Practical Oil Analysis

The Oil Analysis (Practical and Advanced) courses are designed to help you prepare for ICML Level I & II Machine Lubricant Analyst (MLA) certification. It covers foundational to advanced oil analysis information including oil sampling, lubricant health monitoring, contamination measurement and control, and wear debris monitoring.

Get Answers To These Questions

  • How often should I use oil analysis?
  • Where is the best place to get an oil sample?
  • How clean should I keep my oil and what type of filter should I use?
  • How do I know which oil analysis lab is right for me?
  • How do I set caution and critical alarms for wear metals and additives?
  • How do I determine the remaining useful life of my oil?
  • What are the secrets to catching bearing faults with wear debris analysis?
  • What are the best cost reducing strategies using oil analysis?
Maintenance Philosophies

  • The Journey to World-class Maintenance
  • Case Study – Nippon Steel Corporation
  • Case Study – 1994-1997 Condition Monitoring Savings – Baltimore Gas and Electric
  • Costs and Benefits – What to Expect
  • Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)
  • Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA)*
  • The Human Body Parallel to Machine Maintenance
  • The Pareto Principle – Maintenance’s 80:20 Rule
  • Tribology Influences Machine Reliability and National Economy
  • Are You Pulling Your Weeds Out by the Roots?
  • Modern Maintenance Technologies
  • Proactive Maintenance Reduces Vibration Misses by 70%
  • Detection Correction Screening
  • Success Elements to an Integrated Condition-Based Maintenance Program
Lubrication Fundamentals

  • Industry Rides on an Oil Film of About 10 Microns
  • Most Lubricating Oils Come From Petroleum (about 95%)
  • How Lubricants are Formulated
  • Base Stock Physical Properties
  • Mineral Oil Properties
  • Synthetic Lubricants are Man-made Fluids Like Liquid Plastics
  • Molecular Comparison
  • Synthetic Lubricant Properties
  • Properties of Common Synthetic Base Oils
  • Lubrication Regimes
  • Types of Lubrication Films
  • Hydrodynamic Lubrication – Sliding Thick-film Lubrication
  • Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication Under Rolling Conditions
  • Oil Film Thicknesses In Machine Dynamic Clearances
  • Additives
  • Additives – What They Are
  • Characteristics of Polar Additives
  • Wear and Friction Control Additives Form Chemical and Solid Lubrication Films
  • Antioxidants/Oxidation Inhibitors
  • How Anti-oxidants Alter Oil Life
  • Dispersants – Maximizing Soot Particle “Hang Time”
  • Important Distinctions Between Soot Load and Soot Dispersancy
  • Over-base Detergents Additives
  • Over-base Corrosion Control Additives
  • Corrosion Inhibitors
  • Viscosity Index Improvers
  • VI Improver Notes
  • VI Improver Polymers – Viscosity and Shear Effects
  • Honey and Mayonnaise
  • Defoamants – How They Work
  • Anti-foam Agents (Defoamants)
  • Additives: Pour Point Depressants
  • Friction Modifiers (Additive)
  • Solid Additives Used for Wear and Friction Control
  • Machine Conditions Requiring Additives
  • How Lubricant Properties Change (Irreparably)
Oil Analysis Fundamentals

  • Oil Analysis
  • A Good Doctor Asks Lots of Questions…Are You Listening to Your Oil?
  • Interrogate Your Oil
  • What Oil Analysis Can Tell You
  • Types of Oil Analysis
  • Applications for Oil Sampling and Analysis
  • Three Categories of Oil Analysis
Oil Sampling – The Very Best Practices

