Efficient Plant March 2018 - 25

PdM lubricant health
Fig. 1 (top). FTIR data shows a double peak at 1064 and 1115 on this graph. Oil
intelligence experts determined that these peaks indicate a critical amount
of glycol in a lubricant used in a gas blower turbine at a power-generation
facility.

effective until an issue has already started.
As described below, oil analysis and intelligence are effective
techniques that look at preemptive conditions around lubricant
and machine conditions. Changes in key indicators of the oil
chemistry show characteristics that reveal trouble before it actually becomes an issue for a piece of equipment.
FTIR: Today's most advanced technique for oil analysis is
Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), which uses
infrared light to scan samples and measure chemical properties.
FTIR detects common contaminants and byproducts of lubricant
degradation (antioxidants, water, soot, fuel, glycol, and oxidation)
and additives in oil. The presence of these properties can provide
important information (Fig. 1). For example:

Water in the Oil

Fig. 2 (bottom). An overlay of FTIR data from multiple oil samples to track
trends helped diagnose hydrolysis, i.e., the breakdown of synthetic bonds
caused by an oversaturation of water. Synthetic oils and synthetic additives
in mineral-based products are susceptible to this process. The result is
higher acid levels, as shown in this FTIR analysis.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant March 2018

Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover1
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Efficient Plant March 2018 - 1
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Efficient Plant March 2018 - Cover3
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