Testing Virgins

Aug 7, 2013 | condition monitoring, oil analysis

chris-purkissA Predictive or Proactive Maintenance Program is the key to any successful operation as it removes the root cause problems before they occur. Operators are now realising the importance of testing virgin oils before they put the oils into machines, eradicating the possibility of adding contaminated oil to the equipment.

Techenomics have been testing Virgin Oils for years and have recently discovered two main problems that occur in the oils and are imperative to the long life of a machine. According to Newcastle Operations Manager, Chris Purkiss, the first problem can occur when companies change the supplier for their engine oil.

“We recently had a company who changed supplier and when we tested the oil from the 1000 litre tetra packs we identified the Viscosity was different to that specified.  We could easily negotiate this problem with the supplier because the customer had good data to make their case.” Explains Chris.

Another common problem found is that the bulk filling tanks are getting contaminated with water.

“A number of diesel engines we tested recently came back with low amounts of water contamination in the oil.  After an investigation we identified that the problem went back to the bulk filling tanks.  The tank was identified, isolated and an emergency filling station put in place.” Said Chris.

Techenomics have discovered the main causes of contamination is from the tanks being stored outside and having rain water sit on the top of the drums. If the seal is not perfect or the tanks breather is damaged, when the tank is nearly empty thermal expansion causes the tanks to breath and condensation forms on the inside of the tank.

To help overcome these problems Techenomics recommends oil drums are stored inside or if they are outside then hats should be put over the drums to prevent water sitting on the top. Bulk storage tanks should also have a breather fitted with a desiccant breather.

The most effective solution is through a regular virgin oil sampling program.

“If a virgin oil sampling program was in place to begin with, then contaminated oil would never have been allowed into the engines. Many organisations now take a virgin oil sample whenever a new supply of oil is opened from either a 200 litre drum or the 1000 litre tetra pack, but the greatest possibility for contamination is when the oil is in the tank. Best Practice is to take regular samples from the filling gun in the facility as contamination can come from both the tank and the supply pipe work.”  Explains Chris.

For any companies requiring a virgin oil testing programme or for further information on Virgin Oil Sampling, please contact your local Techenomics laboratory or email admin@techenomics.com


For media enquiries please contact Brooke Tolar, DragonFly Public Relations on T: 0411 553 246 or

E-mail: brooke@dragonflypr.com.au


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