Testing the condition of industrial oils, coolants or lubricating fluids reveals important facts about the overall health of machinery. Installing oil sample ports at strategic locations on balers, compactors, heavy duty vehicles or generators makes drawing these fluid samples a very simple procedure. A complete laboratory analysis of the oil can be performed at a specialized testing laboratory, part of an ongoing equipment checkup program. These tests provide a clear picture of when maintenance and repair of certain machinery should be scheduled.
Products For Drawing Fluid Samples
Industrial oils, coolants and lubricants protect machine parts, especially those that are in constant motion. Friction is reduced and the life expectancy of the metal is vastly increased. Even with proper lubrication, metal fatigue slowly accelerates. The structural integrity of the moving parts weakens over a long period of time. The heat and pressure experienced by the oil slowly changes the molecular composition of the fluid. Particulates of metal, soot and grime from the outside environment become suspended in the fluid, and a buildup of water can seriously diminish the oil’s ability to properly lubricate and cool the machinery.
Drawing samples of the oil at regular intervals and sending them to a testing lab is the easiest way to determine the health of the machinery. Oil sample vacuum pumps, tubing, liquid level gauges and collection devices are provided by the testing company. Training is available to teach employees the proper method of collecting samples and preparing them for laboratory analysis.
In addition to the specialized equipment provided for the drawing of oil or lubricant samples, testing laboratories also make available all types of lubricant and coolant products. These include grease dispensers and meters, sump bottles and view ports, breathers for moisture removal, and lube oil filtration systems.
Testing The Fluid Sample
The testing procedure includes checks for the presence of water and solid particulates. A direct ferrograph reading indicates the size and density of certain metal fragments. The viscosity of the fluid is accurately measured, the amount of acid is determined, and the presence of soot or grease is noted by the lab technicians. A detailed report is sent to the client that includes any red flag warnings about the health of the machinery from which the sample was taken.
Repeating this procedure on a regular basis allows the test laboratory to construct an accurate behavior prediction model for the equipment. One of the reasons the test results and subsequent probability report is so accurate is because the fluid is taken from strategic points around the exterior of the machinery. Samples from various locations will have different physical and chemical characteristics, and this helps the test laboratory compile a more detailed and specific report.
The products and services made available to the client are part of an ongoing partnership that involves the implementation and overseeing of a complete test suite program. The central idea behind installing oil sample pumps and ports is to make it easy for fluids to be drawn without the need to completely shut down the equipment. This reduces downtime and keeps productivity at a maximum level.