Lubricating oils contain chemical additives that give the oil a greater in-service life.
These additives contain a range of elements such as Calcium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Chlorine, Molybdenum etc whose concentration need to be measured as part of a quality control/assurance system to demonstrate conformance to specification.
Lubricating Oils and XRF
Benchtop Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) spectrometers (X-Supreme8000) offer a simple to use, cost-effective solution with the instruments often located on the production site and operated by shift personnel. This form of lubricating oil analysis produces rapid results allowing the production operators to control the process with “instant feedback” offering the potential of production time and cost-optimisation.
In response to the industries request for a simple to use analytical technique, a new ASTM standard test method (ASTM D7751) for lubricating oil has recently being released covering analysis by EDXRF.
Another important parameter for users of lubricating oil is to know when the oil should be replaced as there is often a significant cost. Oil conditioning programs are often set up with users sending “test samples” back to the supplier at regular maintenance intervals.
These samples are tested for the presence of “wear metals” in used lubricating oil. Again, the X-Supreme8000 can be set up to measure a wide range of elements in used oil, e.g. V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Pb etc rapidly and non-destructively, giving cost savings compared to conventional “wet chemical” analysis.