Oil Analysis Blog-

Results for tag "particle-count-oil-testing"

Quantifying the Amount of Water: Karl Fischer Water Test

KarrieWilliams

If a crackle test is positive, further testing is needed in the form of the Karl Fischer Water Test. The Karl Fischer coulometric moisture test is a series of chemical reactions discovered in 1935 by the German chemist Karl Fischer. This method analyzes water in the microgram or partper-million range. This test is very accurate, to .001 percent. Water determination by Karl Fischer is defined in ASTM D 6304.

For this test, a sample of oil is introduced into a titration vessel in known mass or volume. Any water present in the sample will react with iodine in the titration vessel.  Theamount of iodine required to react with the water and the known mass or volume of the sample are used to calculate the amount of water present in the sample.  Results can be clearly expressed in percent or parts per million.

An electric current passes through a generator containing a Karl Fischer solution.  Iodine is produced at the anode that consumes the water in the introduced sample. When an excess of iodine is detected, the analysis is complete. In choosing this method, make sure that test specimens are compatible with the chosen reagent and that no side reactions occur.  This method is typically used to analyze hydrocarbons, alcohols, and ethers.  Note: Analysis of ketones must employ a Karl Fischer solution that is specifically formulated for ketone analysis.

Low levels of water (less than 2 percent) are typically the result of condensation. Higher levels can indicate a source of water ingress.  Water can enter a system through seals, breathers, hatches, and fill caps.  Internal leaks from heat exchangers and water jackets are other potential sources.

When free water is present in oil, it poses a serious threat to the equipment. Water is a very poor lubricant and promotes rust and corrosion to the components.  Dissolved water in an oil promotes oil oxidation and reduces the load handling ability of the oil. Water contamination can also cause the oil’s additive package to precipitate.  Water in any form causes accelerated wear, increased friction, and high operating temperatures. If left unchecked, water can lead to premature component failure. In most systems, water should not exceed 500 ppm.

 

Watch a short video about how the Karl Fischer Test is performed.

EHC Fluid Basics & Testing Requirement Webinar

KarrieWilliams
EHC Webinar Series Part I
EHC Fluid Basics & Testing Requirement
In this webinar our presenters shared some basic knowledge of EHC system fluid and the potential problems that can arise due to poor maintenance and lack of vigilance.  They discussed fire-resistant fluids, phosphate ester pros & cons, compatibility, best practice oil sampling, testing requirements, condition monitoring, max. & min. limits, and report interpretation.
If you missed this webinar you still have a chance to view the recorded version.  Simply use the link provided below.
Fuze Meeting link:
This link will expire on:  Tue, 12 Aug 2014

Keeping An Eye On Additives

KarrieWilliams

Monitoring the additive levels provides information to ensure that the proper lubricant is being used for the application and for topping off.  Generally, four types of lubricants are used inmost industrial applications, and each has different additive levels.  Note that an oil’s level of additives measured by spectroscopy isn’t necessarily an indication of the oil’s quality, because the pressure of the element doesn’t indicate the functionalityof the additive.

✓ Engine oils: They typically contain antiwear additivescomposed of zinc and phosphorus. Expect to see theseelements present in about 1,000 ppm (plus or minus 200ppm). A detergent package should also be present, composedof some configuration of barium, magnesium, andcalcium. These levels vary depending on the oil, but areusually above 1,000 ppm.

✓ Extreme pressure (EP) oils:  EP oils are typically for gear applications. You commonly see significant amounts of phosphorus.

✓ Anti-wear (AW) oils: AW oils include many bearing oils, some gear oils, and hydraulic fluids. These oils contain both zinc and phosphorus from 200 to 600 ppm. They may also have low levels of detergent (magnesium or calcium)present.

✓ Rust and oxidation inhibiting (R&O) oils: R&O oils are the easiest to identify. They include turbine oils, compressor oils, and some bearing and hydraulic oils. These oils have no additives that spectroscopy can measure, so they should have extremely low numbers for all additive metals.

Seeing low levels (less than 20 ppm) of some additives metals where they aren’t expected is uncommon. These amounts are usually the result of residual contamination in the equipment or storage tanks. Some oils don’t fit into these descriptions. Many oils are formulated for specific applications, and alternative additives must be used; for example, oils formulated for some stationary and EMD engines.  In many cases, operating conditions or emission concerns call for a less traditional additive package.

