Monitoring turbines with oil analysis is well known and well established. All turbines, both steam and gas, have a large oil reservoir to lubricate the turbine bearings. Older designs had separate sumps for the hydraulic control of valves, whereas newer designs may have the lube oil and hydraulic sump linked together. Power plant operators new to oil analysis can be easily confused about what all the tests are. Fortunately, the industry has developed umbrella specifications for power plant lubrication monitoring, such as ASTM D4378 and ASTM D6224, and these define almost every test used to qualify lubricants for new and in-service monitoring for power plants.
Oil analysis was first employed on engines as a predictive maintenance tool, and it remains a predominant technique for insuring the reliability of engine systems. Reciprocating internal combustion engines power most of the world's mobile equipment, such as cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, mining equipment, agricultural equipment and are also common in stationary backup power generators, oil and gas exploration rigs, and pipeline compression stations.
Oil analysis is a very useful tool for gear systems. Geared systems are found across both mobile and industrial equipment. Though they are designed to be very reliable, they cause a lot of disruption and costs when they wear or break due to poor operation or contamination. Oil analysis is a great tool to detect when failure conditions are developing, and as such most gear manufacturers suggest condition monitoring, including oil analysis.
Compressor oils can create unique challenges when trying to measure viscosity. Dissolved gases from refrigerants, in particular, tend to bubble out when these oils are measured using traditional viscometers. This can create errors in the measurement, typically causing readings to be much lower than they should be.
Topics: How to
Particle counting is a critical aspect of any machine conditioning program and
there are many tools out there available to monitor and track the quantity and
severity of the contamination, be it due to external contamination or machine
Topics: How to
Synthetic Polyol Ester fluids are the fluids of choice to lubricate aircraft gas turbine engines used in commercial and military service requiring MIL-PRF-23699F-STD level performance. It also is used for aircraft-type gas turbine engines in industrial or marine service applications.
If you are at sea for weeks or months at a time, it is not practical to send oil samples to a third party laboratory. Waiting until you reach port is not an ideal solution, as machine condition and oil condition can change dramatically while out at sea. Oil test kits containing volatile and corrosive chemicals are difficult to manage and create hazardous waste, which must be stored and disposed of properly. Portable, solvent-free, intuitive oil analyzers are the ideal solution for maintaining marine fleets in prime operating condition. This article written by Daniel Walsh, Director of Product Management, describes some new options available to marine fleet maintenance personnel.