the oil itself. in general have one or more Anti-oxidants (AO) included into their formulation. If the AO levels are being severely depleted in a shorter time frame than expected. One method is by a process called Head Space Gas Chromatographic Analysis. then proactive maintenance to rectify a potential problem can also be reflected in saving by the reduction of unscheduled down-time. This saves money to maintainers by using the oil until it can no longer satisfactorily protect the lubricant (usually when the RULER AO value is less than 30% of the new value) which from past experience may be significantly longer than the recommended service change-out. vapours collected are measured by gas chromatography. with the exception of EP Gear Oils.2. The RULER (Remaining Useful Life Evaluation Routine) uses a small amount of the in-service lubricant reacted with a special solvent based chemical and then compared to a sample of new lubricant of the same type and grade reacted with the same type of special solvent based chemical. A sample of engine oil is heated above the boiling point of glycol (180-200oC) and the 13 .

petroleum. The smaller the Area Of Contact . Under normal vision the ball looks. etc to reduce friction”.1. FRICTION Friction is an accumulation of Forces that tend to prevent motion between surfaces that are designed to move relative to each other. The extent of these frictional forces directly relates to the load placed on the surfaces. Try to slide the top file out from beneath the load. Probably as good. It is difficult to achieve the desired motion. The edges of the grooves are the high spots (asperities) and when mated with corresponding surfaces of the inner and outer races with their asperities due to surface roughness. These include Oils (vegetable. A simple example of the effect of surface roughness on motion is to place two files. similar asperities generated on the surfaces. The metal-to-metal contact would only be on these high spots (called asperities) with the consequent point loading similar to the “files example”. grease.. and feels. A 100X magnifications shows that the surfaces shows “grooves on the surface which look more pronounced at 200X magnification. Point loading leads to a High Coefficient Of Friction. mating gear teeth in a gearbox or the piston of a hydraulic ram. one on top of the other on a bench with a load on top of them. For example. friction can occur leading to heat and wear. or in combination as the application requires They are: LIQUIDS SEMI-SOLIDS SOLIDS The liquid type material is generally employed where it can be easily contained and relatively protected from external contamination. synthetic). viz. ADHESIVE WEAR WELD FRACTURES WELD OCCURS AND GENERATES PARTICLES ADHESIVE WEAR DEBRIS FROM A TRANSMISSION 120X MAGNIFICATION There are three main types of friction-reducing materials and these can be used singularly. hence lowering friction and decreasing the amount of potential. consider the bearings in an internal combustion engine. Lubrication choice is critical to avoid asperities coming into contact with each other. Metal particles can also break off which can then act as an abrasive leading to an accelerated process of “wear”..the process of smearing with oil. the continued application of the force would cause the weld to stretch and break leaving new. or other fluids such as water or solvents in 14 . a definition as you might find from conventional sources. the asperities on the surfaces would generate enough heat to weld. very smooth. surface roughness is a critical factor. this is further increased.SECTION 3 A BASIC EXPLANATION LUBRICATION WORKS Lubrication OF HOW A dictionary definition of lubrication is “. look at the ball bearing surface. It is obvious that the effects of these surface peaks must be reduced. each surface would consist of microscopic high and low spots. X 200 X 100 By adding motion. the greater the effect of the Load per square millimetre On rough surfaces. butWhat is Lubrication? What properties are required in a lubricant? What can affect these properties and how can these effects be monitored to maximise lubricant and equipment usage? 3. In each of these cases. If you take a very close look at even the “smoothest” surfaces that would be encountered in engineering applications.