Varnish Sample Volume Size Increase

KarrieWilliams

TESTOIL is committed to continually improving the methodologies and technologies used in our laboratory. With that said, we have upgraded our Varnish Potential Analysis adding some additional testing and upgrading our reports. In order to process the samples with the new reporting features we now require 16oz of oil compared to the previously required 8oz.

Click on image to view
new Varnish report

One significant change to our test process is related to reporting particle counts by two different methods. When there is a significant difference between the two methods (pore blockage/laser), this suggests the presence of soft contaminants. This additional test gives us another means of detecting the presence of soft insoluble products present in the sample.

 

As a result of the additional testing processes we have also made improvements to our reports which will now feature additional test descriptions and images for review.

 

If you have any questions please contact:

Heather Streza

hstreza@testoil.com

216.251.2510

Understand Elemental Spectroscopy

KarrieWilliams

A wealth of information is available on your oil analysis report about wear behavior, contaminants entering the system, and the service needed.

As you read your oil analysis report, ask yourself what allthe data means. Ask yourself other questions like: Where is contaminant debris coming from in this unit? What am I looking for that will help me see what is happening inside my machine? Am I looking at elemental levels that are from the additives, particles being picked up as the oil circulates, or from external contaminant ingression?

These elements — iron, chromium, aluminum, copper, lead, tin, nickel, antimony, silver, titanium, and manganese — commonly indicate component wear.  On your oil analysis report, some elements are singled out such as copper or iron and given special attention. Elements found in your oil sample are measured in parts permillion (ppm), a very small amount. A single ppm is equivalent to 0.0001 percent.  To put that in perspective, it takes 10,000 ppm to equate to 1.0 percent.  Concentrations seen in oil analysis reports will be from one to several thousand ppm.

Watch a short video on Elemental Spectroscopy

We Want Your Sludge

KarrieWilliams

Send us your mystery sludge and particles

 

The TESTOIL lab is in the process of developing a Material Identification Analysis offering using Full Spectrum IR technology. As we research and develop this new technology we need sludge samples taken out of your equipment to help us perfect the technology and gain experience interpreting the IR spectrums.

 

If you have any sludge on your filters or in your equipment, please send us some in one of our regular 4 oz sample bottles.
Since we are in the early stages of developing this exciting new offer we will not send any reports back to you, but once we have mastered the technology and are confident in our interpretation of the IR spectrum we will gladly perform a complimentary Material Identification Analysis for you (valued at $400).
Thank you so much for all your continued support.

We Need More Oil For Varnish Potential Analysis Test

KarrieWilliams

TESTOIL is committed to continually improving the methodologies and technologies used in our laboratory. With that said, we have upgraded our Varnish Potential Analysis adding some additional testing and upgrading our reports.

In order to process the samples with the new reporting features we now require 16oz of oil compared to the previously required 8oz.

One significant change to our test process is related to reporting particle counts by two different methods. When there is a significant difference between the two methods (pore blockage/laser), this suggests the presence of soft contaminants. This additional test gives us another means of detecting the presence of soft insoluble products present in the sample.

As a result of the additional testing processes we have also made improvements to our reports which will now feature additional test descriptions and images for review.

If you have any questions please contact:

Heather Streza

hstreza@testoil.com

216.251.2510

 

We've Taken Filter Debris Analysis To The Next Level

KarrieWilliams
TESTOIL has updated our Filter Debris Analysis testing process. The improvements have significantly increased our ability to identify wearing machine components which provide improved diagnostic and prognostic information about impending failures.
Filter Debris Analysis is a systematic process developed to wash and analyze industrial size filters. Insight Services has made substantial changes to all aspects of this testing procedure including the fabrication of a new washing instrument, a completely redesigned washing method, an enhanced testing process, and a revamped comprehensive report.
Our customers depend on us to provide the most reliable oil analysis testing data to ensure machine performance and reduce risks of failure.  The Filter Debris Analysis upgrade expands on that commitment as well as staying on top of the latest technological developments.
Watch this short video to learn more about TESTOIL’s new Filter Debris Analysis Testing Process and Reports.

http://www.youtube.com/user/oilanalysis1/featured

We Want Your Sludge!

KarrieWilliams
Send us your mystery sludge and particles
The TESTOIL lab is in the process of developing a Material Identification Analysis offering using Full Spectrum IR technology. As we research and develop this new technology we need sludge samples taken out of your equipment to help us perfect the technology and gain experience interpreting the IR spectrums.

