SOURCES OF WEAR METALS IN ANALYSIS OF OILS

 
 
The tables given below give an indication to the source of wear metals in the oil. Due to these wear metals it is possible to identify the components that are wearing.
 
WEAR METALS
 
IRON: Iron is the dominant and most common of the wear metals. It is found virtually in all equipment in some form or the other. As it is abundantly used it indicates that there are a lot of sources of wear in the machinery. Due to this knowledge, the testing of this component allows the analyst to distinguish the source of the wear debris, like, cylinder rods vs. bearings. :
   
Glycol
Viscosity
Nitration
Oxidation
Sulfation
Total Acid Number
Total Base Number
Water Contamination
Fuel Dilution
Wear-Metals
Petroleum
   
 

IRON

ENGINE Cylinder , blocks , Gears , Crankshaft , Position Ring , Block , Shafts , valve Train , oil Pump ,Liners
TRANSMISSION Gears , Discs , Housing , Bearings , Brake Bands , Shift Spools , Pumps , PTO-Power Take Off
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Pump / Motor Vanes, Gears,Pistons,Cylinder Boxes & Rods, Bearings, Pump Housing
GEAR SYSTEM Gear , Shafts, Bearings
COMPRESSORS Crankshaft Block, Housing, Screws,Bearings, Shaft,Oil Pump, Piston Rings,Cylinders
TURBINE Shafts, Gears, Bearings, Valves
 
CHROMIUM: Chromium is used in machinery and equipment for its resistance to corrosion and for its great strength and hardness . Thus it is found in many systems operating under extreme and harsh conditions.

CHROMIUM

ENGINE Rings,Roller / Taper,Bearings ,Liners,Exhaust Valves,Water Treatment
TRANSMISSION Roller / Taper,Bearings,Water Treatment
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Rods , Spools , Roller / Taper,Bearings
GEAR SYSTEM Roller / Taper,Bearings
COMPRESSORS Rings , Roller / Taper,Bearings , Water Treatment
TURBINE Shafts , Bearings
 
COPPER: Commonly used as an alloy, it is extensively used because of its material properties like : excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and is extremely ductile. It is used abundantaly in bearing systems and heat exchangers

COPPER

ENGINE Wrist Pin Bushings , Valve Train , Bushings , Cam Bushings , Bearings , Oil Cooler , Thrust Washer , Governor , Oil Pump , Oil Additives
TRANSMISSION Clucthes ,Street Dics , Bushings/Thrust Washers , Oil Cooler
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Pump Thrust Plates , Pump Pistons , Cylinder , Guides , Bushings , Oil Cooler
GEAR SYSTEM Bushings , Thrust Washers
COMPRESSORS Wear Plates , Bushings , Wrist Pin Bushings , Bearings , Thrust Washers
TURBINE Bearings , Bushings , Thrust Plates , Cooler Core Tubing
 
ALUMINUM: Aluminum is prized in equipment because of it high strength to weight ratio, also it has excellent corrosion resistance. Used as an alloy in combination with other elements it improves its wear and temperature resistance.

ALUMINUM

ENGINE Pistons , Bearings , Bushings , Blocks , Housings , Oil Pump Bushings , Blowers , Thrust Bearings ,Oil Additives
TRANSMISSION Pumps , Clutches , Thrust Washer , Bushings ,
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Pump / Motors , Housing , Cylinder
GEAR SYSTEM Thrust Washers , Oil Pump , Bushings , Some Greases
COMPRESSORS Rotors , Pistons , Bearings , Thrust Washers , Block Housing
TURBINE Thrust , Heat Exchanger core , Aluminum Oxides from Silica (Dirt)
 
TIN: Tin is used as an alloying element alongwith copper and lead for sacrificial bearing liners.

TIN

ENGINE piston(Overlay) , Bearing (Overlay) , Bushings , Housing
TRANSMISSION Roller/Taper , Bearings , Water Treatment
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Rods , Spools , Roller / Tapers , Bearings
GEAR SYSTEM Roller / Taper , Bearings , Water Treatment
COMPRESSORS Rings , Roller / Taper , Bearing , Water Treatment , Block Housing
TURBINE Bearing(Babbit) , Bushings , Solder from Tin
 
LEAD: A soft metal used for sacrificial wear surfaces such as journal bearings. Lead based babbit’s are widely used.

LEAD

ENGINE Bearings , Gasoline , Octane Imporve , Oil Additives
TRANSMISSION Oil Additives
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Not Found
GEAR SYSTEM Oil Additives
COMPRESSORS Bearings
TURBINE Bearings , Bushings(Babbit)
 
SILVER: Silver is highly prized as it has the highest electrical as well as thermal conductivity from all metals. It is an excellent bearing plate material, providing minimum friction. Due to its low contact resistance it is susceptible to corrosive attack by Zinc-based additives.

