Performing used oil analysis is a great tool to examine the effectiveness of your oil and the condition of your equipment components. It is used to extend equipment life and evaluate lubricants and filters. In this article we explain the most important factors.
Contamination can indicate many problems. The lubricant should be clear and clean. Color normally ranges from light amber to extremely dark amber-brown, however it is not a reliable indicator of oil condition. Changes to other colors (e.g. green or red) usually indicate contamination. Cloudiness may indicate high levels of water.
Wear materials, such as iron, aluminum, and copper could be detected and sudden increases can indicate an incipient wear problem. The presence of silicon indicates dirty oil, frequently caused by a bad intake air filter. This will also lead to rapid wear. Check out our guide to find out what problems could be related to wear materials.
Water and its source can range from atmospheric condensation to internal coolant leaks in liquid cooled systems. Excessive water, together with oil and heat, can accelerate the formation of acids.
The kinematic viscosity normally increases slowly with use. An increase of more than 25% usually indicates that the oil should be replaced. If the increase is sudden, a mechanical problem may be present in the compressor, or the oil may have been contaminated.
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Find out how to perform oil analysis: Oil Analysis Procedure and Guidelines
Contact us or your local Anderol distributor to find out more about establishing a regular oil analysis programme.