15 . the asperities effect can be overcome to varying degrees depending on the “size” of the “balls”. The surfaces are constantly “wet” with lubricant. VI improvers are generally very large molecules. it is logical that the softer material will be gouged away by the asperities of the harder material.combination with additives. the molecule can break. With Viscosity Index (VI) improved oils however. It is the main source of lubrication in equipment upon starting from rest.. For simplicity only. the “balls” cannot squeeze into the gap. 3. It follows that VI improved oils may not necessarily be a good option in areas of high shear potential such as gear boxes and transmissions. This results in a thinner oil with all its consequences concerning boundary layer thickness mentioned earlier. which develops pressures sufficient to carry the load and hence permit motion. Microscopic particles of the worn material will be picked up by the lubricant and carried around the system. Grease is the most common semi-solid lubricant and is mainly comprised of oil that has been artificially thickened with soap or clay earth such as bentonite. As the relative motion between the surfaces increases. Even thicker lubricants can maintain a satisfactory surface separation but the “balls” may be too large to maintain constant surface “wetness” during motion. So if one of the two surfaces is harder than the other. is increased due to the “wetted” surfaces dragging more “slippery balls” (molecules) between the surfaces when these commence rotating. particularly rotational motion. usually associated with elevated temperatures. The oil molecules possess great bond strength. Under load and heat. Consider now the semi-solid lubricant case. This is referred to as Boundary or Thin Film lubrication. as the rotation slows down the film diminishes. this is not necessarily the same. HOW IS THE LUBRICANT FORCED BETWEEN THE SURFACES? A lubricant film will adhere to surfaces upon which it comes in contact.2. The oil molecules can be considered as a wedge that continually supplies replacement lubricant to maintain this film thickness. The forcing of the lubricant molecules between the surfaces causes a strain on the molecules which are primarily long chain hydrocarbons. the greater the separation un til a balance is acheived. If the size of the balls can represent the thickness of the lubricant (viscosity). If the lubricant is too thin. the boundary lubrication film is increased as the lubricant is forced between the surfaces. the method of providing a lubricant film can be explained. the balls cannot fully support the load and keep the surfaces apart sufficiently to permit unimpaired motion. A term “Molecular Shearing” should be mentioned at this point. consider all of these liquid lubricants as acting in a similar manner. With a fixed clearance dictated by the applied load to the surfaces. This process Lubrication. The faster the rotation. The same principle applies to meshing gears. is known as Hydrodynamic 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000 The fluid film. A liquid can be considered as consisting of “slippery balls” that are able to slip and slide over each other but are nevertheless “stuck” together. A situation will be arrived at which the maximum film thickness is achieved. If the strain applied is great enough. With normal paraffin oils the Shear Stability is good. They may be considered as being “coiled up” in the rest position. Conversely. considerably larger than oil molecules. In this case the asperities can and will make contact and wear occurs. Better surface separation can be achieved with a thicker lubricant made of bigger “balls” that are still small enough to slide over each other while still being in contact with the surfaces at all times. the molecule uncoils and stretches initially leaving it weakened and further loading can cause the molecule to “shear” into smaller coiled up molecules. Greases are generally employed By forcing the “balls” between the surfaces which are to move relative to each other.

