What You Can Learn with an Oil Sampling

November 11, 2021 0 Comments




From a young age we are taught how important it is to complete routine checkups and examinations with a variety of a specialists. For our personal health, this is to monitor changes over time and make more informed decisions about our body, mind and self-care needs. And as we get older, we pay a similar respect to many of the larger assets in our lives – homes receive constant upkeep, repair and improvements; cars undergo tire rotations, fluid changes, battery and brake checks; and electronics require software updates to improve their function. All these examples of “routine maintenance” are efforts aimed to support condition and performance and prevent long-term costly disruptions.

When it comes to your business, the heart of your operation shouldn’t be treated any differently. Fluid is the lifeblood of your compressor and the health of your compressor is imperative to the success of your operation. Conducting routine Compressor Fluid Analysis is the best way help identify any concerns and predict potential problems before a major and unplanned repair occurs.

Understanding what’s lurking within your fluid will help to optimize performance by identifying abnormal wear or contamination. Finding common contaminants such as dirt, water and other process materials can indicate action is needed to save the lubricant and avoid unnecessary machine wear. This in turn can help to further extend fluid and bearing life. Predictive maintenance is also beneficial for avoiding unscheduled downtime and establishing optimal change interviews.

There are several things that you can learn from an oil sampling including:

  • pH levels that suggest warning signs of corrosive wear of bearings
  • Acid number to indicate the remaining useful life of the fluid
  • Viscosity to measure the resistance of a fluid to flow at a specific temperature. A higher viscosity may indicate higher operating temperature
  • FTIP spectroscopy provides molecular information including additives, fluid breakdown products and external contamination which can help establish optimal change out intervals
  • Water levels which can identify leaks
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectroscopy measures and quantifies elements associated with wear, contamination and additives

From proper lubrication, to keeping temperatures under control to reducing wear and tear, it’s clear that compressor fluid plays a leading role in maintaining the integrity of your machine. Just as it would with our own bodies and property, early detection, diagnosis and treatment saves the hassle of impending problems and boosts productivity and profitability by managing overall health.

To maintain your Sullair warranty, a fluid sample should be taken every 2000 hours or every 6 months – whichever occurs first. A Sullair fluid analysis can be done on any type of compressor fluid and testing is simple.

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