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Learn Oil Analysis

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Secrets of OCM

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Welcome to the definitive resource on all things oil analysis. Take a look around the site and register for free to get full access to the learn oil analysis book series.

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Latest & Popular Articles

See the latest and most popular articles on oil analysis that have been posted to find out more about how oil analysis works and the benefits it could be doing for you.

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It's nearly Christmas, and we are all getting excited about the arrival of Santa. Every year he manages to make a miraculous trip around the world delivering presents to billions of children.

Have you ever wondered why he has managed to never miss Christmas especially with the milage he gets on his sleigh without it breaking down? Equally, his toy production line has huge spikes in demand from no requirement for 11 months of the year to a barrage of orders in the form of letters from children d...
How does Santa manage incredible production uptime - A case study of oil analysis success.
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Question: I have two products on site and I think the machines may have been topped up incorrectly. How can I tell if this has happened?

Answer: since there are only two products on site if you submit samples of both new oils plus the oil in your machinery for analysis to your condition monitoring lab they should be able able to do a comparison for you using a comparison of inorganic additives by ICP or XRF, viscosity and organic differences by FTIR.

If you have the oil reports from this analy...
How do I tell if I have accidentally mixed two oils? Lube oil analysis detects oil compatibility.
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Molybdenum is usually 3 potential sources.

1) molybdenum grease contamination but this would be cause lots of wear and potential be showing an increased visibility too.
2) molybdenum from ring wear. Some engines have on the top ring a molybdenum coating to cope with high temperatures. You would need to check with the engine manufacturer if this is the case.
3) molybdenum as an additive. It is molybdenum disulphide, which acts the same as graphite would as a solid lubricant within the oil an...
Why is there Molybdenum in my engine oil sample?
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This article will answer the following questions:


How clean / dirty is my oil?


How can I get my oil to last longer?


How can I prevent abrasive wear in my machinery?


Make your equipment run up to 7 X longer with clean oil.

With oil analysis you can independently identify the condition of your lubricant and set yourselves targets to improve the fluid cleanliness with filtration suppliers.

Particle counts can vary dramatically between manufacturers and methods, so to...
Extend and Improve equipment life 7 times with clean oil. Test for lube contamination with oil analysis
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High Temperatures, acids from sulphurous fuel & nitrogen air form strong acids when mixed with water from the combustion process making engines hostile environments.

TBN / Total Base Number (aka Base Number / BN) are usually calcium or magnesium based “antacid” tablets lube manufacturers put in the oil to neutralise acids protecting engines. Sounds good. However too much TBN can cause ash in the engine, so it is often a careful balance of choosing an oil with a TBN that’s right for yo...
What is a TBN?
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Extreme Pressure (EP) is the most common anti-wear additive for high load gears. It is Sulphur-Phosphorus based and used when other additives such as ZDDP are not sufficient to give high load wear protection.

If you have ever changed a gear oil, the distinctive smell is from EP.

In normal conditions EP is inactive, but at high temperatures at loaded surfaces EP reacts to form a metal sulphide toughened coating to protect against wear.

However with copper based components care must be taken as...
EP additive for when the loading gets Tough. Extreme pressure additives in gear oils give extreme loading protection in lubricated systems.
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The other day in the lab I was asked to pick up this sample bottle on the desk from a truck engine oil. Normally it's one of the lab team asking my opinion on something to do with the sample. However, this time it was to see my reaction. I picked up the sample and had to tighten my grip as it was very heavy, which surprised me. The closest thing I could describe is when you have those magic trick baked bean tins one full of air and one full of lead. I looked at the sample closer and saw the samp...
Myth Busting: Does rubbing oil between your fingers actually work?
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Why Oil Analysis Matters?

Oil Analysis is used by people just like you all over the world to reduce machinery downtime and improve equipment reliability. A small sample of oil from your machinery can provide as much information as a full machine strip down at a fraction of the cost and has been a proven technology for over 60 years to reduce forced shutdowns and failure repair costs. Want to understand how oil and grease analysis works and how it applies to you then watch this short video below.

How Much Can Oil Analysis Save Me?

Oil analysis is a brilliant tool that can save you money each time you sample. The returns on investment vary depending on your machinery type, so feel free to use our sister sites cost saving calculator at the bottom of their FAQ Page.

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By registering for free to our quarterly newsletter and logging in you can read the industry leading textbook series on oil analysis “Learn Oil Analysis”

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Ask a question on oil analysis directly to the site author. This can also include requests on how and with whom to start fluid sampling. You can also contact the author on linkedin.

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See our Training Courses

Register for free and get access to some of our great short oil analysis training training courses. Content is updated regularly and includes explanation of tests, sources of wear, how to take a sample and the benefits of oil Sampling. You can also book a dedicated training day for you and your team too or enquire about our deluxe online training programmes.

Welcome to Learn Oil Analysis

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Get your oil tested

img 3041 Learn used oil analysis sample testing, lubrication reliability maintenance, predictive lab diagnostics to reduce costs & boost profits.If you have never had your oil tested before then what are you waiting for and get in contact with a lab today. There are many reputable labs all across the world that offer excellent oil analysis services you can use including our sister lab – Oil Analysis Laboratories, which is the only lab in the world to offer the LubeWear test. LubeWear identifies abnormal wear far earlier than traditional wear metal analysis techniques meaning you can catch faults earlier to keep your machine reliability at its highest. A brief video explanation of the rest can be viewed below.