Fuel and carbon particles from incomplete combustion. Hydraulic and transmission oils do not have such a problem of massive assault by possible external contaminants. Consider again the “file” example. If lubrication was only concerned with reducing friction by selection of correct lubricant viscosity and VI. A small amount of soot (or Pentane Insolubles) will not have any undue effect on the oil viscosity but as this level increases the viscosity and VI can be rapidly changed. This will also affect VI. The “ball” analogy previously described for liquid lubricants is also applicable to semi-solid lubricants. An oil with the least amount of variation of viscosity with temperature has the highest VI while conversely the greater the variation the lower the VI. Mention should also be made of the introduction between the rough surfaces of plastic type materials such as “Teflon” that have applications in some instances. a certain proportion will find its way past the rings and into the crankcase and monitoring this may enable appropriate early warning of severe damage to be made. The variation of the viscosity of a lubricant with temperature is called its Viscosity Index (VI). The deck can support a considerable top load. While the majority of these contaminants generated by fuel combustion are exhausted through normal operation. Coolant leakage through leaking or cracked gaskets. but some of the above are most 16 . Moisture contamination can also affect the viscosity values to an unpredictable extent in some severe cases. Sulphur and nitrogen oxides from combustion of fuel. It should be noted that the effect of soot is more pronounced at higher temperatures than at low.where problems associated with containment of a liquid lubricant are encountered. The solid lubricant method of friction reduction entails “filling-in” the surface imperfections with a material that has a good load bearing capability but can easily shear when motion is commenced. VI of around 100 is indicative of a paraffin base which is oxidation resistive. While the viscosity of the lubricant at one temperature may be satisfactory to maintain the desired clearances. the VI is an important parameter. recommendations of lubricant Viscosity (the term used for lubricant thickness) should be adhered to rigidly. Some of these factors include: Dust particles that by-pass seals & air filters. or they can be and are successfully incorporated into formulated liquid lubricants that combine the attributes of both solid film and liquid lubrication. including those that incorporate the advantages of solid lubricants. Lower VI’s can be tolerated where the operating environment is not subjected to the same amount of temperature variation or possibility of external contamination such as in a gear-box or hydraulic system. Solid contamination such as soot will be encountered in most engine operations. Typical examples of such solid lubricants are Molybdenum Disulphide. Water formed by fuel combustion and condensation. and Graphite. the greater the effect on viscosity. Varnishes and gums formed in fuel combustion. in the service life of the lubricant other factors are involved which cause varied oil degradation. Coatings such as these can be applied by bonding processes for completely dry lubrication applications. Wear metals due to aspirate abrasion. the problem would be relatively clear cut. Both of these materials have structural characteristics that can be portrayed as a deck of playing cards. Extensive research has been carried out in liquid lubricants. The main thrust of such research has been in establishing the correct lubricant thickness under varying environmental conditions. However. it is the lubricant’s ability to maintain these clearances at higher temperatures that determines the lubricant’s suitability. for the stability factor among others. paraffin base oils are preferred for these applications. while motion can still be achieved due to the low shear strength of the material. Molybdenum Disulphide has a load carrying capability greater than 5 times that of steel and yet has a very low shear strength that permits motion by layers of the Molybdenum Disulphide sliding over each other while supporting the load. Burnt lubricating oils scraped from the cylinder wall linings. The greater the fuel dilution level. heads or liners. Open gear lubrication can also incorporate “tackifiers” to make the lubricant adhere to the gear teeth during their operation. Fuel Dilution in engine lubricants can severely affect viscosity measurements and hence will also affect VI. Accordingly. Organic acid formation by oxidation of oil during operation. In instances where wide temperature ranges can be experienced such as internal combustion engines. However. Place two plastic sheets between the files and relative motion of the files is considerably easier to achieve. Trapped air due to agitation.

