Our engineers work closely with customers around the world to help them interpret oil analysis results. But, when having these discussions, the most important area to consider is the relationship between result values and trends over time – not just the individual result from a single test.
So, this two-part tip series will focus on key trends to look for so that operators can get the most out of their oil analysis programs, even when working with their lubricant supplier.
Good interpretation starts with good sample data
Have you heard the expression, “garbage in garbage out?” It refers to the quality of the product, and this philosophy also applies to the sample data taken during a reading.
All samples should include relevant data such as:
These three data points are particularly important. The sample date and hours data points relate to the oxidation readings, and the lubricant tested may determine what oil analysis tests are required.
Physical oil data trends
The first portion of an oil analysis result concerns the physical characteristics of the oil. The values of each result are important, but so is the relationship between these and other values in the result.
For example, consider oil viscosity.
If the results are low, you need to consider the following types of questions:
Conversely, if the results are high, you need to consider the following:
Other key physical characteristics to look for include:
Wear element trends
With wear metals, trends and relationships are most important. But before we discuss that, let’s look at the wear metals and where they typically originate.
Metals do not just appear, there is a reason their presence increases. If you see wear metal trends growing over time, look for the following causes:
In our next tip, we’ll take a look at some more important used oil analysis trends to look for when analyzing results. We hope you found this first post informative – let us know if you have any questions by leaving a comment in the section below.
Good article, Rick! It helps to organize the Oil Analysis correctly and interpret its results.