Help on interpreting UOA/VOAs

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114
Location
Colorado
Can somebody link to me information to help me interpret UOAs and VOAs? Things like, what are the specific wear metals, and what are they linked to, etc. What are good numbers for the various different metals, and what does higher or lower numbers of different metals indicate? I've searched around for this info, but haven't found it yet. If someone could just give me some links it would make it so much easier. Thanx, -YB
 

MolaKule

Staff member
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21,908
Location
Iowegia - USA
You first need to go down to the "Science and Technology of Lubricants and Additives" and then go down one level to the "Questions of the Day." Search on 'additives.' Learn more about motor oil additives and then look at some of the VOA's and UOA's.
 
Messages
1,251
Location
Akron, OH
Specific wears metals are associated with different components in different vehicles. As long as wear metals are below 50 PPM, they won't kill the engine. In some cases 125 PPM is the cut-off point. The best comparisons are: Comparing an engine to its peers... engines of the same line in similar applications. Can't compare a small-block Chevy's wear numbers to a Ford Modular engine. You can't really compare the wear numbers from one pickup truck used to ferry a middle-aged computer programmer 30 miles each morning from home to work to the wear numbers from an identical pick-up truck that is used in the winter to plow driveways and in the summer to tow light construction equipment from one job site to another. -Especially useful is trending a given engine's wear over time. If your copper wear triples but your oil and driving didn't change, you've got something going on. -Changes in oil can ruin your comparative numbers. If you went from Pennzoil GTX to Redline or Mobil1 you'd likely double at least one or two "wear metals" but your engine wouldn't actually be sufferring.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,908
Location
Iowegia - USA
quote:
IMPROVING THE LIFE AND CAPABILITIES OF LUBRICANTS A review of commonly used additives Additives present in a lubricant improve and strengthen its life. In turn, the lubricant protects and extends the life of your equipment. Additives can improve the physical properties of the lubricant while increasing its performance. Chemically active additives are actually able to interact with metals and form a protective film with the metallic components present in the machinery. The amount of additives present in the oil depends on its intended use. High-performance machines such as engines require superior additives. The oil formulator must ensure that the additives present in the lubricant will not produce unacceptable side effects. If an additive is present in excessive levels or interacts in an unsatisfactory manner with other additives that are present, it can be detrimental to the equipment. Over a period of time additive packages can deplete, leaving machinery unprotected and vulnerable to failure. The additives in a lubricant can also be referred to as the performance package. Some of the more commonly used additives include: Anti-foam agents Almost every lubricant foams to some extent due to the agitation and aeration that occurs during operation. Air entertainment due to the agitation encourages foam formation. The presence of some detergent and dispersant additives tends to promote foam formation. Foaming increases oxidation and reduces the flow or oil to the bearings. In addition, foaming may cause abnormal loss of oil through orifices. Anti-foam agents are used to reduce the foaming tendencies of the lubricant. Foam inhibitors may be added to a lubricant in service if a foaming problem is detected. The lubricant and equipment manufactures should be consulted before adding foam inhibitors. COMMON PROCEDURES FOR MONITORING ADDITIVES IN USED LUBRICANTS LABORATORY TEST APPLICATION OF TEST Spectrometric Analysis Detects additive elements, primarily to monitor consistency in the product, asopposed to additive effectiveness or strength. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) Monitors the chemical compositionof the oil in certain key wavelengths. Lubricant degradation products, such as oxidation and nitration, are monitored and trended. Total Acid Number Measures the amount of acidic acid (ASTM D664 & D974) Agents present in the sample and indicates lube oxidation or contamination. Total Base Number (ASTM D664, D974, & D2896) Monitors the acid neutralizing reserves of the lubricant. This component is critical to the analysis of internal combustion engine lubricants. A decrease in total base number indicates a corresponding decrease in the lubricant’s acid fighting ability. Foaming Characteristics of Lubricating Oils (ASTM D892) Characteristics Makes a determination of the foaming characteristics of lubricating oils at a specific temperature. Monitors the foaming tendency and stability of the foam. Rotating Bomb Oxidation Test (ASTM D2272) Evaluates the oxidation stability of the lubricant. Measures the remaining useful life of the anti-oxidation capability. Rust Preventing Characteristics (ASTM D665) Evaluates the ability of inhibited mineral oils to aid in preventing the rusting of ferrous parts should water become mixed with the lubricant. Anti-wear and EP additives Both anti-wear and extreme-pressure (EP) additives form a protective