additives are incorporated in the oil formulations. by virtue of the lower fuel sulphur.1 micron. It is also a cause of corrosion in the compartments. The effect of sulphur oxides from combustion entering the crankcase area is. some detergent/dispersant may be initially. In engine oils. Contaminants. Cotton is also used in by-pass filters with filtration rates of 25 microns being generally quoted. FUEL SULPHUR EFFECT ON ENGINE OILS Mention should also be made of the effect that the sulphur content makes on the TBN of the oil. . temporarily held back due to its adherence to the particle. therefore.6 Corrosion inhibitors are added to counter acidic effects on metals. 3. the lubricant’s reserve alkalinity is considered to be reduced to an unacceptable level requiring that the oil be changed.4 Anti-wear additives chemically treat the metal surfaces and make them “slippery”.3. leaving the particle 17 . A better gauge of how long the oil should remain in service is by monitoring of the AO level in the oil by RULER. cold temperatures can be experienced that could freeze lubricants.3 Anti-foaming additives prevent bubble persistence that may cause lack of lubricant to critical locations. When a filter medium stops particles of a size greater than its rated size. Even polymers employed as viscosity index improvers and tackifiers will pass through the filters as they are dissolved in the oil base.3. that is they cannot remove the additives from the oil formulations. Sulphur is becoming less prevalent in engine fuels due to the environmental concerns of the exhaust emissions from diesel fuelled engines. When the TBN has dropped to 50% of its original value. Accurate monitoring of these contaminants is the key to planning maintenance effectively. particularly when moisture is present. reserve alkalinity is included in the formulation to neutralise acids formed by combustion. will rarely be met in modern diesel engines. transmissions and drives.3. This is reflected by the Total Base Number (TBN) of an engine oil.3. A good rule of thumb to use when considering filtration is: “If It Can Be Removed By Filtration It Shouldn’t Be There”.2 Anti-Oxidant (AO) additives are widely used in oil formulations to provide chemical protection to oil wetted surfaces as well as providing protection to the base oil of the lubricant to permit it to continue its major function of carrying the additives to the areas that need them and maintaining the fluid film gap between the moving surfaces. There are many types of filters on the market and most employ cellulose or paper elements as the filtering medium. FILTERS Removal of contaminants is necessary to extend the service life of lubricants. Some of these mediums claim filtration to 0. including most after-market additives can “Unbalance” the lubricant and can result in less than optimum performance in its duty.4.5 Pour Point Depressants In some instances. ADDITIVES To counteract the majority of ill-effects that contaminants cause. 3.0050%) and a sulphur level of 10 ppm or 0. A detergent/dispersant additive in an engine lubricant formulation works Physical Attraction to contaminants such as particulate matter and water. 3. Dust ingress through breathers and poor seals is also damaging due to its abrasiveness. consequently an additive is incorporated that enables the oil to pour at low temperatures.pertinent. All filters will reduce the solid matter contamination to the appropriate micron size without detriment to the properties of the lubricant. External “kidney-loop” filtration has become a viable means of maintaining a clean compartment and extending the life of the equipment lubricated as well as the lubricant itself. This 50% reduction. This is achieved by filtration. The sulphur removal by legislation at the refinery has effectively reduced the sulphur level to 50 parts per million (ppm) (0.3. The discrete particles of water can vaporise due to operating temperatures induced by fluid film and metal to metal friction and force lubricant away from the surfaces requiring lubrication. Moisture by condensation caused by systems “breathing” moist air on cooling is a major problem in hydraulics. the modern lubricant has been designed and formulated to meet the harsh environment of modern equipment. In short. 3.7 Oxidation inhibitors are also necessary to prevent deterioration of the lubricant due to the action of moisture.3. air and temperature on it. 3. for 2009. greatly reduced and as such the conventional diesel oil TBN value of up to 8 is quite suitable in providing the required protection in a correctly operating engine.3. 3. 3.0010% has been mandated. However. this adhesion may be broken by the oil flow through the filter.3. 3. 3.1 Detergent additives clean deposits from inside engines while the dispersant additive keeps what is cleaned separated to avoid “sludging”.