  • Oil Analysis Integrity Chain Starts with Sampling
  • How Sampling Influences Oil Analysis Accuracy
  • Sampling
  • Sample Bottles
  • Sample Bottles – Cleanliness
  • Access Options for Oil Sampling
  • Bo4om Sampling – The Trend Killer
  • Live Zone Sampling
  • Options for Sampling from Pressurized Lines
  • Sample Valves Comparison
  • Probe-style and Minimess Sampling Valves/Bottles
  • Minimess Sampling Valves – Benefits
  • Push-turn Sampling Valves
  • Sampling Location – Wet Sump Circulating Systems
  • Where to Sample Crankcase Oil
  • Diesel Engine Oil Live Zone Sampling Ports
  • Sampling Points for a Dry Sump Forced Circulating Lube Oil System With Off-line Filtration
  • Case Study: Paper Mill Calendar Bearings
  • Sampling Points for a Hydraulic System with Return Line Filter
  • Drain Line Oil Sampling Traps
  • Drop-tube Vacuum Sampling
  • Tips to Effective Drop-Tube Vacuum Sampling
  • Drop-Tube Vacuum Sampling of Reservoirs and Tanks
  • Five Options for Sampling Splash/Bath Lubricated Machines
  • Falk Splash Lubricated Gear box – Where Should you Sample?
  • Off-Line Sampling
  • Filter Cart Sampling with Mobile Equipment
  • Sampling Hard-to-Reach Machines
  • Oil Sampling Valves – What’s Wrong… What’s Right
  • Can You Find the Correct Sampling Locations?
  • Pathway Flushing
  • Minimum Line Flushing Requirements for Oil Sampling
  • Clean Oil Sampling Procedure – Best Practice
  • Factors Influencing Sampling Frequencies
  • Sample Frequency Generator
  • Case Study: Chevron – Sample Frequency Affects Failure Detection Efficiency
  • Machine and Lubricant Sample Documentation
  • Oil Sampling Procedure

    • Low Fluid Pressure (< 100 psi; 7 bar)
    • Low Fluid Pressure (< 100 psi; 7 bar)
    • High Fluid Pressure (> 100 psi; 7 bar)
    • High Fluid Pressure (> 100 psi; 7 bar)
    • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Summary: Oil Sampling “Best Practices”
  • Grease Sampling
  • Grease Thief Sampling – ASTM D7718
  • Sampling Techniques
Fluid Properties Analysis

  • 1st Category of Oil Analysis: Fluid Properties Analysis
  • The Oil Aging Process…No, It Doesn’t Last Forever
  • Oxidation Root Causes
  • Dual Course of Oxidation
  • Common Oxidation Indicators
  • Two Common Measures for Viscosity
  • Measurement of Kinematic Viscosity
  • Common Laboratory Kinematic Viscometers
  • Measurement of Absolute Viscosity
  • ISO Viscosity Grades (ISO ti448)
  • SAE J-ti00 Engine Oil Viscosity Classification
  • Simple Kinematic Viscosity Conversions
  • Best Practices for On-site Viscosity Analysis
  • Viscosity/Temperature Chart
  • What is Viscosity Index?
  • What Temperature Should Viscosity be Measured and Trended at?
  • The Causes of Oil Viscosity Changes
  • Viscosity Trends of Diesel Crankcase Oils
  • System Effects of Wrong Viscosity
  • How to Set Viscosity Limits
  • Case Study: Viscosity Trending of an ISO 68 Hydraulic Fluid
  • How to Use Viscosity Analysis
  • Trending Acid and Base Numbers
  • Transitional Movement of Acid Numbers and Base Numbers
  • Notes on Acid and Base Numbers
  • Use AN to Detect these Corrosive Acids
  • Variations in AN Trends by Oil Type
  • AN Trends With AW and R&O Oils
  • Notes on AN Monitoring
  • AN Trends for Phosphate Ester Steam Turbine EHC Fluid
  • How to Monitor AN Trends
  • How BN Trends are Influenced
  • Trending BN’s with a Crankcase Oil
  • Neutralization Number Trends in High BN-Retention Diesel Engine Motor Oils
  • BN Trends of Diesel Crankcase Oils
  • How to Monitor BN Trends
  • Machine Diagnostics Using Neutralization Numbers
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Two Types of Spectrometry
  • FTIR – How it Works
  • Your Oil Analysis Report Might Show One or More of these FTIR Units
  • FTIR Using Spectral Subtraction
Fluid Properties Analysis

