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Components assigned to Oil Analysis

Oil Analysis is based on Component Criticality

Compressors

Compressors come in all shapes, sizes and applications. Some are critical to operations, and some are easily replaced. Manufacturing lines, refrigeration and gas compression all rely on compressor uptime, making compressor reliability critical to entire operations.


Lubrication in compressors must have strong resistance to oxidation due to high discharge temperatures and the continuous presence of heated air. The biggest concern is airborne contamination from manufacturing processes, dirt and water, which usually affects viscosity and causes oxidation. Compressors used in refrigeration also face reduced viscosity problem due to gas entrainment.


Regular oil analysis will identify contamination and abnormal wear, reducing maintenance costs and extending the life of the equipment.

Compressors

Compressors

Engines

Oil analysis can identify the four biggest engine killers before it’s too late. Whether you are in the power generation, off-highway, mining or transportation industries, routine testing can tell you what’s happening inside your equipment. 

 

  • Fuel Dilution is the amount of raw, unburned fuel that ends up in the crankcase. It lowers viscosity creating friction-related wear almost immediately.  Dilution levels above 10% could cause a crankcase explosion.
  • Soot is a sign of reduced combustion efficiency and is caused by over-fueling, air restrictions, blow-by, excessive engine brake use and/or excessive exhaust back pressure. Some engine designs are known for creating and retaining soot, but high soot levels still affect the engine and should be reduced as much as possible.
  • Coolant usually enters an engine through a broken head gaskets, EGR components, cracked cylinder heads, cracked block, faulty water pump or lube cooler and can cause wear in bearings, bushings, pistons, liners, cams and valves.
  • Dirt is detected by the presence of silicon and aluminum. It causes wear most rapidly in components made of iron, lead, copper and tin, such as pistons, bearings and liners.


Regular oil analysis will identify contamination and abnormal wear, allowing maintenance staff to:


  • extend oil drains safely,
  • reduce maintenance costs and
  • increase the life of the equipment.

Engines

Engines

Gear Systems

Industrial gearboxes are usually located in cleaner environments than mobile equipment. While mining, off-highway and transportation equipment is more susceptible to water and dirt contamination, vibration due to misalignment and fluid properties is a more common cause of abnormal equipment wear in industrial settings.


Water and abrasives in the environment typically enter gear systems through malfunctioning seals and breathers and poor maintenance practices. Abrasive particles cause cutting wear between sliding surfaces. Water entrained in oil can cause erosion, corrosion, cavitation and hydrogen embrittlement. Left unchecked, water can saturate the lubrication and become free water, accelerating the damage.


Fluid properties break down over time, under stress and under high temperatures. Oil analysis can ensure the lubricant’s viscosity and additives are appropriate for the equipment’s speed and load, preventing excessive wear occurs.


When contamination and lubricant properties are sufficient, wear may be a sign of equipment vibration caused by misalignment. Oil analysis can supplement regular vibration monitoring programs.


Testing gear lubrication regularly will identify when the fluid needs to be filtered or changed. If problems are caught early, fluid analysis will reduce maintenance costs, extend lubricant life and increase equipment life expectancy.

Gear systems

Gear Systems

Hydraulics

Hydraulic systems operate under extremely close tolerances and high pressure, making them susceptible to small amounts of contamination. Keeping the environment clean in industrial settings can reduce the risk of contamination, but off-highway and mining equipment expose their hydraulic systems to large amounts of dust and water.  


Regardless of the hydraulic system’s application, parts of the equipment are constantly exposed to environment. Malfunctioning seals allow abrasives, water and air into the system, causing irregular operations and shorter equipment life.


Testing hydraulic fluid will determine if the fluid is capable of maintaining normal operations. Oxidation stability is required to prevent sludge from forming, and sufficient water separability and air release properties will resist foaming. Hydraulic fluid analysis can also confirm the fluid’s viscosity and anti-wear properties.

Hydraulics

Hydraulics

Transmissions

Mobile power transmissions, including differentials, final drives and planetaries are susceptible to dirt and water contamination due to their location on equipment, especially in the off-highway and mining conditions. Plus, the hydraulic qualities of automatic transmissions make them even more sensitive to dirt and water.


Dirt particles slide between the sets of gears and wear the metal. The end result is larger particles in the lubrication, which accelerates wear further. Water contamination entrained in oil can cause erosion, corrosion, cavitation and hydrogen embrittlement. Left unchecked, water can saturate the lubrication and become free water, accelerating the damage.


Testing can identify low levels of water and dirt, providing time to change the fluid and fix the contamination source before wear occurs.

Gear systems

Transmissions

Turbines

Hydraulic systems operate under extremely close tolerances and high pressure, making them susceptible to small amounts of contamination. Keeping the environment clean in industrial settings can reduce the risk of contamination, but off-highway and mining equipment expose their hydraulic systems to large amounts of dust and water.  


Regardless of the hydraulic system’s application, parts of the equipment are constantly exposed to environment. Malfunctioning seals allow abrasives, water and air into the system, causing irregular operations and shorter equipment life.


Testing hydraulic fluid will determine if the fluid is capable of maintaining normal operations. Oxidation stability is required to prevent sludge from forming, and sufficient water separability and air release properties will resist foaming. Hydraulic fluid analysis can also confirm the fluid’s viscosity and anti-wear properties.

Turbines

Turbines

What should be tested?

Examples of various component types

What Testing