However. a filter rated at 5 microns or less is required to protect the 5-10 micron fluid film thickness normally encountered in the lubricated region. Acidity Values EXTENT OF WEAR METAL PRODUCTION e.g. Actual trends developed from several (at least three) analyses on the same equipment compartment will establish criteria for “Normalcy” of that specific compartment. the oil has a finite cost. Iron. With modern engine lubricants.g. Continued usage at levels greater than 10 could result in premature wear in the respective areas. Ideally. viscosity and viscosity index CHEMICAL properties of the lubricant e. Trends established for “normal” operation are a useful guide in interpretation of results. The individual analysis of a lubricated compartment will provide a significant amount of information concerning the operation of the lubricant and more importantly. Of more importance is to analyse the lubricant to check the: PHYSICAL properties of the lubricant e.entrapped in the medium. Lead. drive and Transmission oils is also utilised. the condition of the equipment lubricated. both to purchase as well as dispose of. accurate timing. and to obtain full value.g. Trends will appear that will typify individual items of equipment. Although the lubricant is still considered the cheapest replaceable item in large plant and equipment. the life of filters and lubricants should also be monitored for effective control of maintenance in these compartments. the cleaner the system the better but achievement of the levels expected of hydraulic systems and transmissions is difficult.5. ISO (International Standards Organisation) codes have also followed suit. The detergent is then free to continue its function. HOW DO WE KNOW THAT THE LUBRICANT IS PERFORMING AS REQUIRED? To analyse a lubricant for all the additives it contains is not an easy task even in the unused state. For this important reason. Aluminium.g. Water content. 3. The additive in the oil formulation that provides this protection is the ANTI-OXIDANT which can be measured using RULER. Protection of a system from premature wear can be attained by filtering out particles of as small a size as possible and should be exercised where appropriate. Copper. Chromium. The work of the NASA programmes for fluids used in aircraft applications has provided the general lubricant market with a Cleanliness Rating Level which can allow decisions to be made about oil cleanliness and filter effectiveness. top-up quantities. As filtration of Hydraulic. Greater than level 10 could indicate that the filters are blocked and should be replaced. Tin etc. If conducted on a regular basis. drives and Transmission systems that incorporate forced lubrication and filtration. TBN or TAN value. this fineness of filtration may cause oil flow problems and these filters are generally placed in a by-pass mode with the normally rated 25 micron filter left in full flow. the oil should be changed out only when it can no longer effectively protect the oil and the moving surfaces. Society of Aerospace Engineers Aerospace Standard (SAE AS) 4059 particle size analysis levels up to 10 are generally acceptable for normal operation in most applications of Hydraulic and Transmission Fluid. 18 . the filters will halt only particles of size greater than its micron rating due to the strong concentration of dispersancy resulting in good adherence to particulate matter. lube type and operating location information is essential in providing you with an effective service. AO levels (%RUL) to ensure proper levels of protection are maintained LEVEL OF CONTAMINATION of the lubricant e. Condition Monitoring Programmes should include Particle Size Distribution analysis for Hydraulic. For drive applications. Ideally. Dirt content.

1. The Total Dissolved Solids content is determined by evaporation of filtered coolant and weighing the residue. other introduced corrosive agents or depleted anti-oxidant and corrosion inhibitors. There can come a time where the coolant is saturated and deposits start occurring in the system. OTHER TESTING REQUIREMENTS 4. Coolant A significant proportion of engine failures are attributed to the cooling system and therefore it is prudent to analysis the coolant from the cooling system. cooled and analysis of this coolant should also be considered by the maintenance planners. 4. Coolants are tested for Glycol Content – A measure of the glycol content in the coolant to ensure the anti-freeze capability is intact. in some cases. pH Value – A measure of the acidity of the coolant which typically should be between 8 and 11. Values greater than 3% dissolved solids can cause problems. Total Dissolved Solids – Salts and corrosion products are dissolved in the coolant and will increase during the service life of the coolant. Other ions that are monitored on a regular basis are the additives in the coolant such as nitrate. 19 . iron from crankcase and cylinder liners and aluminium from some engine heads should be monitored regularly to ensure mo abnormal levels of corrosion is occurring which may be due to low pH values. Of particular interest are the Calcium and magnesium contents as these contribute to scale formation and are present in the water content of the coolant.RULER. Additionally. Other compartments are. lead from water pump bearings. from radiator cores. Metals – Coolants are checked to determine the metal content by ICP-OES as for oils. Corrosion elements such as copper. This is analysed using Refractive Index and is generally in the range of 25 and 55%. IONS – Chloride ions from water and sulphate ions from depleted sulphite antioxidants and calcium ions from water hardness can combine to form scale in conjunction with other metals. nitrite borate. Caution levels of contamination ion levels are Chlorides Sulphate Calcium 100 ppm 50 ppm 5 ppm Chlorides can cause corrosive products while calcium and sulphate form insoluble salts that are the pre-cursor to scale formation. pitting corrosion can happen under this scale or hardened deposit which can rapidly cause holes in liners. This can lead to localised hot spots as the hardened sludge is a poor conductor of heat. These contamination ions are determined using an Ion Chromatograph which identifies the type and quantity of each of the ions using electrochemical procedures against standards. silicate and molybdate salts of sodium and potassium that protect the system from oxidation and corrosion.

