Determination of Wear Metals and Additives (Soaps) in Lubricating Oils by Atomic Absorption

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Courtesy of Buck Scientific Inc

Lubricating & hydraulic fluids are crucial to the proper functioning of many types of machines: automobiles, farm equipment, heavy-duty motors, airplanes, and military hardware. Most “lubes” are simple hydro-carbon based oils or greases that have certain additives in them to prevent wear and abrasion of components (piston rings, bearings, etc.) or oxidation degradation of the oil. These additives are typically “soaps” made from an organic acid and a metal (usually barium, zinc, calcium, or magnesium). As the oil ages, these materials are continually lost and need to be monitored so that they can be replaced to provide the proper level of protection.

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