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How an Oil Testing Lab Can Keep Your Machines Lean and Mean by Andrew Stratton

How an Oil Testing Lab Can Keep Your Machines Lean and Mean by
Article Posted: 02/16/2015
Article Views: 72
Articles Written: 5522
Word Count: 523
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How an Oil Testing Lab Can Keep Your Machines Lean and Mean

If you have a car, then you know that repairing, fixing, and maintaining your vehicle is a key aspect of ownership. But imagine being responsible for five, ten, or even twenty different cars at once. This should give you an idea of running an industrial production site, where profits rely on many pieces of high-powered, efficient hardware.

Industrial and commercial machinery needs to be maintained to ensure smooth functioning and a longer lifespan. Machine upkeep can be an arduous and multifaceted enterprise, involving cleaning, part replacement, and more. On top of all this, fuel-powered hardware should be analyzed by an oil testing lab to ensure that harmful agents aren't clogging up the works.

A trusted lab will sample the lubricant from your machine and then analyze the substance's chemical properties, identify contaminants, and detect debris. Let's take a look at the types of tests these labs perform to build a complete portrait of your machine's condition.

The Flash Point Test

Flash point analysis looks for contamination. Technicians determine how contaminated a sample is by measuring the temperature at which oil vapors catch fire, as each grade has a specific, known temperature at which it should ignite. If testers find that the sample sparks at a lower temperature than expected, they know that the sample is contaminated with fuel or another unwelcome agent.

Insolubles Analysis

Lubricants need to be smooth and free of solids in order to perform their job. An insolubles test aims to detect solid materials floating around in machine oils. These pesky agents pop up and multiply due to oxidation from exposure to the air. This process is exacerbated by the heat generated during machine operation. Analyzing insolubles tells you how well your filter is working and determines the level of oxidation.

The Viscosity Exam

This exam analyzes the thickness of oil. It's crucial that your hardware uses a lubricant with the proper viscosity - every engine is different, and parts can be clogged or slowed when you add the wrong stuff. User manuals will tell you what grade of lubricant to use with each device. However, normal wear and tear affects viscosity. An oil testing lab will be able to tell you if your oil has thickened or thinned due to overheating or contamination.

The Spectral Exam

This exam allows technicians to learn some of a lubricant's basic properties. An oil testing lab will run a sample through a device called a spectrometer. This device can parse the precise levels of various metals and additives residing in the substance. This information helps to determine how your engines are handling the lubricant, which, in turn, allows you to gauge the level of engine wear.

Though these processes are easy to overlook, owning and operating heavy machinery requires vigilant upkeep and an eye for very small details. Don't just worry about the hardware - think about the fluids you inject into the hardware in order to keep it running. An oil testing lab will help you with this aspect of maintenance.

When looking for a professional oil testing lab, visit Spectro Scientific. Learn more about our services at

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