Checking the fuel for water content is essential for assessing fuel quality and the value typically should be no more than 200 mg/l (ppm) for efficient engine running.The bacterial and fungal infestations mentioned above should be checked frequently to determine whether or not the fuel requires treatment with a biocide. Water. There should be no fungal growth results for satisfactory condition and only slight amount of bacteria permitted (usually airborne and not resident in the fuel as such). burn progressively to deliver the power over the ignition component of the fuel cycle.5 oC the product would have to be classified as dangerous goods.ION CHROMATOGRAPH FOR COOLANT ANALYSIS 4. Having shaken the fuel sample it is then visually observed for signs of solid contamination and free water. Flash Point – The flash point of diesel fuel is specified with a minimum of 61. Distillation – Diesel fuel is a mixture of aromatic. Ignition delay is the time period elapsed from injection of the fuel to the start of ignition. This does not necessarily mean that the fuel is unusable.5oC but is typically in the range of 70 oC to 80 oC. Density – The density of the fuel is specified to be between 0. Cetane Index – An indicator of fuel ignition delay is the Cetane Index. While the vast majority of solids would be captured by filtration. Retained Solids – Solid contamination can be present in fuel system in the form. the presence of solid matter of any more than 100 mg/l (ppm) may be detrimental and if present should be filtered out using external filtration. the water fuel interface can promote growth of bacteria and fungus which again can cause rapid fuel blockage and in some cases corrosion in the fuel system itself. after ignition. the shorter the ignition delay. The higher the Cetane Index.82 and 0. of scale from storage tanks or dust ingested through breathers. Any haziness indicates some contamination which is then quantified in further testing.2. Diesel Fuel Tests Appearance – The appearance of the diesel fuel will give an immediate indication of the cleanliness of the fuel. and if it less than 61. Accordingly. Contaminants such as solvents. a good quality check on fuels is to perform the distillation of the fuel to verify its composition. olefin and paraffin hydrocarbons that are designed to. in sufficient quantity can block fuel filters and starve the engine of fuel. If allowed to reside in bulk tanks. Microbiological Activity . but does require characteristic testing to determine its suitability or otherwise for use in diesel engines. The progressive burn evens out the combustion process and does not put too great a stress on the engine components compared to an instantaneous combustion of all the fuel. If higher than 80 oC the fuel may be harder to ignite.0. Water . Colour – Diesel fuel has a specified colour according the colour standards at the laboratory.Water affects lubricity in injector pumps and injectors if it can get by the fuel filter.85 Kg/litre which is deemed to be the range within which the fuel power is optimised when aligned with the Clean Air Act for particulates and noxious gaseous emissions. 50& recovered and 90% recovered during the distillation test. kerosene etc will show up as abnormalities in diesel fuel distillation testing. particularly marine applications. Cetane Index is calculated from density measurement and the recovery temperatures at 10% recovered. Conversely the lower the Cetane Index the longer the ignition delay which can lead to 20 .0 or less when new but as it ages the colour can darken to greater than 3. Diesel fuel typically has a colour of 1.

