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  • Anshuman Agrawal

7 ways to inspect the lubricant/oil

Updated: Jul 3



1) Visual Inspection of Oil in a Sample Bottle:


- Colour: wrong or mixed oil, photo-catalytic reaction, oxidation and thermal degradation, soot, chemical contamination

- Emulsions and Cloudiness: haze to buttermilk, cuff, stable or unstable, additive floc, salt, air, glycol

- Free Water: colour, speed of separation, level

- Sediments – colour: amber, black, translucent, settling rate, density and particle size, laser through the bottle


2) Using Oil Colour as a Field Test:


- You can check the colour of the oil sample with the help of an oil change colour gauge by using glass or PET plastic bottles

- Without a gauge, you can compare the sample with a new oil sample and observe the colour, if you find that colour of the oil is milky or dark, then check the contamination & moisture in oil with the help of an Oil testing kit


3) Moisture Detection by Vision:


- Visual inspection

- Transparent container

- Use comparators and good lighting, laser pointer is also effective

- Hazy to milky appearance may indicate water emulsion


4) Routine Inspection of Sight Glasses in Oil Analysis:


- Change in oil level – up or down, sudden and significant changes are serious

- Sight glass foaming

- Oil colour, darkening, turbidity, etc.

- BS& W bowl shows oxidised oil

- Use a blue pen-light for checking the oil level and quality insight glasses


5) Other Audible Inspection:


- Gearing – A singing gear is a happy gear, usually, it means it is one that is hitting

- Hydraulics – High metallic sounds from pumps means there is water in oils

- Marbles on the tin roof mean cavitation


6) Using your Sense of Touch:


A) Lube: Oils should feel slippery, not clingy. Greases should feel buttery, not stringy or lumpy

- Grease consistency can be estimated manually with a butter knife, you can tell the difference between #2 and #3


B) Contaminants – Sludge: hard, pasty, sticky

- Particles / Sediments

- Filter debris


7) Using Oil Odour as a Field Test:


Purpose quickly detect odour – Producing changes in an oil’s chemistry and constituents.

For best results with scenting, use comparators for examples, bottles of new oil, oxidised oil, burnt oil, diesel contaminated oil, etc.



Also read: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-inventory-management-anshuman-agrawal-mlt-1-/



Minimac focuses on lubrication reliability and contamination control - Doctor's for your machine!



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