March 1, 2013

Dissolved Soft Contaminants and Oil Degradation Precursors
by David Doyle, CLS, OMA I & II
Vice President & Operations Manager

The formation of soft contaminants from oil degradation can present significant operational issues to circulating systems, which can compromise equipment reliability and result in considerable maintenance action. Soft particle contaminants form over time as a result of lubricant oxidation and degradation due to water, aeration and foaming, high temperatures, and wear particles acting as catalyst. Micro-dieseling is also a common cause of thermal degradation.

Oil decomposition by-products are the result of lubricant degradation which forms soft polar particles. These soft particle contaminants are very small, often less than 0.1 mm in size, and easily transition in and out of solution, depending upon temperature and pressure.  Soft contaminants are initially soluble at operating temperatures and become insoluble at lower temperatures

Eventually soft particle contaminants can agglomerate together due to their polar nature and form a thin insoluble film that develops throughout the internals of a machine’s lubrication system over time. The polar compounds are attracted to one another and can begin to accumulate into high molecular weight materials in the oil and deposit onto metal parts as varnish.  Once these soft contaminants begin to agglomerate together they will often condense on valve spools and sleeves, bearing surfaces, gears and other internal surfaces of the lubricant system as a sticky film, causing significant operational impairment of these system components due to varnish formation. Further damage to the system can result by attracting other hard contaminants such as dust and wear metals to component surfaces.



ALS Tribology's Upcoming 2013 Tradeshows
by Pashun Ballard
Senior Marketing Coordinator

This year ALS Tribology will be attending several industry tradeshows. Below are the upcoming spring tradeshows that ALS Tribology will be an exhibitor at.

March 11th-13th: TMC'S 2013 Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN- Booth #170.

April 16th-18th: Noria in Columbus, OH- Booth #221.

May 5th-8th: CIM Conference & Exhibition in Toronto, Canada- Booth #2307

May 5th-9th: STLE in Detroit, MI- Booth # 712.

Make sure to stop by and visit us.

ALSTribology's 2013 Training Workshop Schedule
by Pashun Ballard
Senior Marketing Coordinator

ALS Tribology is bringing our popular basic oil analysis training workshop t o several cities in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand in 2013. Participants gain the knowledge and skills necessary to implement an effective oil analysis and condition monitoring program.  

These workshops are specifically designed for maintenance professionals, lubrication and maintenance engineers, plant technicians, tradespeople and fitters, and other condition monitoring personnel. Registration is limited, so the small class sizes allow interaction with our expert trainers and other maintenance professionals. All workshops include training materials, lunch, and a tour of the local ALS laboratory.

Download our 2013 ALS Tribology Training Program Guide for North America for more information about the workshops being offered. The registration form is available on the back of the program guide. The Coolant and Fuel workshop, which is presented on the second day is offered at no charge with the purchase of the Basic Oil Analysis class.

Download our 2013 Training Program Guide for Australia.

Download our 2013 Training Program Guide for New Zealand.

Registration is on a first-come, first served basis, so register early to secure a spot in these workshops! 


Who We Are

ALS Tribology is one of the leading fluid analysis groups. For over half a century, customers have relied on us for comprehensive oil, fuel, coolant, metalworking, and consulting services. As part of the ALS Group, we are a global provider of analytical testing services.

ALS Tribology offers standard analysis packages and over 150 specialized ASTM tests that cover any combination of conditions, fluids, and applications. Our highly trained and experienced professionals are committed to providing unmatched services with quality results that are cost effective and prompt. Strategically located, ALS Tribology's facilities provide regional access to testing services throughout the United States, Canada, and globally.

Telephone: (877) 835-8437

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