Sample just prior to draining the oil. The presence in the fuel of up to 20% biodiesel is being recommended in some circles.3. Drives and Planetries: Final SECTION 5 – LUBRICANT REQUIREMENTS 5.1.1 Engine lubricant must: 1. Biodiesel will burn effectively.1 When to sample? Unless specific information on sampling intervals is supplied in your operating manual or other brochures. 4. 3. 5. whichever is provided. In many instances it can permit avoidance of a catastrophic failure by attending to a less major problem. Drive or Hydraulic lubricant must: Provide correct lubrication film thickness throughout the temperature ranges encountered to lubricate and remove heat from the sites of potential wear. the introduction of biodiesel into diesel fuel is underway. Differentials.2. Cloud Point – Diesel fuel will freeze into a gel-like substance if the temperature falls too low. Biodiesel Content – With the push to utilise renewable fuels. 5. the intervals may be extended to every 500 hours. Provide a slippery coating of anti-wear material on moving surfaces. Be free from external contamination. If the results indicate no abnormalities after 1000 hours of equipment usage. 5.2. 5. 5.2 Where to sample? Always draw the sample from the same point in the compartment.1.1 Engines: Consult the operator’s manual for recommended oil change intervals (usually every 250 hours). use the following guide to determine sampling intervals. Rapidly eliminate the possibility of air entrapment caused by agitation or in some cases cavitation. Differentials. Provide a slippery coating of anti-wear material on moving surfaces. Counteract corrosive materials in the oil.3. Be sampled in the same manner every time. A precursor to this gellification is called the Cloud Point which is the temperature at which the fuel commences to go hazy due to the formation of the crystalline structure of some fuel components which start to fall out of solution imparting a “cloudiness” to the fuel.2 Transmissions. 6. 5. 7.2 Transmissions. 5. To achieve consistent and meaningful data. Final Drives and Hydraulics: Initially sample at 250 hour intervals and just prior to an oil change as indicated by the operator’s manual. 5.1 Engines: Draw sample from dipstick retaining tube. however. By constant monitoring of the “life blood” of the compartment. Provide correct lubrication film thickness throughout the temperature ranges encountered to lubricate and remove heat from the sites of potential wear.3.3. Rapidly eliminate the possibility of air entrapment caused by agitation or in some cases cavitation.3. It is important to monitor this characteristic if there is a possibility of encountering low temperatures. Remain fluid at normal cold start conditions. 5. 5. Remain fluid at normal cold start conditions. Disperse these contaminants.3. It has been established that 5% biodiesel will not affect the diesel fuel and should meet all the diesel fuel specifications.3. Counteract corrosive materials in the oil.3 SAMPLING OF LUBRICANTS Sampling method is one of the most important factors contributing to effective scheduled oil analysis. 2. Be taken at normal operating temperature.3 Hydraulics: 21 .2 Transmission.2. there is currently no specification that covers this type of fuel (called Diesel B20).rough running of the engine and increase the likelihood of sludge formation due to presence of unburnt or partially burnt fuel. adverse changes can be detected early. Draw sample through oil level point or dipstick retaining tube. samples must: Be taken at regular intervals. Clean engine surfaces to prevent build-up of contaminants.