SILVER

ENGINE Wrist Pin Bushings , Solder From Cooler Cores Joints
TRANSMISSION Needle Bearings(Trace) , Solder From Oil Cooler Core Joints
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Solder , Trace Element
GEAR SYSTEM Not Found
COMPRESSORS Solder , Trace Element
TURBINE Solder , Trace Element
 
CADMIUM: Cadmium is resistant to corrosion and as a result it is used as a protective layer when deposited on other metals. Also used as an alloy with certain metals.

CADMIUM

ENGINE Enviormental Contaminant
TRANSMISSION Alloy Metal , Enviormental Contaminant
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Alloy from Bearings , Enviormental Contaminant
GEAR SYSTEM Alloy Metal , Enviormental Contaminant
COMPRESSORS Alloy Metal , Enviormental Contaminant
TURBINE Alloy Metal , Enviormental Contaminant
 
VANADIUM: Vanadium Used as an Alloy mainly with steel to increase the strength of steel considerably. Used in applications for axles, crankshaft and other critical components.

VANADIUM

ENGINE Alloy Metal , Contaminant in Marine Bunker Fuels
TRANSMISSION Not Found
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Alloy Metal
GEAR SYSTEM Not Found
COMPRESSORS Alloy Metal
TURBINE Alloy Metal
 
TITANIUM: The two most important properties of Titanium is corrosion resistance and the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal. Thus it is alloyed with Iron, Molybdenum, Vanadium, aluminium to produce strong lightweight alloys for aero-space, military and industrial use. Also used widely for manufacturing Titanium dioxide used in Paints, Coatings and Pigments.

TITANIUM

ENGINE Valves , Piston Pins , Bearings , Shafts
TRANSMISSION Shafts , Gears , Bearings , Paint or Coatings
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Valves , Piston Pins , Bearings , Shafts
GEAR SYSTEM Shafts , Gears , Bearings , Paint or Coatings
COMPRESSORS Shafts , Gears , Bearings , Paint or Coatings
TURBINE Shafts , Gears , Bearings , Paint or Coatings
 

CONTAMINANT METALS

 
SILICON: A common contaminant found during lube oil analysis. Mainly due to ingested dirt (sand) which is a very hard crystalline material and is extremely abrasive to metal components. Also found due to Coolant / Anti-freeze and sealant wear.

SILICON

ENGINE Anti-Foam Additive , Ingested Dirt , Coolant Leak , Silicates from Antifreeze
TRANSMISSION Disc Lining , Brake Shoes , Ingested Dirt , Silicates from Antifreeze
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Ingested Dirt , Elastomeric Seals , Silicates from Antifreeze
GEAR SYSTEM Ingested Dirt , Silicone Sealant , Anti-Foam Additive , Silicates from Antifreeze
COMPRESSORS Ingested Dirt , Silicone Sealant , Silicates from Antifreeze
TURBINE Ingested Dirt , Silicone Sealant , Defoamant Additive , Silicates from Antifreeze
 
SODIUM: Corrosion inhibitor additive, also indicates coolant leak into oil, can also be road Salt, Sea water, Ingested Dirt

SODIUM

ENGINE Oil Additive , Anti-Freeze , Salt , Ingested Dirt
TRANSMISSION Oil Additive , Anti-Freeze , Ingested Dirt , Ingested Dirt , Molybdates from some Coolants
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Oil Additive , Anti-Freeze
GEAR SYSTEM Oil Additive , Ingested Dirt , Ingested Dirt
COMPRESSORS Oil Additive , Anti-Freeze , Ingested Dirt
TURBINE Oil Additive , Anti-Freeze , Ingested Dirt
 
POTASSIUM: Usually not found in the oil but may be due to coolant leak if associated with Sodium and may be Magnesium.

POTASSIUM

ENGINE Anti-Freeze , Solder Flux , Head Coatings , Pot-Ash
TRANSMISSION Anti-Freeze , Solder Flux , Head Coatings , Pot-Ash
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Airbourne Enviormental Contaminant , Anti-Freeze
GEAR SYSTEM Additive from Potassium or , Sodium Borate Gear Oil , Solder Flux , Solder Flux
COMPRESSORS Airbourne Enviormental Contaminant , Anti-Freeze , Enviormental Contaminant , Gas Contaminant
TURBINE Airbourne Enviormental Contaminant , Anti-Freeze , Solder Flux , Gas Contaminant
 
MANGANESE: is important for Iron and Steel for its alloying properties as it increases their tensile strength when used. Also when used with Aluminium it increases its resistance against corrosion.

