Noria’s consultants have more than 30 years of experience in the analysis of new lubricants, in-service lubricants, used filters (and debris on filters), sludge/sediment and grease (new and in-service).  We have been the principal investigator for hundreds of studies utilizing standard ASTM/ISO test methods and dozens of proprietary methods.

The vast majority of our failure investigations involve extensive laboratory studies.   Laboratories are selected for each case based on the nature of the failure, lubricant type and required test protocol.  Because of the hundreds of commercial contract laboratories offering services, a discriminating approach to selection can be made for the benefit of the client in achieving efficient and accurate case outcome.  The following is a list of testing specializations offered by Noria-approved contract labs:

  • Metallography and metallurgy
  • Grease analysis
  • Filter debris analysis
  • Wear particle identification and characterization
  • Particle contamination characterization
  • Infrared and molecular spectroscopy
  • Elemental spectroscopy (ICP, RDE, XRF, SEM-EDS, acid dissolution, etc.)
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
  • Radiological fluid testing
  • Chemical microscopy
  • ASTM lubricant performance testing
  • In-service oil analysis
  • Tribometry and film-strength testing
  • Microbial contamination testing
  • Aviation and aerospace fluid analysis
  • Fire-resistant fluids analysis
  • Varnish and sludge analysis

Below are examples of some of the laboratory studies we have conducted:

Lubricant Performance

Testing commercial candidate lubricants for target client applications (gear oils, hydraulic fluids, turbine oils, compressor fluids and many others). Tests include film strength, oxidation stability, air-handling ability, corrosion suppression, viscometry, etc.

Wear Debris Analysis

Wear particle identification and characterization (gearboxes, turbines/generators, hydraulic systems, etc.). Tests include particle count, analytical ferrography, elemental spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy and others.

Filter Debris Analysis

Used filter debris analysis using analytical ferrography, elemental spectroscopy, optical microscopy, chemical microscopy, etc.

Filter Performance Testing

ISO and SAE standardized filter performance testing (capture efficiency, dirt-holding capacity, application compatibility, fabrication integrity, etc.) using multi-pass test stands, single-pass test stands and others.

Oxidation Stability Testing

Thermal and oxidation stability testing (turbine oils, hydraulic fluids, gear oils, grease, etc.). Test methods include HP calorimetry, rotating pressure vessel oxidation test, turbine oil oxidation stability test, TFOUT, linear sweep voltametry, panel coker, sludge tendency and others.

Sludge and Varnish Testing

Sludge, sediment, surface deposit and varnish analysis (combustion turbines, steam turbines, compressors, hydraulics, diesel engines, etc.) using membrane patch colorimetry, spectrophotometry, infrared spectroscopy, ultracentrifuge, solvent extraction methods, GC/MS and total insoluble.

Lubricant Water-Handling Ability

Tests for demulsibility, hydrolytic stability and water-shedding ability for both oil and grease.

Air Handling Ability

Tests for air content, air release, foam tendency, and foam stability. Typical applications are turbine oil, compressor fluids and hydraulic fluids.

Corrosion Suppression Tests

Tests are offered for both lube oils and grease to assess the protection provided by the lubricant and additives to resist rust and corrosion of working machine surfaces. Tests include rust, copper strip, EMCOR, water spray and others.

Lubricant Physical Properties Analysis

Tests include viscometry, density, flash point, vapor pressure, volatility, bulk modulus, shear stability and many others.

Grease Physical Properties Analysis

These include mechanical stability, oil retention, shear stability, consistency (penetration), dropping point, pumpability, channel point and many others.

Lubricant Compatibility Analysis

Tests evaluate various binary mixtures of lubricants to determine negative performance consequences from clashing additives, base oils and grease thickeners. ASTM test methods are used to assess compatibility.

Contamination Analysis

Tests assess the presence of glycol, fuel, bacteria, water, particulates and others. Methods include elemental spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, particle counting, titration, flash point, GC/MS, optical microscopy, paper chromatography, ultracentrifuge, gravimetric analysis, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, pentane insoluble and chemical microscopy.

Film-Strength Studies

Tests utilize tribometers to assess friction and wear resistance of lubricants and mating surfaces. Common methods include four-ball, Timken, gamma Falex, pin-on-disc, FZG gear, vane pump, gear pump and numerous others.

Metallography and Wear Surface Topography Analysis

Damage to machine surfaces can be interpreted to help reveal the root cause. Tribological methods are used to study the topographic and subsurface features of machine frictional surfaces to identify and characterize fluting, burnishing, scalloping, spalling, gray staining, ridging, galling, etching, scuffing, scoring, skidding, heat tinting, frosting and many other surface features.

Contact Noria’s business development team for more information on our Analytical Services and Laboratory Studies:  918-749-1400 x200.