Lubricating Oil Analysis (New)
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The two basic categories of lube oil found in oil analysis applications are mineral and synthetic. Mineral oils are refined from naturally occurring petroleum, or crude oil. Synthetic oils are manufactured polyalphaolefins, which are hydrocarbon-based polyglycols or ester oils.
Mineral oils are the most commonly used because the supply of crude oil has rendered them inexpensive; moreover, a large body of data on their properties and use already exists. Another advantage of mineral-based lube oils is that they can be produced in a wide range of viscosities.
Synthetic lubricants were first used in the aerospace industry and are usually formulated for a specific application to which mineral oils are ill-suited. For example, synthetics are used where extremely high operating temperatures are encountered or where the lube oil must be fire resistant in applications such as aircraft turbines.
Lubricating oil analysis is primarily a quality control process. It is important to verify the levels of additives and contaminants during the production phase, and equally as important for lubricant users to confirm specifications.
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