If you have any sludge on your filters or in your equipment, please send us some in one of our regular 4 oz sample bottles.  Since we are in the early stages of developing this exciting new offer we will not send any reports back to you, but once we have mastered the technology and are confident in our interpretation of the IR spectrum we will gladly perform a complimentary Material Identification Analysis for you (valued at $400).
Thank you so much for all your continued support.

 

How Important is the ISO Cleanliness Code in Oil Analysis?

KarrieWilliams

This article featured in Machinery Lubrication and written by Matt Spurlock is the Director of Oil Analysis Services and Technologies for Noria Corporation.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a cleanliness code that is the primary piece of data reviewed on most industrial oil analysis reports. The value of this code can help determine the overall cleanliness of the monitored system. Often times, an end user will establish a target value to achieve, thus offering a level of confidence so long as the used oil sample meets this established target.

The trend in the oil analysis world is to give too much credit to the value of the ISO cleanliness code. Some laboratories have even begun to only report the ISO code. There is also a heavy reliance on this value by end-user analysts.

The ISO code is a fantastic tool to use for setting target alarms and establishing a goal to achieve and maintain as it relates to system cleanliness. It is also the perfect value to use for key performance indicator (KPI) tracking, charting and posting. However, the ISO code should play only a secondary role when it comes to evaluating used oil sample data.

73% of machinerylubrication.com visitors have used the ISO cleanliness code to set target alarms for system cleanliness levels

How the ISO Cleanliness Code is Determined

Most oil analysis samples that receive particle counting are getting what is known as automatic particle counting (APC). The current calibration standard for APC is ISO 11171. When sending a sample through an APC, particles are counted either through laser or pore blockage methods. Although different laboratories may report different particle count micron levels, an example of the various reported micron levels includes those greater than 4, 6, 10, 14, 21, 38, 70 and 100 microns.

ISO 4406:99 is the reporting standard for fluid cleanliness. According to this standard, a code number is assigned to particle count values derived at three different micron levels: greater than 4 microns, greater than 6 microns and greater than 14 microns. The ISO code is assigned based upon Table 1. This can be seen in the example on the left.

However, without seeing the raw data, the only thing the ISO code can positively identify is whether a sample has achieved the desired target value. The ISO code does nothing to help determine any type of real trend information unless the value of the raw data at the given micron levels changes enough to raise or lower the ISO code.

 

What the ISO Code Can Tell You

It’s easy to look at the ISO table and notice a pattern. At each row, the upper limit for each code is approximately double that of the lower limit for the same code. Likewise, the upper and lower limits are double that of the upper and lower limits of the next lower code. This is known as a Renard’s series table.

The unit of measure for particle count data is “particles per milliliter of sample.” The particle counters used in laboratories incorporate much more than a milliliter of sample. During the testing process, approximately 100 milliliters of sample are taken into the instrument. The numbers of particles are counted based on this value. The total number of particles is then compared to the number of times that 2 will go into that total count exponentially.

Staying Clean

Why is cleanliness so important? The answer is simple: competition. In such a globally competitive market where products can potentially be manufactured and shipped from overseas at a lower cost than can be manufactured from here at home, maintaining a precise level of reliability and uptime is necessary to keep costs at a manageable level. Contaminant-free lubricants and components will extend the lifetime of both, and in turn increase the overall reliability of the equipment.

Using the previous example (20/17/13), this means that at the greater than 4 micron level, the number of particles measured was at the most 2^20 and above 2^19. Since particle count data is reported in particles per mL of sample, the raw data must be divided by 100.

While the general rule of thumb is that for every increase in the ISO cleanliness code, the number of particles has doubled, this certainly is not the case in every situation. Because the number of allowable particles actually doubles within each code number, it is possible for the number of particles to increase by a factor of 4 and only increase a single ISO code.

 

This becomes a significant problem when you have a target cleanliness level of 19/17/14, your previous sample was 18/16/13, and your most current sample is 19/17/14. For all reporting purposes, you have achieved and maintained the target cleanliness level of 19/17/14. This suggests that your component should be in a “normal” status. Given the information presented previously, it is easy to see how you could have two to four times the amount of particle ingress and only increase by a single ISO code or have no increase at all.

The ISO cleanliness code should be used as a target. It is a value that is easily tracked for KPI reporting and a value that most people can easily understand. However, using the ISO cleanliness code for true machine condition support is limited in its effectiveness. The raw data from particle count testing allows the end user to confirm data from other tests such as elemental analysis and ferrous index. The ISO cleanliness code does not allow this cross-confirmation to occur. Reviewing the raw data of the particle counter at all reported levels is absolutely vital in performing quality data analysis on oil sample data.