A Day In The Life Of An Oil Sample: Appearance

A Day In The Life Of An Oil Sample.

Have you ever wondered what happens to your oil after you’ve sent it to our laboratory? In this blog series, we will be discussing some of the tests your oil may be put through and how they give us an insight into the health of your equipment.

Appearance Test

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and an essential part of analysing oil samples is simply looking at them.

How it works.

Upon arrival, the first step for your oil won’t be a test but a photograph. The sample bottle is placed into a lightbox and two high-resolution photographs are simultaneously taken; one from below and one from the side. This allows our technicians to clearly see anything unusual that is visible in the sample e.g., dirt, water, metal etc.

Our technicians have seen many weird and wonderful things in samples by using this technique, from the relatively mundane paint and plastic to flies, keyrings, dog food and bread!

What does it tell us?

Visually analysing the cleanliness and contamination of a sample is important as it can determine which tests a sample will go on to have, especially if damaging particles can be seen which will require additional tests and investigation.

For example, if we see visual evidence of metal in a sample, it’s a sign that abnormal wear is occurring in the equipment and further tests are required to identify what type of metal it is. This knowledge helps our diagnosticians to establish areas the metal could be coming from, providing our customers with the information they need to pinpoint any maintenance and repairs needed in their machinery.


If you’re interested in learning more about oil analysis, press the contact button below to message a member of the team.

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