  • 1st Category of Oil Analysis: Fluid Properties Analysis
  • The Oil Aging Process…No, It Doesn’t Last Forever
  • Oxidation Root Causes
  • Dual Course of Oxidation
  • Common Oxidation Indicators
  • Two Common Measures for Viscosity
  • Measurement of Kinematic Viscosity
  • Common Laboratory Kinematic Viscometers
  • Measurement of Absolute Viscosity
  • ISO Viscosity Grades (ISO 3448)
  • SAE J-300 Engine Oil Viscosity Classification
  • Simple Kinematic Viscosity Conversions
  • Best Practices for On-site Viscosity Analysis
  • Viscosity/Temperature Chart
  • What is Viscosity Index?
  • What Temperature Should Viscosity be Measured and Trended at?
  • The Causes of Oil Viscosity Changes
  • Viscosity Trends of Diesel Crankcase Oils
  • System Effects of Wrong Viscosity
  • How to Set Viscosity Limits
  • Case Study: Viscosity Trending of an ISO 68 Hydraulic Fluid
  • How to Use Viscosity Analysis
  • Trending Acid and Base Numbers
  • Transitional Movement of Acid Numbers and Base Numbers
  • Notes on Acid and Base Numbers
  • Use AN to Detect these Corrosive Acids
  • Variations in AN Trends by Oil Type
  • AN Trends With AW and R&O Oils
  • Notes on AN Monitoring
  • AN Trends for Phosphate Ester Steam Turbine EHC Fluid
  • How to Monitor AN Trends
  • How BN Trends are Influenced
  • Trending BN’s with a Crankcase Oil
  • Neutralization Number Trends in High BN-Retention Diesel Engine Motor Oils
  • BN Trends of Diesel Crankcase Oils
  • How to Monitor BN Trends
  • Machine Diagnostics Using Neutralization Numbers
  • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
  • Two Types of Spectrometry
  • FTIR – How it Works
  • Your Oil Analysis Report Might Show One or More of these FTIR Units
  • FTIR Using Spectral Subtraction
  • ISO Solid Contaminant Code
  • Typical Cleanliness Levels
  • SAE AS 4059E* – Cleanliness Code
  • How Much is One Part Per Million (1 ppm)?
  • The Danger of “Silt”
  • How Silt Affects Bearings
  • Silt Degrades Hydraulic Valve Performance
  • How Particles Influence Engine Wear
  • Proactive Maintenance in Three Easy Steps
  • Conspicuous Charting is Key to Proactive Maintenance Success
  • Case Study: Nippon Steel
  • Case Study: Kawasaki Steel
  • Port of Tacoma Slashes Engine Rebuild Costs by 66% on 21 Straddle Carriers
  • BHP Decreases Failure Rate and Turns Up the Speed with Effective Lubrication
  • Case Study: General Motors Testing on the Influence of Filter Performance
  • Step No. 1 – Set Target Cleanliness Levels
  • Se5ng ORS Cleanliness Targets Relates Directly to the Definition of Risk
  • Example Hydraulic Fluid Cleanliness Targets
  • Field Particle Counts – Averages of 25,000 Samples
  • Pall Corp. Recommended Cleanliness Targets*
  • Reliability Penalty Factor (RPF)
  • Next, Consider the Machine’s Sensitivity to Particle Contamination
  • CSF
  • Target Cleanliness Grid (TCG)
  • How Cleanliness Affects Rolling Element Bearing Service Life (ISO 281)
  • Contaminant Sensitivity of a Spur Gear
  • Machine Life Extension Table
  • Clean Oil Helps You Detect Faults Earlier
  • Oil Pump or Dirt Pump?
  • To Set a Cleanliness Target You Must First Analyze Your Motives
  • Step No. 2 – Take Specific Actions to Achieve and Maintain Targets
  • Where Does Particle Contamination Come From?
  • Particle Ingression
  • Case Study: How Clean are New Oils?
  • Cleanliness and Dryness are Vital A4ributes of Lubricant Quality
  • Lube Storage – Things to Avoid
  • Oil Cans and Top-up Containers – Things to Avoid
  • Rack-mount Lube Dispensing Station – Drums and Totes
  • Take the Sump Management Self Exam
  • Tank and Sump Ventilation
  • Modernization of Vents and Breathers
  • Hatch Covers Need to be Sealed Tight
  • Shaft Seals … Oil Retention or Dirt Exclusion?
  • Controlling Hydraulic Cylinder Ingression
  • Multipass Beta Ratio Test for Filters
  • Filter Media Determines Filter Integrity
  • Relationship Between Filtration and Oil Cleanliness (ISO 281)
  • Filter Location Options
  • Portable Filtration
  • Do-It-For-Me Off-line Filters (OLFs)
  • Full-flow Pressure-line Filters
  • Return-line Filters
  • Is This a Stable or Unstable System?
  • Crankcase Oil Contamination
  • Case Study – How Filtration Influences Oil Oxidation (AN) in Automatic Transmission Fluids
  • Step No. 3 – Monitoring and Controlling Particle Concentrations
  • Regular Particle Counting is an Essential Check on Filter Performance
  • Use Particle Counting to Detect Optimum Filter Change Point
  • Contamination Control Balance (Calorie Control Balance)
  • Five Ways to Count and Size Particles
  • Automatic Optical Particle Counters (OPC)
  • Spherical Bananas – How Optical Particle Counters Work
  • How Contaminants Appear to Optical Particle Counters
  • Procedure for Reducing Water Interferences with Optical Particle Counters
  • Inline Particle Counter – Movement of Hydraulic Crane Boom affects Particle Counts
  • Onsite Optical Particle Counters
  • Pore Blockage Particle Counters

