Fluid Analysis

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Fluid Analysis Support

Fluid analysis is the fastest, most accurate, most reliable way to see what's going on inside your engines and machines. Carter's Fluid Analysis Lab has the trained staff and cutting-edge technology to detect potential problems before they become major failures.

Benefits of Sampling

  • Detect problems early so they can be repaired before failure.
  • Schedule downtime to fit your workload.
  • Monitor positives as well as negatives so you don’t pay for unnecessary repairs.
  • Better manage budgets by predicting repairs, downtime and equipment life.
  • Develop complete service history, which can be helpful when evaluating performance and planning replacement purchases.
  • Document service history for a higher price at trade-in or sale.

Collecting a Sample

Accurate results begin with a good fluid sample. There are various methods available depending on the type of equipment and fluid to be analyzed.

  • Vacuum Pump: Traditional method of extracting fluid in which the user pulls on the pump handle to start the flow into the sample bottle.
    - Suitable For Use With: Oil, Coolant & Fuel
  • Live Sampling: Preferred method on newer equipment with sampling ports.
    - Suitable For Use With: Oil
  • Sample Thief: Also known as a “bacon bomb”, this cylinder equipped with a plunger mechanism is used for taking fuel samples from a tank by lowering it the bottom where sediment and contaminants collect.
    - Suitable For Use With: Fuel

Analyzing the Sample

Oil Analysis

Once we’ve received your sample, we employ various tests using the latest lab equipment and techniques.

  • Wear Metal Analysis: Monitors wear by identifying the type of wear elements and quantifying the amount of each type under 10 microns in size found in the oil sample. Oil is analyzed using a Spectrometer checking 16 key wear elements: Aluminum, Calcium, Chrome, Copper, Potassium, Lead, Sodium, Molybdenum, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Silicon, Tin, Zinc, Silver, Nickel
  • Condition Analysis: Compares the lubricant properties of your used oil to that of the same oil when new to ensure they remain optimal through the oil change period. Using an infrared scanner, we can detect contaminants including soot, oxidation, sulfation, nitration, fuel, water and antifreeze.
  • Physical Tests: Confirms the presence of contamination by fluids including fuel, water and antifreeze. If undetected, these contaminants can cause rapid failure.
    - Water: Greater than 0.5% requires attention. Reported as trace or positive.
    - Fuel: 4% or greater requires attention. Reported as positive.
    - Antifreeze: Any amount is unacceptable and requires immediate attention. Reported as positive.
  • Particle Count: Determines oil cleanliness by quantifying all metallic and non-metallic particles found in the oil. A Hiac-Royco particle counter uses a laser to physically count all particles in the sample. However, this test isn’t available for use with engine or black oils.
    - Results are reported in greater than 5 micron and 15 micron ranges as well as ISO Cleanliness Codes. Readings in 5 to 100 micron ranges are available upon request.
  • Viscosity: Ensures that your oil matches the recommended weight for use in your system and can identify oil transfer and fuel dilution problems. Tests are performed at 100 c.
    - Geared compartments are only tested upon request.
  • PQ Ferrous Debris Monitor: Measures the mass of ferrous debris (iron) and gives a quantitative number that can be trended. Allows iron debris to be detected, regardless of size, even when regular wear metal analysis does not identify it.
    - Performed on all samples.
  • Microscope Analysis: Used on samples, as needed, to determine what type of debris and contamination is present in the oil, regardless of size. Samples are filtered to allow all particles 5 microns and larger to be inspected.
    - Pictures of debris can be taken and emailed as needed.

Coolant Analysis

Our tests determine if the coolant has the correct chemical balances for proper heat and corrosion control. They also identify corrosion, contaminates and impurities in your cooling system. Did you know: 40 % of all engine problems begin with cooling system problems?

  • Level 1 – Basic Coolant Maintenance Check: Recommended every 250 hours. Tests glycol, pH level, conductivity, coolant additive concentrations, boiling point and freeze point.
  • Level 2 – Comprehensive Cooling System Analysis: Recommended every 1,000 hours. Tests for all items in Level 1 plus identifies metal corrosion, built-up impurities and other concentrations.

Fuel Analysis

We offer a variety of testing packages for both diesel and bio blend fuels. With today's advanced Tier 3 and Tier 4 compliant engines, fuel cleanliness is more important than ever. Water and contaminants can destroy injectors and other components with fine tolerances in no time. Fuel sampling is a cost effective way to assess the current condition of your fuel, especially if your equipment sits idle or you use bulk fuel tanks.

Interpreting Results

Analysis results are useless without the knowledge to interpret them. Every sample that goes through our lab is interpreted by a trained professional so you get useful information, helping you manage your equipment maintenance, reduce unscheduled downtime and increase overall productivity.

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