Oil and lubricants - ensuring reliability


Analysis of used lubricants

There are different types of sample analyses of the used oils, from simple tests that can be performed on the work site to determine viscosity and water pollution to more complex tests that require the use of special laboratory equipment and techniques, such as those used in the Chevron LubeWatch™ programme.

The program LubeWatch™ is an ideal complement to the proven system of preventive maintenance, which not only contributes to early warning about possible damage to the machine or its nodes, but can also be used for current control with increased duration of periods between cycles of draining of spent lubricating oil and its replacement. The frequency of sampling of lubricating oil to a large extent depends on the type of equipment and operating conditions.

Certified engineers-analysts of the Chevron company have relevant experience and qualifications to give advice on this issue and will suggest the most economical duration of the periods between cycles of replacement of the lubricating oil.

In the analyzer used by "Maitau" company three analytical units, the main functions of which is the determination of the viscosity of the analysed oil, the presence and amount of wear metals (aluminum, copper, iron, lead, tin, chromium), contaminants (silicon, potassium, sodium) and additives – molybdenum are combined. The quantity of water, soot, fuel, antifreeze in oil, its degree of oxidation, nitration and total alkaline number are also measured. All this is conducted automatically in 8-10 min with consumption of 30-40 ml of oil.

After analyzing the oil sample, the computer system produces printed data of the conducted research, as well as all recommended actions that need to be taken, based on the results of the analysis.

The program of consecutive analyses clearly demonstrates the mechanical condition and wear degree of the equipment. While a single test at individual units of equipment characterizes the condition of the oil at the time of sampling, the program of consecutive analyses can tell you what happens to the lubricating oil and the equipment, and, what is most important, the rate at which any change occurs can be estimated.