Oil Analysis

How Can MechaniScan™ Help?

Determine the condition of your equipment and lubricant through oil analysis

Proper oil analysis can help facilities determine the condition of their mechanical equipment and lubricant. There are various testing options available to accurately assess these conditions. Understanding the different types of testing and their results is essential for a successful analysis program.

Our experienced staff can assist with setting up an analysis program and provide technician training, while our technicians can conduct the tests. By implementing an our program, facilities can proactively address potential issues with their mechanical equipment and lubricant to ensure their efficient and reliable operation.

A division of Stockton Infrared Thermographic Services, Inc.

Common Analysis Tests

Spectrometric Analysis is used for trending wear metals, contaminants, and additives. Spectrometric analysis is capable of tracking particles of 8 microns or less. The main focus of this technology is to give the end user an accurate indication of the concentration of the particles detected. Results are reported in parts per million (ppm).

Solids & Water Content determines the percent solids and percent water present in the sample. Solids debris can come from a variety of sources. Water compromises the lubricating properties of the oil and can lead to component corrosion. Upward changes in the level of solids and water percent may indicate adverse changes are occurring to the lubricant and equipment. Results are reported as percent solids and percent water.

Viscosity is the one of the most important properties of oil. Therefore, viscosity determination is a critical component of an effective analysis program. Viscosity is a measurement of the lubricant’s resistance to flow. A decrease in viscosity may indicate contamination with a solvent, or fuel. A decrease may also be due to contamination with a lower grade viscosity oil. An increase may indicate lube oxidation or contamination with a higher grade lubricant. Results are reported in centistokes (cSt).

Particle Counting will quantify the number of particles that are found within the sample. However, particle counting will not determine the composition of particles present. Excessive lubricant particle contamination is a major cause of equipment failure. All particles are counted and reported over a particular size range. Results are usually reported as the number of particles per volume of fluid.

Acid Number is a measure of the amount of acidic agents present in the sample and indicates lube oxidation or contamination. Tracking and trending a lubricant’s acid number provides an indication on the overall oxidation state of the lubricant. A steadily increasing trend indicates the lubricant is breaking down and remedial action should be implemented. Results are reported in mg KOH/g of oil.

Base Number monitors the reserve alkalinity of the lubricant. This value is critical to the analysis of engine lubricants. A decrease in the base number indicates a corresponding decrease in the lubricant’s ability to neutralize the combustion process. Results are reported in mg KOH/g of oil.

Direct Reading (DR) Ferrography monitors and trends the relative concentrations of ferrous wear particles. A ratio of large to small ferrous particles is determined and can provide insight into the wear rate of the equipment. DR Ferrography may also be used in situations when particle count results are not advised, such as when the lubricant is opaque and/or has water contamination.

Infrared Oil Analysis monitors the chemical composition of the oil in certain infrared wavelengths. Contaminants such as glycol and water can be detected using infrared analysis. Lubricant degradation products, such as oxidation and nitration, can also be monitored and trended. Results are reported in absorbance per cm (abs/cm).