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Recommendation of an MPC test

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The lab reports of the semi-annual trend analyses of circulation oil from a steam turbine were always marked OK with a green tick. However, in the last lab report we received an urgent recommendation to conduct an MPC test or change the oil. What is behind the MPC test?

OELCHECK answers: A high degree of efficacy, short start-up periods and flexibility under changing operating conditions – today, turbines must meet a variety of requirements. Increasingly, they depend on their turbine oils to operate safely. These must cope with:

  • very long oil change intervals
  • increased oil circulation temperatures
  • more compact oil circulation system structures with shorter circulation times.

Although the standard specifications for turbine oils are constantly being tightened, they often do not sufficiently cover individual strain scenarios. Accordingly, the focus is increasingly on practical performance tests as a prerequisite for the recommending of oils by the OEM. The long-term use of turbine oils is influenced by several factors.

  • Oxidation: accelerated by the oil's reaction with atmospheric oxygen in connection with increased oil circulation temperatures of over 60°C
  • Thermal disintegration of base oil and additive package: through localised extreme temperatures during electrostatic discharges or local spontaneous combustion of compressed, undissolved air bubbles
  • Contaminants: water, dust, wear particles and mixtures with other oils.

There are various consequences for the turbine oil: significant consumption of antioxidants, potential filtering of anti-foaming additives, deterioration of air output behaviour, decomposition of the wear protection package, reaction products in the form of undissolved oil components, deposits (sludge), varnish formation, dark colouration and/or oil turbidity.

As well as the deterioration of lubricant performance, the deposits constitute a risk for the system above all. The solubility of the additives in the base oil play a key role in their formation. Today, the manufacturers of turbine oils are increasingly using base oils in groups II (hydrotreated), III (hydrocrack) and IV PAO (poly-alpha olefins).
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Hydraulic fluids and problematic mixtures

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Hydraulic oils account for over 10% of all lubricant consumption, placing them in second position behind engine oils at 40%. They are used to transfer forces and movement, often in quantities of many hundreds of litres and at oil change intervals of several thousand operating hours. They are found primarily in construction and agricultural machinery, injection moulding machines, hydraulic presses, turbine regulator systems, lifts, aeroplanes, loading machinery, and many other pieces of industrial equipment. All of these are dependent on high-performance hydraulic oils. If hydraulic fluids are mixed together, on the other hand, all sorts of problems can arise ... Hydraulic fluids perform all sorts of different tasks.
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Data protection

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With the entry of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into EU law this year, data protection is the subject of widespread discussion. As it holds my machine and sample data together with my customer data, OELCHECK is entrusted with a large amount of my important information. How safe are my data with OELCHECK?

OELCHECK answers: We use and process your data in accordance with established EU law, whilst also meeting the new requirements placed upon us by the GDPR. We have put a great number of measures in place in order to guarantee that your data are safe with us. Our company Data Protection Officer documents and schedules all of these measures in our central data protection management system. We also carry out continuous internal audits in order to ensure compliance with our specified standards.
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