Introduction to FTIR Spectroscopy

Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy measures additive depletion, contaminant buildup and base stock degradation in lubricants. This type of analysis complements wear metal and other analyses.

The principle of the test is that an infrared absorbance spectrum is acquired by passing an infrared beam through a thin layer of static sample. The level of certain additive, contaminant and degradation by-products can be determined by measuring the absorbance at key wavelengths. The results are typically reported as absorbance per centimeter (abs/cm), referring to how much of the infrared beam is absorbed in a specific wavelength, though often the values are treated as unitless or indexed values.

For routine testing, four parameters are reported: oxidation, nitration, antiwear and other fluid.

Antiwear measures degradation of the ZDDP additive. Since this additive is not used in all oil types, measured values must be compared to new oil reference values for the same fluid, or at least trended, as low results may be expected.

Other Fluid indicates contamination with other products when this value increases from a new oil reference value.



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Test Oil

TestOil has been in the oil analysis business since 1988.

We started out providing Analytical Ferrography services to power customers and in the early 90’s expanded our services. We have focused exclusively on assisting large industrial facilities reduce their maintenance costs and avoid unexpected downtime through oil analysis program implementation. Our customers rely on us to be their technical experts when it comes to diagnosing oil related issues in equipment such as turbines, hydraulics, gearboxes, pumps, compressors, and diesel generators. Our state-of-the-art-laboratory has the capacity to process and analyze 2000 samples per day. We employ lean process management to drive excellence and ensure that we maintain our guarantee of providing same day turnaround on all routine testing.