Copper in UOA

Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Messages
3,394
Location
Midwest, Illinois
I've gotten interested in this topic lately. I've looked at many UOA, and noticed that some oils will show a higher concentration of copper than others. There may even be several UOA that show low copper, then a brand change will be made, and copper spikes. This may explain some of it. I have assumed it would apply to PCMO as well. Copper study
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
Messages
2,253
Location
SW Ontario Canada
I had 2 oil analysis on my Maxima, the copper was very high for a relatively new engine. Blackstone suggested it was due to cu leaching from oil cooler - nothing to worry about. I will eventually get another UOA done, but I'm in no rush. Thanks for the link, I will keep using the PP 5W30 to avoid upsetting the pacifying varnish layer in the cooler.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
10,108
Location
Waco, TX
QUOTE: "If copper associated with wear is suspected, perhaps it is best to prepare a filtergram and perform a microscopic analysis of the particles. Because copper suspensions from cooler core leaching and coolant leaks are soluble or the associated copper particulates are smaller than 1 micron, they likely won't appear on the membrane for microscopic analysis. Only the copper from wear will be visible, which is helpful in distinguishing the source." This is why UOA's are often useless - - - "wear particles" are way, way, way, way, way too large to be ionized in a spectrographic machine
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
25,069
Location
ON, Canada eh?
On the PentaStar engines they have an Oil to Coolant heat exchanger and it leaches copper for a long long time. I think it also shows up in the EcoDiesels by FCA as well. This is where the lab universal averages help because it might be alarming for some engines but not others like the PentaStar for example. Trending multiple reports also helps.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
4,371
Location
Central Maryland
Originally Posted by Linctex
QUOTE: "If copper associated with wear is suspected, perhaps it is best to prepare a filtergram and perform a microscopic analysis of the particles. Because copper suspensions from cooler core leaching and coolant leaks are soluble or the associated copper particulates are smaller than 1 micron, they likely won't appear on the membrane for microscopic analysis. Only the copper from wear will be visible, which is helpful in distinguishing the source." This is why UOA's are often useless - - - "wear particles" are way, way, way, way, way too large to be ionized in a spectrographic machine
Thank you for digging that quote up. The interpretation is the other way around, I think. The spectographic machine will catch both sizes, but not distinguish between them. The filtergram and microscopic analysis will display the larger wear particles only, but not give any indication of soluble or sub-micron copper.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
23,031
Location
Iowegia - USA
Another reason why that in Fluid Analysis one needs an idea of the composition of the metal and metal alloys in a component in order to determine whether or not one should get excited.
 
Last edited:
Top