Additional tests, the supplement to the all-inclusive analysis kits from OELCHECK

For years we have had our hydraulic oils regularly tested by OELCHECK. Now one of your tribologists has recommended that we also have the relative humidity measured once in addition to the complete all-inclusive analysis. What are the possible reasons for advising further tests that are not included in the scope of an analysis kit?

All-inclusive analysis kits and "additional tests”

We provide all-inclusive analysis kits for every lubricant and machine type as well as for almost every industry. With the test methods contained in them, OELCHECK tribologists can answer almost any question customers may have. But in some cases, our tribologists advise performing one or more additional test methods. In these cases, the additions to an analysis kit allow even more precise statements to be made about the condition of a lubricant. A typical example of this is the determination of relative humidity including the creation of a water saturation curve for your hydraulic oil. The tribologist advised you to do this because you had a question regarding the cloudy appearance of the oil during sampling. Based on the water saturation curve, he can accurately see that the oil is still clear at 70 °C, for example, becomes cloudy at 40 °C, and that corrosive-acting free water will separate out as the temperature drops further below 20 °C.

Table of contents

  1. No individual values without all-inclusive analysis kit
  2. One combination – many advantages
  3. Please note: Comprehensive information regarding the sample

No individual values without all-inclusive analysis kit

OELCHECK can determine more than 100 individual values of a lubricant. If required, more than 60 different tests are available for special questions in addition to the test methods included in the analysis kits. Generally, these tests only act as supplements to an all-inclusive analysis kit.

As a general rule: Determining a single value hardly makes sense for used oil analytics. With a single value, your questions cannot be answered or the conclusions derived from it are wrong. Here are some typical examples:

  • If, for example, only the viscosity at 40 °C is determined, this may fit the ISO VG class. But it does not determine, among other things, whether the oil is a mineral or synthetic oil, or whether it is incompatible with others.
  • Evaporation loss can give an indication of the consumption of oils that are used at temperatures above 100 °C, such as engine oils or chain oils in paint shops. While this provides a better estimate of oil consumption, it is not possible to assess whether components are operating with low wear without specifying the amount of additives that protect against wear.
  • The value for iron (Fe) determined with element analysis can be alarmingly high. But what caused the iron wear can only be determined with additional information, such as about oil oxidation, water, dust (Si) or acid content.
  • If only a questionably high water content is detected in an engine oil sample, this still does not allow an assessment of where the water came from. The all-inclusive analysis kit provides the clues: A load of glycol in the oil indicates water from the cooling circuit. If the sodium and potassium values are elevated, it is usually "hard" water, as from a high-pressure cleaner. If both values are very low and the water is therefore "soft", it has probably formed as condensate.

One combination – many advantages

Only if the advised additional test is carried out in combination with an all-inclusive analysis kit, you will fully benefit from the time and cost saving advantages of the OELCHECK laboratory analyses.

In the Sample Information Form, which is enclosed with every all-inclusive analysis kit, industry-specific questions are asked about the sample origin. You should also list any questions, observations or notes you have in the Sample Information Form.

Please note: The more precise and comprehensive your information is, the more accurate the commentary of the OELCHECK tribologists will be! When assessing the laboratory results, they take into account the up to 40 individual values of the analysis kit, the values of any additional tests, and the photos and diagrams shown in the laboratory report. The OELCHECK tribologists also know your machines as well as the lubricants used and always consider all values and information in interaction! In this way, OELCHECK customers benefit from truly accurate comments. They receive well-founded answers to specific questions and targeted recommendations for further action. The additional workload also speaks against the determination of only a single value that has been removed from its context. Frequently, consultations with the customer are necessary because important information is missing. However, if a sample is analyzed as part of an all-inclusive analysis kit and any additional tests, we can work much faster and more efficiently. OELCHECK customers benefit from easier handling of sample bottles and shipping. In addition, our customers incur fewer costs than if two or three special tests are ordered for an oil sample without an all-inclusive analysis kit.

Please note: Comprehensive information regarding the sample

With your complete sample details you also support us in ensuring the fast availability as well as precision of all test methods. Many instruments have to be adjusted to the oil to be analyzed. For example, the sample weight may depend on the viscosity, density or oil type. If the oil brand name is specified precisely, we can immediately find all the information about it in our database and save time as well as costs for time-consuming investigations. If you send us a sample of a silicone oil, a PFPE oil or even an unknown liquid, please be sure to indicate this! After analyzing them, our equipment would have to be cleaned completely and therefore would be blocked. As a result, we analyze silicone oils with their extremely high creeping capacity, PFPE oils or unknown liquids only to a limited extent.