Why perform Emission Spectroscopy Elemental Oil Analysis?

Spectrographic metals analysis is simply the heart of oil analysis programs.  We utilize a Rotrode Emission Spectrometer to simultaneously determine whether 21 different metals are present in the oil and to what degree.  The metals are analyzed to investigate equipment wear, oil additives, and contaminants and are reported in parts per million (ppm).

About the Rotrode Emission Spectrometer

Rotrode Emission Spectrometer for Emission Spectroscopy Elemental Oil AnalysisThe Rotrode Emission Spectrometer has a particle size detection limitation of between 3µ and 10µ (depending on the particular metal in question and the amount of surface oxidation on the particle surface) compared to the 0.5µ – 2µ limitation of the other common spectrographic technology called Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP).  An advantage of the Rotrode Spectrometer is that no dilution of the sample is required, while the advantage of the ICP is its accuracy at very small particles sizes.

For routine lube oil analysis, accuracy below the 1 ppm level is not required.  Lab results over time are easy to trend from sample to sample if the sampling interval doesn’t exceed every three months and proper sampling procedures are maintained.

Check out MRT Tracker our proprietary software to track results over time.


How does Emission Spectroscopy help you

Emission spectroscopy is useful to find whether wear particles exist and to what extent.  An increase in combinations of wear particles over time indicate the type of equipment most likely deteriorating.  The technology helps confirm whether the correct additives are present in the oil and whether the recommended oil has been poured into the system.  Lastly, spectroscopy detects whether contaminants such as dirt (typically silicone and aluminum), catalyst or hydrocarbon products, or cooling water have contaminated the lube oil.

By examining all 21 elements in spectrographic elemental analysis much information is found about the health of rotating equipment and whether the lubricant matches the application.

Ask our expert oil analyst.

We specialize in machine fluid testing, sampling, and oil analysis programs for any industry.