What is oil analysis?

Oil analysis is a well-proven technique for monitoring difficult-to-access components in equipment that is being operated dynamically.  Its strength lies in its ability to identify faults and potential failures at an early stage.

Oil analysis is performed during routine predictive maintenance to provide meaningful and accurate information on lubricant and machine condition. By tracking oil analysis sample results over the life of a particular machine, trends can be established which can help eliminate costly repairs.

Oil sampling is a procedure for collecting a volume of fluid from lubricated or hydraulic machinery for the purpose of oil analysis. Much like collecting forensic evidence at a crime scene, when collecting an oil sample, it is important to ensure that procedures are used to minimise disturbance of the sample during and after the sampling process. Oil samples are typically drawn into a small, clean bottle which is sealed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.

The purpose of oil analysis is to:

  • Provide scientific reasoning for extending oil change intervals
  • Help schedule maintenance
  • Reduce downtime
  • Change oil on condition rather than time

How often should I perform oil analysis?

Unless Original equipment manufacturer defines frequencies, sampling frequency should be determined by:

  • Criticality of machine
  • Rate of failure
  • Availability of replacement
  • Stability of lubricants
  • Budget

What does a standard analysis include?

Analytical output from the laboratory can be tailored to your exact requirements. A typical suite of reports would include:

  • Particle counts to ISO standards
  • Full spectrographic analysis of wear metals, oil additives and contaminants
  • Total ferrous debris, including large particles
  • Viscosity
  • Infrared analysis of engine samples to monitor condition and degradation
  • Water Analysis
  • Fuel contamination
  • Sample examination under a microscope
  • Ferrography & Wear Debris Analysis are carried out when necessary
  • TAN & TBN are also available to ASTM D664-11a, D974-14E02 & D4739-2011