Ground Rules for Comparing Oil Types

Apr 13, 2015 | Blue oceans Software, condition monitoring, Lubrication, oil analysis

Ground Rules for Comparing Oil Types

chris-adsettAlarms or limits pertaining to the use of oil in equipment and machinery relate more to componentry rather than the oil type itself. In order to compare oil types, specialist oil analysis and fluid management provider Techenomics International recommends establishing some firm ground rules at the outset so that the appropriate baseline data can be generated.

Changing oil types or reverting to oil with heavier or lower grade viscosity may have major impacts on the baseline limits but Techenomics says it does not have a direct relationship with the alarm levels themselves.

Techenomics’ CEO Chris Adsett says when establishing the baseline limits, or alarms, the oil type can be taken into account. “If you were to look at generating new baseline limits for a 960E dump truck engine, for example, you would need to set some new ground rules to begin with.


“You would need to eliminate all samples that contain water, glycol or fuel ingress, and reject samples that contain sodium and silicon at certain ppm levels. You would then need to look at how many samples you can gather from the same type of equipment using a similar oil type (i.e. SAE 680), and these samples need to have been taken at the same interval (i.e. 500 hours).

“You would then look at eliminating samples due to equipment age and get the data as closely matched as possible. This would then allow a history pattern of normal wear and tear to be established for baseline data. Some mathematical equations are then used to create the ‘Normal’, ‘Warning’ and ‘Problem’ limits.”


Chris Adsett says creating baseline data relating specifically to oil type requires the establishment of ground rules.

“One of the biggest issues I see with trying to do this is getting enough history of the same equipment and compartments running the same oil type. To establish a good confidence level you would need to have more than 50 samples from at least 10 machines.”

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For more information contact: Chris Adsett at or Sam at


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