Elemental Spectroscopy/ASTM D5185 Offered By Eurofins TestOil

The presence of wear metals in oil can lead to oil degradation and may indicate the presence of an abnormal wear mode. Early detection through oil analysis can head off these issues. To that end, Eurofins TestOil offers tests for larger particles (>7 microns) and a test for smaller particles, elemental spectroscopy.  

The Elemental Spectroscopy test by ICP (inductively coupled plasma), ASTM method D5185, uses a spectrometer to measure the levels of specific chemical elements present in the sample.

During the test, energy is applied to the prepared sample via a plasma flame. This raises the energy level of the individual atoms.  When the atoms then lose energy, they release light at specific wavelengths. Individual light frequencies in the spectrum are measured and quantified to determine the presence and quantity of specific elements.

Monitoring the concentration of metallic elements, such as iron, copper, tin, aluminum, nickel, chromium, titanium, vanadium, silver, and lead can provide important information regarding machine condition. Wear rates can be trended and abnormal wear modes can be detected.

Many contaminants have metallic components; such as silicon, boron, sodium and potassium, which can also be monitored. Increases in contaminant metals can indicate ingression of dirt, coolant or process contaminants. Some additives also have metallic components that can be monitored with elemental spectroscopy.

Eurofins TestOil Analyst/Field Technician Matt McMahon explains, “Sources of particles present in the lubricant can originate from abnormal wear and corrosion. An example of abnormal wear from a plain bearing would be soft metals such as lead, tin, antimony, and copper.”  

Elemental spectroscopy is a standard test that is included in the Eurofins TestOil basic test package. Information provided by this test includes:  

1.  Type of additive package based on the presence of elements such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, barium and molybdenum. 

2.  The quantity of individual contaminant elements such as silicon, boron, potassium, lithium and sodium.

3.  The amount of wear metals present in the current sample which can be trended with historical results.  

This test can be performed on automotive and industrial lubricants including water- based fire-resistant hydraulic fluids.

While elemental spectroscopy has a particle detection limit of 7 microns, Eurofins TestOil offers a number of tests for larger particles including: ferrous wear concentration, and particle count.

                For more information on working with Eurofins TestOil for oil analysis and training visit For more information on working with Eurofins TestOil for oil analysis and training visit www.testoil.com. Contact: 216-251-2510; sales@testoil.com.

About Eurofins TestOil

With more than 30 years of experience in the oil analysis industry, Eurofins TestOil focuses exclusively on assisting industrial facilities with reducing maintenance costs and avoiding unexpected downtime through oil analysis program implementation. As industry experts in diagnosing oil-related issues in equipment such as turbines, hydraulics, gearboxes, pumps, compressors and diesel generators, Eurofins TestOil provides customers with same-day turnaround on routine oil analysis testing.   For more information on partnering with Eurofins TestOil on oil analysis programs or training opportunities visit https://testoil.com. Contact: Michael Barrett 216-251-2510; sales@testoil.com

About Eurofins – the global leader in bio-analysis

Eurofins is Testing for Life. Eurofins is the global leader in food, environment, pharmaceutical and cosmetic product testing, and in discovery pharmacology, forensics, advanced material sciences and agroscience Contract Research services. Eurofins is also a market leader in certain testing and laboratory services for genomics, and in the support of clinical studies, as well as in BioPharma Contract Development and Manufacturing. The Group also has a rapidly developing presence in highly specialised and molecular clinical diagnostic testing and in-vitro diagnostic products.

With over 61,000 staff across a network of 940 laboratories in 59 countries, Eurofins’ companies offer a portfolio of over 200,000 analytical methods. Eurofins Shares are listed on Euronext Paris Stock Exchange.

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