What is TBN and why is it important?
At Techenomics we are often asked about the various tests carried out in the eight fluid analysis laboratories we operate worldwide in five countries. One of the questions that we are regularly asked is ‘What is TBN in oil analysis and why is it important?’
Hopefully, this explanation will help.
The TBN or Total Base Number indicates the lubricant’s alkalinity level and is a key factor in helping to control and manage oil life.
Using the TBN assists in the neutralising of acids formed in service and crankcase oils must maintain an adequate TBN level during service to prevent the build-up of acids.
Failure to control acid levels will lead to excessive engine deposits and corrosive attack of vital engine components such as cylinder liners, piston rings and bearings.
As the lubricant base level falls below a minimum level and the oil needs to be changed, the TBN should be frequently monitored in the engine oil.
Detergent additives containing metal are a predominant source of TBN in a lubricant.
One important test we carry out at Techenomics is the measurement of TBN in engine oils and this includes the central inorganic core of basic calcium carbonate/hydroxide that is kept in colloidal suspension in the lubricant by detergent soap molecules.
These soap molecules are categorised into calcium phenate, calcium salicylate and calcium sulphonate.
The level of TBN required in engine oil is classified by the manufacturer of the equipment and is likely to vary from 8 for highway cars to 12 or more for heavy duty mining equipment.
For more information about Techenomics International visit www.techenomics.net or contact Chris Adsett, firstname.lastname@example.org; in Indonesia Freddy, email@example.com; in South East Asia Siti, firstname.lastname@example.org, in Mongolia Tumee, email@example.com, in Australia Jason Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org, or in Africa Chris Adsett, email@example.com.