Best Practices for Using Oil Analysis in Lubrication Management

There is no question that an effective oil analysis program lowers maintenance costs on rotating equipment. The trick is knowing how to run an effective oil analysis program. Organizations must be proactive so the solution to an oil-​related problem is not always an oil change. The real benefit of oil analysis is using the data to steer you toward solutions to eliminate lubricant issues. This article will describe the best practices for using oil analysis to monitor your lubrication management program.

 

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Oil Flushing Strategies for Compressors

“How would you perform an oil flush for a rotary-screw air compressor?”

The purpose of oil flushing is to clean the system in contact with the lubricant. Whether it involves a machine, storage container, lubricant line, hose or lubricant conditioning system, flushing is designed to eliminate or control contamination that can negatively affect the performance of the lubricant or machine.

 

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Choosing the Right Lubricant Viscosity for Your Application

“Our plant had excessive oil leakage and suspected oil evaporation on our paper machine drying cylinders, which work at speeds of 360 revolutions per minute with a temperature range from 110 to 125 degrees C and a centralized oil lubrication system. Operations personnel has faced this problem since the installation of 12 extra drying cylinders that use the same oil with the same viscosity (ISO VG 150). The sump temperature is about 72 degrees C. Before installation, evaporation was less, and there was no leaking. I believe they need to change to a higher viscosity or a synthetic alternative, but how do you choose the right lubricant in such a case?”

 

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Determining the Origin of Wear Debris in Turbine Oil

“We have a gas turbine with a sump capacity of 4,920 liters and 9,825 running hours. In the last oil analysis report, aluminum and potassium increased by 1.29 and 3.31 parts per million, respectively, from the previous value of zero. How can we identify the origin of this wear metal?”

 

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