Machinery Lubrication

Machinery Lubrication July - August 2018

Machinery Lubrication magazine published by Noria Corporation

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32 | July - August 2018 | www . A fter developing a lab in the power plant and focusing primarily on analysis of oils from the plant's critical components like turbines, pumps and large motors, I was approached one day by one of our valve engineers. e question: Could I also analyze greases? I had been training in analytical ferro- graphy and had the equipment at my disposal. I was also aware of a "grease solvent" and a special process to dissolve the grease using glass beads. Armed with that equipment, I instructed the engineer to start bringing me samples. After a month, I had received nearly 400 grease samples and had dissolved them all. I spent countless hours at the microscope identifying the particles I saw. I wrote reports for each sample and created a summary, showing my "dirty dozen" of the worst valves. I felt satisfied that I had taken on this new challenge and come up with valuable information for my plant. However, after reviewing my report and investigating the valves I had targeted, the valve engineer had bad news for me. Some of the valves that I had identified as the worst actors were found to be in good shape. In other cases, there were known bad actors that I had identified as being fine. In other words, I was told that they had no further need for my services on valves. How could I have gotten things so wrong? I looked back over my notes a nd took a second look at my ferrography slides. Had I misidentified the samples? Had I missed some clear signs that the separated particulate was telling me? After a review, I couldn't see where I had fouled up. I returned to the engi- neer and asked a question that should have been the very first one I asked at the start of the project: How were the samples taken? e answer gave me insight into the problem. Grease Sampling Methods Matter GREASES Rich Wurzbach | MRG Labs "The best analysts at the top laboratories in the world cannot produce meaningful results from samples that have been taken incorrectly." Figure 1. A motor-operated valve (MOV) lubrication test stand

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