MANGANESE

ENGINE Steel Alloy Metal in Gears , Some Shafts
TRANSMISSION Steel Alloy Metal in Gears , Some Shafts
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Steel Alloy Metal in Gears , Some Shafts
GEAR SYSTEM Steel Alloy Metal in Gears , Some Shafts , Bearings
COMPRESSORS Steel Alloy Metal in Gears ,Some Shafts , Bearings
TURBINE Steel Alloy Metal in Gears ,Some Shafts , Bearings
 
ADDITIVE METALS
 
BORON: Corrosion Inhibitor additive, Antiwear/Antioxidant additive, can indicate coolant leak, grease contamination

BORON

ENGINE Additive common in Engine Oils and , Gear Oils , Indicates Coolant Leak
TRANSMISSION Additive common in Engine Oils and Gear Oils and Dexron Fluids ,Indicates Coolant Leak ,
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Additive common in Engine Oils and , Gear Oils , Indicates Coolant Leak
GEAR SYSTEM Additive common in Engine Oils and , Gear Oils and Dexron Fluids , Indicates Coolant Leak
COMPRESSORS Additive common in Engine Oils and Gear Oils Indicates Coolant Leak
TURBINE Additive common in Engine Oils and Gear Oils , Indicates Coolant Leak
 
MAGNESIUM: Detergent/dispersive additive, can also be alloying element in steels

MAGNESIUM

ENGINE Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Alloy Element in Steels , Enviormental Contaminant
TRANSMISSION Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Alloy Element in Steels , Enviormental Contaminant
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Alloy Element in Steels , Enviormental Contaminant
GEAR SYSTEM Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Alloy Element in Steels , Enviormental Contaminant
COMPRESSORS Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Alloy Element in Steels , Enviormental Contaminant
TURBINE Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Alloy Element in Steels , Enviormental Contaminant
 
CALCIUM: Detergent/dispersant additive, Alkaline reserve additive for high sulfur fueled engines, can be grease contamination

CALCIUM

ENGINE Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Calcium from Water Contamination , Alkaline Reserve Additive
TRANSMISSION Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Calcium from Water Contamination , Alkaline Reserve Additive
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Calcium from Water Contamination , Alkaline Reserve Additive
GEAR SYSTEM Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Calcium from Water Contamination , Alkaline Reserve Additive
COMPRESSORS Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Calcium from Water Contamination , Alkaline Reserve Additive
TURBINE Detergent / Dispersant Additive , Calcium from Water Contamination , Alkaline Reserve Additive
 
BARIUM: Corrosion inhibitors, Detergents, Rust inhibitors

BARIUM

ENGINE Not Found , Contaminant in Drilling Applications
TRANSMISSION Demulsifying Agent in some , Transmission Oils ,
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Demulsifying Agent in some , Transmission Oils , Contaminant in Drilling Applications
GEAR SYSTEM Demulsifying Agent in some , Transmission Oils , Contaminant in Drilling Applications
COMPRESSORS Demulsifying Agent in some , Contaminant in Drilling Applications , Additive common in Compressor , Oils and some Tranmission , Fluids and Gear Oils
TURBINE Demulsifying Agent in some , Contaminant in Drilling Applications , Additive common in Compressor , Oils and some Tranmission , Fluids and Gear Oils
 
PHOSPHORUS: Antiwear, Corrosion inhibitors, Anti-oxidants additives, EP additives

PHOSPHORUS

ENGINE Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Phosphate Ester , Phosphate Inhibitor found in Coolants
TRANSMISSION Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Phosphate Ester , Phosphate Inhibitor found in Coolants
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Phosphate Ester , Phosphate Inhibitor found in Coolants
GEAR SYSTEM Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Phosphate Ester , Phosphate Inhibitor found in Coolants
COMPRESSORS EP Additive , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Phosphate Ester , Phosphate Inhibitor found in Coolants
TURBINE EP Additive , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Anti-Oxidant Phasphate Ester/td> , Phosphate Inhibitor found in Coolants
 
ZINC: Antiwear, Corrosion inhibitors, Anti-oxidants, alloying element for bearings, thrust washers, galvanized cases

ZINC

ENGINE Alloy in Brass , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Galvanized Steel from Filter Cannisters
TRANSMISSION Alloy in Brass , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Galvanized Steel from Filter Cannisters
HYDRAULIC SYSTEM Alloy in Brass , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Galvanized Steel from Filter Cannisters
GEAR SYSTEM Alloy in Brass , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Galvanized Steel from Filter Cannisters
COMPRESSORS Alloy in Brass , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Galvanized Steel from Filter Cannisters
TURBINE Alloy in Brass , Anti-Wear Additive ZDDP , (Zinc Dialkyl-DithioPhosphate) , Galvanized Steel from Filter Cannisters
 

TESTING OF METALS IN OUR LABORATORY

Testing of the Metals comprising of WEAR METALS, CONTAMINANT METALS and ADDITIVE METALS is done in our laboratory. Equipment used : OSA-3 MetalLab® Analyzer
Method of Testing : ASTM D6595: Standard Test Method for Determination of Wear Metals and Contaminants in Used Lubricating Oils or Used Hydraulic Fluids by Rotating Disc Electrode Atomic Emission Spectrometry
 
 
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