The “normalised” data is then compared with the standard deviations to determine the status of the oil. that tells you.Now.. Iron. When the examples are spread apart and the bell curve is relatively flat.3.The results of each oil analysis are weighted proportionately to fit into the specified category to achieve a “normalised” set of data as shown in the table. Like most data. you have a relatively large standard deviation. in other words.We are looking at the data set for an Excavator Pump drive and the information we are doing the study is on Iron (Fe). Oilcheck uses 200 hours or 10.. the number of EX1800 pump drives that generate x amount of Iron.000 Kilometres as a standard on engines and 500 hours or 25.3 What Technique? is an Effective Sampling Ensure all compartments to be sampled are at normal operating temperature. Copper or even viscosity of the oils.. the standard deviation is small.1 Normalisation Establishing Testing BenchmarksIntervals need to be specified to compare “apples with apples” across the useful life of the equipment. the outcome from the results will turn out being normally distributed. Sometimes the mean will lean a little bit to one side or the other. Oil must be well circulated when sampled (within 15 minutes of shutdown) To avoid external contamination. Some will have relatively flat curves others will be steep.The standard deviation is a statistic that tells you how tightly all the various examples are clustered around the mean in a set of data. Hrs on oil 235 216 182 Results (raw) for IRON 91 ppm 82 ppm 93 ppm Formulae for normalisation (91 ppm x 200 hrs) 235 hrs (82 ppm x 200 hrs) 216 hrs (93 ppm x 200 hrs) 182 hrs Normalised result for IRON 77 ppm 75 ppm 102 ppm The corresponding graph compares “raw” and “normalised” data.2. To assist in this we use the term 22 . Standard Deviation The standard deviation is kind of the "mean of the mean. When the examples are tightly bunched together and the bell-shaped curve is steep.A normal distribution of data means that most of the examples in a set of data are close to the "average or mean" while relatively few results head to the outer extremes. However. Section 6 . And the y-axis (the vertical one) is the number of data points for each value on the x-axis.Draw sample from the ‘oil fill’ port of the system reservoir. That means that the Iron analysis will be close to the “mean” while less Iron results will be lower or higher than the “mean”." and often can help you find the story behind the data. for example. If you can imagine the centre of this target being the mean then all the shots taken around the centre are spread out in proportional groups 68% ended up in the middle 27% just out of centre and 1%on the extreme. not all sets of data will have graphs that look this perfect.. ensuring the sample is taken from the mid-level of the reservoir.Interpretation Tools 6. Complete the sample description sheet prior to drawing the sample. clean all lubricant access areas prior to sampling. (Use the guide) normal distribution of data. all normally distributed data will have something like this same "bell curve" shape. 5.000 Kilometres on all other compartments. The x-axis (the horizontal one) is the value in question. 6. We need to look at the typical data that we have extracted from the Oil Analysis.

.4 15.4 4. 4.5 6.9 56.2 3.The recommendations such as 1xSD.9 68% 27% One standard deviation away from the mean in either direction on the horizontal axis (the red area on the graph) accounts for somewhere around 68 percent of Iron results in this group. If the results are between 1 and 2 Standard Deviations. 2xSD.8 15.7 26 7.2 19.2 110. the outcome is analysed as being “Satisfactory”.7 9. If the oil has a value exceeding 2 but less than 3 Standard Deviations it is assessed as “Elevated”.1 83. green and blue areas) account for about 99 percent Iron results.If this curve were flatter and more spread out.7 29.4 10.9 and 387.2 6. 3.2 0.2 4.3 1.5 2 SD 387. having an Iron result less than 273.5 13.3 66. If the results are less than 1 Standard Deviation.8 32.1 52.5 SD 217. For example. 3xSD 4xSD are valid in some instances. 4% 23 .3 7.6 2.3 10. So that's why the Standard Deviation can tell you how spread out the results are in a set from the meanThe computer will calculate the mean and three levels of Standard Deviation as shown in the table.Element IRON CHROMIUM LEAD COPPER ALUMINIUM SILICON SODIUM Mean 160. Two standard deviations away from the mean (the red and green areas) account for roughly 95 percent of Iron results. look at the following: 1.9.7 5. the Standard Deviation would have to be larger in order to account for those 68 percent or so Iron results.2 5. 2. The analysis results are compared with the Standard Deviation benchmarks to determine the condition of the oil.9 39.7 8.3 42.1 3.9 3.2. For example.7 3 SD 500.6 19.4 11. A value greater than 3 Standard Deviations is assessed as “High”. having an Iron score between 273.2 27. Three Standard Deviations (the red.2 St dev 113. yet in others a tighter or looser spread of SD may be selected.2 13.1 4.4 1 SD 273. with values greater than 4 Standard deviations (not shown) would be approaching Critical stage. the result is assessed as being “Slightly Elevated”. For simplicity here.

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