Oil & Gas

Metals Analysis in Used Oil

Dec. 6 2019

Table 1: Metals and Contaminants

Table 1: Metals, engines, transmissions, gear systems
Table 1: Metal, Hydraulic, Compressors

 

METAL ENGINES, TRANSMISSIONS, GEAR SYSTEMS, HYDRAULIC, COMPRESSOR
Antimony alloying element Certain types of journal-bearing overlays.
Beryllium Thrust washers of aircraft engines. Component of ceramic material.
Lithium The sign of grease contamination.
Magnesium alloying element Cases and housings.
Molybdenum alloy or flashing Typically found only in certain aerospace and heavy-duty commercial or industrial steels. May also be present in fuels as heavy crude residual material.
Silicon Silicon is typically associated with dirt contamination. This contamination can result from any condition that allows dirt to enter a component oil system. Other sources of silicon include seals, oil and coolant additives and greases.
Silver plating; tracer Some bearings and bushings; oil cooler solder; seals. Silver is also occasionally used as a physical “tracer” to indicate wear has progressed to a certain point. In this application, silver is either plated directly onto a part surface or incorporated into a layer under the surface. The wear condition of the part can then be related to the amount of the tracer deposited in the oil. This usage is most often found in aerospace applications.
Titanium alloying element Some shafts, bearings, and gears. Typically found only in certain aerospace and heavy-duty commercial or industrial steels.
Vanadium alloying element Typically found only in certain aerospace and heavy-duty commercial or industrial steels. May also be present in fuels as heavy crude residual material.
Zinc alloying element Brass fittings (with copper); galvanized surfaces.

 

Table 2: Additive Metals

METAL USE
Barium Corrosion and rust inhibitors; detergent; anti-smoke additive in fuels.
Boron Detergent, dispersant; anti-oxidant in oils and coolants.
Calcium Detergent, dispersant, alkalinity increaser.
Magnesium Detergent, dispersant, alkalinity increaser.
Molybdenum Extreme pressure additive or solid lubricant in specialty oils and greases; corrosion inhibitor in some conventional coolants or supplemental additives.
Phosphorus Anti-wear; combustion chamber deposit reducer; corrosion inhibitor in coolants.
Potassium Corrosion inhibitor; trace element in fuels; also found as a mineral salt in sea water (marine cooling systems).
Sodium Corrosion inhibitor in oils and coolants.
Zinc Anti-wear, anti-oxidant, corrosion inhibitor.


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