    • How They Work
    • Counting
    • On-line Particle Counting
  • Particle Micro Patch Imaging (PMPI) for Particle Counting, Sizing and Characterization
  • Particle Images are Digitized, Sized, & Categorized
  • Direct Image Particle Counting (DIPC)
  • DIPC – Operational Principle
  • The Patch Test – Field Test for Solid Contaminants
  • Particle Se4ling Can Alter Oil Analysis Results
  • Proper Particle Resuspension is Required Prior to
  • How to Use Particle Counting in Oil Analysis
  • In-Service Grease Analysis
  • Water Contamination

    • The Scourge of Lubricating Oils Water Contaminated Oil – ti or 4 States of Co-Existence?
    • Base Oil Effects
    • Additive Effects
    • Machine Effects
  • Water-Related Damage to Rolling Element Bearings
  • Water Contamination – Generator of Other Contaminants
  • How Low Should Moisture Limits (Targets) be Set?
  • Water Ingression Sources
  • Life Extension Table for Se5ng ORS Dryness Targets
  • Published Limits on Moisture
  • Be Aware of the Effects of Changing Oil Temperature
  • Oil/Water Demulsibility
  • Moisture Detection by Vision
  • Crackle Test – A Sight and Sound Procedure
  • FTIR – Detection of Water in Oil
  • Measuring Water in Oil By Karl Fischer (KF)
  • Measuring Dissolved Water in Oil using Percent Saturation Sensors
  • Measuring Moisture using Calcium Hydride
  • How to Monitor Moisture
  • Controlling Steam Ingression – Westend Blower Technique
  • Water Removal Methods
  • Dry Instrument Air Purge
  • Air Contamination: States of Co-Existence
  • Causes of Poor Air-Release (Detrainment) and Foaming Properties
  • Air Entrainment Problems Relate to Tank or Sump Design
  • Is There a Foam Problem Here? How about Air Entrainment?
  • Foam in Reservoir
  • What Foam Looks Like When You Mix Two Incompatible Oils
  • When is Foam a Problem?
  • Air is the Primary Source of Oxygen in the Oxidative Degradation of an Oil
  • Glycol/Antifreeze Contamination in Engine Oil
  • Leakage from Perforation of Cylinder Liners
  • Mechanism of “Oil Ball” Formation from Glycol (antifreeze) Contamination
  • How to Detect Glycol in Crankcase Oil
  • Blo4er Spot Testing Reveals Glycol Contamination
  • Field Test Kit for Antifreeze (ethylene glycol)
  • Notes on Glycol
  • How to Use Elemental Analysis to Detect Glycol Contamination
  • High Soot Contamination in Engine Oil
  • Tests for High Soot Load
  • FTIR – Detection of Soot in Crankcase Oil
  • How to Monitor Soot Using FTIR
  • Fuel Contamination in Engine Oil (Fuel Dilution)
  • Tests for Fuel Contamination (Fuel Dilution)
  • FTIR – Detection of Fuel in Engine Oil
  • Diesel Fuel Dilution Effects on Lube Oil Viscosity
  • Flash Point Test
  • How to Monitor Fuel Dilution Using GC
Fault Detection and Wear Particle Analysis third Category of Oil Analysis

