University of Oulu

Oil analysis in machine diagnostics

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Author: Vähäoja, Pekka1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
2University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2006
Publish Date: 2006-05-30
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on June 9th, 2006, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Professor Kenneth Holmberg
Docent Risto Pöykiö


This study concentrates on developing and tuning various oil analysis methods to meet the requirements of modern industry and environmental analytics. Oil analysis methods form a vital part of techniques used to monitor the condition of machines and may help to improve the overall equipment effectiveness value of a factory in a significant manner.

Worm gears are used in various production machines, and their breakdowns may cause significant production losses. Wearing of these gears is relatively difficult to monitor with vibration analysis. Analysis of two indicator metals, copper and iron, may reveal wearing phenomena of worm gears effectively, and savings can be significant.

Effective wear metal analysis requires good tools. ICP-OES with kerosene dilution is widely used in wear metal analysis, but purchasing and using of ICP-OES is expensive. A cheaper FAAS technique with similar pre-treatment of oil samples was tested and it proved to be useful especially in analyzing small amounts of samples. The accuracy of FAAS was sufficient for quantitative work in machine diagnostics and waste oil characterization. Solid debris analyses are useful in oil contamination control as well as in detection of wearing mechanisms. Membrane filtration, optical microscopy, SEM and automatic particle counting were applied in analysis of rolling and gear oils. Particle counting is an effective way to detect oil contamination, but in the studied cases even larger particles than those detected in normal ISO classes would be informative. However, membrane filtration and optical microscopy may reveal the wearing machine element exactly. Additives provide oils with desired properties thus they should be monitored intensively. A FTIR method for quantitative analysis of fatty alcohols and fatty acid esters in machinery oils was developed during this work. It has already been used successfully in quantitative and qualitative analysis of machinery oil samples.

Various kinds of oils may be spilled into the soil during use and in accident situations, and they can migrate to groundwater layers. Biodegradation of oils can remove them from the soil or water completely or at least diminish the amount of harmful substances. An automatic, respirometric BOD OxiTop method was used to evaluate the biodegradability of various oils in water and soil media. The biodegradation of certain bio and mineral hydraulic oils was evaluated in groundwater, where bio oils usually biodegraded more effectively than mineral oils. The use of oils in machines weakened especially the biodegradability of bio oils. Biodegradability of bio oils was also studied in standard conditions of OECD 301 F and bio oils usually biodegraded moderately good in these conditions. The biodegradation of forestry chain oils and wood preservative oils was evaluated in forest soils. Linseed oil biodegraded moderately, but certain experimental wood preservatives biodegraded more effectively. Widely used creosote oil biodegraded in a lesser degree. Rapeseed oil-based chain oils biodegraded more effectively than corresponding tall oil.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-8076-8
ISBN Print: 951-42-8075-X
Issue: 458
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2006. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.