layer on metal parts by decomposition and absorption. Anti-wear additives function in moderate environments of temperature and pressure while EP additives are effective in the more extreme environments. Molybdenum disulfide and graphite additives are a special form of anti-wear additives known as anti-seize agents. They form a protective layer on the metal parts by deposition of the graphite or molybdenum disulfide. Anti-seize agents work independent of temperature and pressure. Typical applications include engine oils, transmission fluids, power steering fluids, and tractor hydraulic fluids. EP additives are common in gear oils, metalworking fluids, and some hydraulic fluids. Dispersants The purpose of this additive is to suspend or disperse harmful products within the lubricant. Thus, the additive neutralizes the effect of these products. Harmful products include contaminates such as dirt, water, fuel, and process material, and lube degradation products such as sludge, varnish, and oxidation products. Typical applications include diesel and gasoline engine oils, transmission fluids, power steering fluids, and in some cases gear oils. Detergents Detergents, like dispersants, are blended into lubricants to remove and neutralize harmful products. In addition, detergents form a protective layer on the metal surfaces to prevent deposition of sludge and varnish. In engines, this can reduce the amount of acidic materials produced. A detergent’s protective ability is measured by its total base number or its reserve alkalinity. The metallic basis for detergents includes barium, calcium, and magnesium and sodium. Typical applications for detergent additives are primarily diesel and gasoline engines. Friction modifiers Friction modifiers are lubricant additives blended with the base stock to enhance the oil’s natural ability to modify or reduce friction. Friction modifiers reduce wear, scoring, and noise. Typical applications include gasoline engine oils, automatic transmission oils, power steering fluids, metalworking fluids, and tractor hydraulic fluids. COMMON ELEMENTS FOUND IN LUBE OIL ADDITIVES Barium (Ba) Detergent or dispersant additive Boron (B) Extreme-pressure additive Calcium (Ca) Detergent or dispersant additive Copper (Cu) Anti-wear additive Lead (Pb) Anti-wear additive Magnesium (Mg) Detergent or dispersant additive Molybdenum (Mo) Friction modifier Phosphorus (P) Corrosion inhibitor, anit-wear additive Silicon (Si) Anti-foaming additive Sodium (Na) Detergent or dispersant additive Zinc (Zn) Anti-wear or anti-oxidant additive Anti-oxidants Anti-oxidants, also known as oxidation inhibitors, interfere with the oxidation process by chemically converting oxidation products to benign products. In addition, some oxidation inhibitors interact with the free catalytic metals (primarily copper and iron) to remove them from the oxidation process. Almost all modern lubricants contain anti-oxidation additives in varying degrees. Lubricants for extreme operating conditions such as diesel and gasoline engines, for high-temperature situations, and for applications that involve high lubricant agitation require higher levels of anti-oxidants than other lubricants. Pour point depressants The pour point is the lowest temperature at which a lubricant will flow. In order to obtain flow of oil at low temperature (fluidity), pour depressants are added to the lubricating oil to lower the pour point. These additives tend to inhibit the formation of wax at the low temperatures. In many formulations, especially those containing viscosity improvers, supplemental pour depressants are not needed since other additives also have pour point depressant properties. Typical applications include diesel and gasoline engine oils, transmission fluids, tractor fluids, hydraulic fluids, and circulation fluids. Rust and corrosion inhibitors Rust and corrosion are the result of the attack on the metal surfaces by oxygen and acidic products, and are accelerated by the presence of water and impurities. Rust and corrosion inhibitors work by neutralizing acids and forming protective films. These inhibitors must work in the lubricant and on surfaces above the liquid level. Typical applications include engine oils, gear oils, metalworking fluids, and greases. Viscosity index improvers Mineral lubricants tend to lose their lubricating ability at high temperatures due to viscosity reduction. Viscosity improvers are added to a lubricant to retain satisfactory lubricating capabilities at the higher temperatures. At low temperatures the viscosity characteristics of the base stock prevail while at high temperatures the viscosity improver maintains the viscosity at satisfactory levels. In addition to these additives, there are numerous other ones such as dyes to mark lubricant types, seal-swell agents to counteract the adverse effect of other additives on seals, and biocides to retard or prevent bacterial growth. Additive packages are proprietary information and lubricant manufacturers do not offer detailed information on the additives present in their products. There are, however, several laboratory tests available to determine additive depletion or loss in a lubricant. It is important to monitor your additive package through laboratory tests. When your additive package depletes, your lubricant’s performance decreases and your equipment is left unprotected. as seen in: Maintenance Technology May 1999
 
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