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What is Oil Analysis?

Oil Analysis (OA) is the process of testing contamination levels and the chemical make-up of oils (and fuels as well as other fluids), in laboratory conditions, in order to identify; their properties and any contamination or wear debris that have been introduced from machinery.


The purpose of oil analysis is to accurately determine the condition of the oil and its machinery, in order to make necessary adjustments, to prolong the lifespan of both oil and machinery, keeping machines running at an optimal level for longer. As such, our oil analysis service is always followed up by a comprehensive report of the findings and advisory notes.

Comparing the results of oil analysis samples over the lifespan of machinery, allows negative trends to be identified and corrected, helping to eliminate costly repairs.

What Types of Fluids can be Analysed?

We can perform oil analysis testing on all types of oils; mineral, synethetic, bio-degradable, food grade, transmission, hydraulic, gear, transformer, turbine, compressor, heat transfer and quench, neat cutting, soluble, process, aviation, marine and many more.

For more information on the main types of fluids we analyse, select the relevant below:

We can offer 'on site services' for sampling, gravimetric patch testing, particle counting, water content and FAME (biodiesel) content of diesel fuel.

Routine analysis of automotive and industrial oils from all industries and in all applications including; construction plant, mining, quarrying, HGV, marine, production machinery, manufacturing, aerospace, rail, industrial machinery, power stations and many more.

Our Oil Analysis Service

Our in-house fuel, coolant, grease and oil analysis services provide you with the information and recommendations required to ensure that your oils, fluids and machinery keep running efficiently, to their optimal levels, for longer.

Operating to the highest industry standards, our oil analysis laboratory complies with ISO 9001:2008 and BS EN O14001:2004 standards and our transformer oil analysis program is UKAS Accredited, meaning with us you are guaranteed the highest quality, certified, oil analysis service. Our process is detailed below:

Oil Sample Taken

A sample of your oil (or diesel fuel) is taken from your system to be tested.

Oil Sample Delivery

Post your oil sample to us, to arrive at our laboratory to be analysed.

Oil Analysis & Testing

Laboratory analysis will confirm the cleanliness and chemical composition of your oil.

Comprehensive Report

Technical reports are supplied, detailing your oils' make-up and recommendations.

To ensure that you get results on time we aim for a 1-3 day turnaround for lube oils and 3-5 day turnaround on diesel fuel.

The Importance of Oil Analysis

Whatever your industry, as an operator or owner of equipment that utilises any type of fluid - be it engine oil, hydraulic oil, gear oil, transmission oil, grease or coolant - you should know that these fluids are the lifeblood of your equipment.

The oils protect and lubricate, reduce friction, clean vital parts, act as a coolant, maintain compression, lubricate seals, operate in high-pressure systems or where hydraulic parts are used and to maintain the life of the components.

The grease is present to lubricate and stop wear occurring in bearings, pins and bushes and to ensure that all the components run smoothly and with minimum friction.

The coolants are there to keep the equipment from overheating and to protect metals from distorting under extreme temperatures.

Contamination causes over 85% of mechanical failures resulting in expensive repairs and costly machine downtime.

Each moving part in an oil lubricated circuit has a normal wear rate. As these parts wear they introduce particles into the oil, generally these are very small but through an oil sampling and analysis program these can be monitored. If there is an increase in the amount or size of the particles the analysis will highlight these and help pinpoint the source. This gives you the opportunity to take preventative action before a failure can occur.

Many machine manufacturers analyse and test their products over many years and millions of miles to failure point. During these tests regular oil samples are taken and a complete analysis over the lifespan of the components is built up. This is then broken down into a wear analysis record. This trend is then used by the oil laboratories to be able to monitor the machinery.

Regular oil analysis is a low cost preventative maintenance tool that enables owners/operators to see what is happening inside the machinery.

Benefits of Oil Analysis & Sampling

There are many benefits to implementing an oil analysis program. It allows you to:

Reduce Operating Costs

Reduce the costs of oil and filter changes, by keeping your oil cleaner for longer.

Pinpoint Potential Problems

Detailed analysis will help identify any problems in their infancy.

Plan Manpower & Maintenance

Regular analysis will highlight trends allowing you to plan system services.

Plan Service Schedules

Know when you need to change, or clean your oil to plan the service work.

Maintain Productivity

Keep your equipment running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Save Downtime Costs

Analysis and filtration keeps your machines operational for longer.

Reduce Major Repairs

Identify minor repairs to prevent them from becoming major repairs.

Reduce Waste Products

Analysis usually shows that your used oil can be recycled and re-used.

Prepare for Sale

Evaluate the state of equipment in readiness for purchase or sale.

Comprehensive Oil Analysis Reporting

A full range of fluid analysis tests are performed on your sample in our laboratory, the results of which are compiled into a comprehensive report and returned to you.

These tests include:

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Wear Rate Tests

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Oil Cleanliness Tests

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Viscosity Tests

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Particle Counting

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Karl Fischer

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Infrared Tests

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Oil Condition Tests

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Glycol, Water & Fuel Tests

All analysis reports carry a recommendation from the laboratory, offering information and advice on any actions required. When a sample is received at the laboratory results are available within 48 hours. These are then e-mailed in pdf format directly back to you.

Dependent on the initial findings, the laboratory may - after contacting you - perform further testing at their discretion. Microscopic photography may also be used to provide additional evidence to support and record findings.

Oil Analysis Recommendations

Please consider the following when it comes to Oil Analysis:

  • Always refer to the machinery manufacturers recommendations for oil types: using the wrong oil type could invalidate a warranty claims.

  • Use an independent laboratory for oil analysis as they are not there to sell you oil and will give you unbiased reports.

  • Oil analysis can reveal the amount of wear taking place on your machinery and the locations, by the type of metal accumulation in the oil.

  • Regular oil sampling will allow you to build a trend based on hours/miles and enables maintenance staff to plan their schedules.

  • Sulphuric acid contamination is caused from excessive amounts of sulphur in diesel fuel combined with water contamination.

  • Additional filtration can remove contamination and water, prolonging the life of the oil.

  • Oil analysis reports will identify when to change oil and oil filters, making it easy to maintain your equipment.

  • Change air filters regularly and fit a pre-air cleaner to prolong air filter life.

  • Train maintenance staff in correct oil sampling procedures.

  • Always sample oil hot.

  • Always sample oil from the same point.

Operating to the highest industry standards, our oil analysis laboratory complies with ISO 9001:2008 and BS EN O14001:2004 standards.

Our transformer oil analysis program is UKAS Accredited

In addition to oil analysis, our laboratory is also fully equipped to undertake fuel analysis, coolant analysis and grease analysis

You are guaranteed the highest quality, certified, analysis services in our laboratory.

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