June 29, 2010

Sample BottlesWhy Does My Lab Need a New Oil Reference Sample?
by Ambrose Hughey, OMA I
Lab Manager, Portand, OR

When was the last time you sent in a new reference sample to your oil analysis laboratory? If you can’t remember, it’s probably time to send in a new oil sample. As a best practice, you should submit a new reference sample of each lubricant annually (at a minimum)—or whenever there is a known change in the oil formulation. Annual analysis of a new oil reference sample helps establish an accurate baseline for your oil analysis program and also keeps the laboratory up-to-date with reference data for the lubricant that you use in your equipment.

Laboratory analysis of your test data and subsequent recommendations are, in part, based on knowledge about the new oil reference. By keeping the lab up-to-date with a new oil reference for your lubricants, you help us make better diagnostic decisions, thereby providing you more value.

New oil reference samples also help establish a baseline for any additive elements, which can be beneficial for monitoring in-service oil additive package depletion or additive package changes. The availability of a baseline for the additive elements can also help the lab catch an incorrect product top-up. In addition, a base number or acid number baseline can be established to allow for better analysis of the in-service test data.

Not only does a new oil reference assist with the proper diagnosis of your in-service oil sample, but it is also imperative to providing quality FTIR data. Knowing the oil type of the sample and having a current new oil reference are both essential to providing accurate FTIR results.

Routinely providing your laboratory a new oil reference sample can help yield better quality and more accurate test results, which can help us deliver a more valuable and more effective oil analysis program to you.

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