  • What Causes Changes in Wear Debris Concentrations
  • Abrasive Wear
  • Abrasive Wear Particles
  • Adhesive Wear
  • Adhesive Wear Particles
  • Surface Fatigue
  • Surface Fatigue Particles
  • Chemical Wear (corrosion)
  • Corrosive Wear Particles
  • Cavitation Wear
  • The Secret to Fault Detection and Analysis
  • How to Enhance the Detection of Abnormal Wear Particle Trends
  • Technologies Used to Analyze Wear Debris
  • Data From Elemental Analysis Dominate Most Oil Analysis Reports
  • Spectrometric Elemental Analysis
  • How Spectrometric Elemental Analysis Works
  • Anatomy of Atomic Emission Spectrometers (AES)
  • How Wear Particle Size Influences Spectrometric Analysis
  • Understand Spectrometric Wear Metal Trends
  • Monitoring Dust and Dirt Contamination by Elemental Analysis
  • Lock-step Trends
  • Typical Levels from Elemental Analysis
  • Metallurgy
  • Potential Sources of Metals in Oil
  • Know Your Elements
  • Case Study: Sequenced Wear of Crankcase Journal Bearings
  • Elemental Analysis of Used Oils Helps Detect Mixed Lubricants (Class Challenge)
  • Normalizing Elemental Data to “Rate of Wear”
  • Normalizing for Makeup Oil
  • Statistical Predictive Maintenance Limits
  • Interpreting Elemental Trends Using Level Limits
  • Best Applications for Elemental Analysis of Wear Metals
  • How to Use Elemental Spectroscopy to Detect and Analyze Wear Metals
  • The Progression of Mechanical Wear Particles
  • Particle Size Sensitivities of Wear Particle Technologies
  • Three Ferrous Density Testers
  • How to Use Ferrous Density Analysis in Oil Analysis
  • Wear Particle Identification using Analytical Ferrography and Patch Ferrography
  • Analytical Ferrography
  • Ferrographic Analysis – What it is Trying to Tell You?
  • Preparation of a Ferrogram (ASTM D7690)
  • Ferrogram vs. Filtergram
  • Four Shape Features of Common Wear Particles
  • Examine Appearance of Particle to Identify Cause
  • Standardized Particle Characterization (ASTM D7684-10)
  • Shapes of Common Wear Particles
  • Combining Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy
  • Wear Particle Technique Summary
  • In-Service Grease Analysis
Alarms, Limits and Test Slate Selection

  • Oil Analysis Success Depends On Proper Se5ng of Limits
  • Quick Reference for Se5ng Oil Analysis Limits and Targets
  • Selecting the Test Slate
Some Actual Oil Analysis Reports

  • Overview of Report 1
  • Overview of Report 2
  • Overview of Report 3
  • Overview of Report 4
  • Overview of Report 5
  • Overview of Report 6
  • Overview of Report 7
Field Tests and Inspections

  • Simplify Oil Analysis… Use Easy Field Tests and Inspections
  • Visual Inspection of Oil in a Sample Bottle
  • Using Oil Color as a Field Test
  • Field Test for Oil and Water Separation
  • Visual Internal Machinery Inspections
  • Visual External Machinery Inspections
  • Routine Inspection of Sight Glasses is Oil Analysis
  • See Tank Bottoms Without Removing the Oil
  • Field Test for Ferrous Particles
  • Simple Field Method for Preparing Patch
  • Ferro Sites
  • Field Test: Blotter Spot
  • Field Test for Viscosity Measurement
  • Field Tests for AN and BN
  • Other Audible Inspections
  • Audible Bearing Symptoms
  • Using Your Sense of Touch
  • How to Analyze Filter Debris
  • Used Filter Inspections
  • Moisture Detection by Vision
  • Crackle Test – A Sight and Sound Procedure
  • Measuring Moisture using Calcium Hydride
  • Using Oil Odor as a Field Test
  • Final Words
What’s next?

  • Benchmark Lubrication Performance and Identify Improvement Opportunities
  • Lubrication Program Development
Case Studies / Workshop

  • Case No. 1 – Paper Machine Oil
  • Case No. 2 – Lube Oil Turbo-Compressor Train
  • Case No. 4 – Servo Controlled Hydraulic System
  • Case No. 5 – Locomotive Diesel Crankcase Oil (4 Cycle)
  • Case No. 6 – Large Splash Oiled Gear Box
  • Case No. 7 – Flood-Lubricated Natural Gas Recip Compressor
  • Case No. 8 – Wheel Loader Diesel Engine
  • Case No. 8 – Wheel Loader Diesel Engine Continued
  • Case No. 9 – Steam Turbine Electro-Hydraulic Control (EHC) System
  • Case No. 10 – Outboard Bearing,Multistage Centrifugal Pump
  • Case No. 11 – Right-Angle Worm Gear Drive
  • Case No. 12 – Boiler Feed Pump Inboard Bearing Oil
  • Case No. 13 – Rotary Vane Air Compressor
  • Case No. 14 – High Pressure Hydraulics
  • Case No. 15 – Kelp Processing Fermenter Gearbox
  • Case No. 16 – Motor Grader Engine Failure
  • Case No. 17 – Large Recip Integral Gas Engine/Compressor
  • Case No. 18 – Centrifugal Pump Bearing

Oil Analysis offers far superior early warning signals than other maintenance tools – even vibration analysis.

“I am working as a maintenance engineer in Petrochemical industry, looking after rotary equipment. After this training program, my perception regarding lubricating oil is completely changed. I would take oil sampling methods, sampling points, analysis techniques in my day to day work.”
Anurag Chopra, Reliance Industries