When New Oil Turns Dark
Maintenance professionals who have implemented Oil Analysis Programs (OAP) into their Preventative Maintenance Program understand, at some point, it's going to happen, we don't know when, or where, but one day our new oil is going to start to turn...dark.
Oil can be finicky, fickle and at times frustrating, but by understanding what oil is -- its inherent traits, characteristics
Why Oil Darkens as it Ages
Experts agree that darkening of oil is a visual sign of "aging" oil. According to the journal Facta Universitatis,
As mentioned before, darkening oil can act as a warning when there is something wrong
Thermal Imaging Technologies
Utilizing thermal imaging technologies along with your knowledge of your lubricant ideal temperature parameters (10-60ºC or 50-140ºF) we understand that we should be looking for spots that exceed those parameters as possible culprits for darkening oil. Also, optimizing your systems in-line pressure and flow measurement features can help narrow down areas near our around certain valves that could prove to be more vulnerable to fine particulate contamination.
Finding these trouble spots could prove invaluable when trying to adjust your Total System Cleanliness Plan properly, ensuring that corrective concentration is focused
Other helpful tools could include in-line particulate contamination monitoring systems such as the Hy-Pro PM-1 particle counter which is ideal for dedicated in-line installations and provides ISO code particle monitoring that is easy to use and read.
In conclusion, we understand that oil is going to turn dark as it ages, but we can analyze it for information that can be used to identify potential problems throughout the system. And we have discussed, some simple tools that can be used in assessing your system when looking for possible culprits contributing to your darkening oil.