Lubricating Oil for Power Generation
As combustion turbine technology has improved over the last few decades, output has increased by roughly 10-15% by increasing the firing temperature during the power generation process. However, the thermal stress on the turbine’s internal components, including the lubricating oils, can hinder machine performance. At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we offer a package of tests to ensure that the lubricants used for power generation are operating at the optimum level of quality and performance.
The quality and performance of the lubricating oil is of the utmost importance, since the role of lubricating oils is to preserve the integrity of any turbine during the stressful power generation process including hydro and wind. The primary role of the oil is to lubricate the turbine and the generator bearings, as well as lubricating secondary components of the turbine to ensure smooth movement. In addition, the oils act as coolants, minimize friction and subsequent wear, while protecting from rust or corrosion.
Hydraulic fluids are oils used to transmit power in hydraulic equipment and power transmission applications. ASTM D 6158 specification relates to the refined mineral based oils used for hydraulic fluids.
Other base fluids for hydraulic oils are used for special applications such as fire resistance and extreme pressure. Base stocks for biodegradable hydraulic fluids are also available for environmentally sensitive applications (see ASTM D 6606 and ASTM D 6046).
Monitoring of key parameters, such as additive depletion, trace metals percent, and acid number are crucial in assessing the performance of in-service hydraulic oils. At Texas OilTech Laboratories we not only provide you with accurate results but we also evaluate your oil status and provide you with our expert assessment.
There are also specific test packages for power steering fluids, transmission fluids, brake fluids, marine and aircraft hydraulic systems, heavy-duty equipment such as excavators, and for industrial machinery.
Lubricating Greases and Automotive Greases
At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we understand that in order to protect your machinery from wear and elemental damage, first choosing the appropriate lubricating grease then maintaining its quality are essential. We can perform the following tests to ensure that the grease is operating at maximum capacity.
With this package of testing, we can ensure that the grease used is the correct choice depending on the temperature reached during use. The grease needs to maintain the correct viscosity at high temperatures to ensure that the machine is still properly lubricated enough to reduce friction, but also operational at low temperatures so as to reduce resistance to movement and contamination from outside materials.
Lubricating greases provide a balance between the fluidity and the elasticity to separate two surfaces from the damages repeated, rapid pressure causes to machine performance. Most greases use a thickener matrix or the use of synthetic additives to ensure that the mixture is released during application, but preserved during dormant periods. As a result, the grease and its additives must be properly tested to ensure that all the qualities are operational at the correct performance standards.
At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we analyze the quality and characteristics of the grease and its additives to allow maximum performance retention. Testing general properties such as elements of its consistency and mechanical stability, as well as its thermal properties allows our customers in the industries of automotive, trucking, public and municipal transport particularly popular in large, metropolitan areas to maintain their business at optimal performance capacity.
Automotive Greases typically carry an NLGI (National Lubricating Grease Institute) Consistency Number as well as a Category Description. There are two general groups identified in ASTM Specification D 4950.
Prefix Letter “L” identifies chassis greases intended for service lubrication of ball joints, steering pivots, universal joints, and other chassis components, as designated by the equipment manufacturers. There is a Class LA for mild duty and a Class LB for severe duty.
Prefix “G” identifies wheel bearing greases. Three classes are provided for differing service conditions.
The recommended testing packages for automotive greases consist of tests for basic physical properties and additional performance tests depending on the grease category or level of severity in use.
Transformer oils, also known as insulating oils, are essential to the operation of oil-based transformers, high-voltage capacitors, switches, circuit breakers, and fluorescent lamp ballasts. At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we offer a wide range of tests to ensure that the oils used in high temperature settings are operating at the optimum level of quality and performance.
The quality and performance of the transformer oil is of the utmost importance, since the role of oils is primarily twofold: a) to insulate the electrical power transformer, and b) to act as a coolant during long-term operation. The high temperatures sustained for long periods of time can corrode the transformer and windings without the properly maintained insulating and cooling system that the transformer oil provides. As a result, the health and performance of the transformer depends on the quality of the insulating oil.
An understanding of the oil compounds is starting point to be able to assess the qualities of the oil. At Texas OilTech Laboratories, we properly account for the four generic classes of organic compounds: aromatics, paraffins, napthenes, and olefins, as these need to be present in the right proportion in order to provide for both insulation and stability. Different levels of these compounds also impact the testing parameters, respectively.