Resources | Technical Documents

WearCheck Knowledge & Expertise

WearCheck has the benefit of a global network of industry knowledge leaders. The following resources are drawn from hundreds of years of their experience in the oil analysis industry. We hope you find these resources helpful in your understanding of oil analysis and provide you with an oil analysis program of increased value.

Technical Documents
Lubricant Fundamentals

Biodiesel : A Complex Minefield

The subject of biofuel is vast and often controversial, and very topical right now as the world seeks more sustainable fuel sources. A practical and strategic approach to biodiesel is the thinking in what follows. Need, greed, legislation, climate change, deforestation, fake news, opportunism, ignorance, oil price, and a lack of long-term thinking all go into the melting pot of biofuel debates. Biofuels are energy sources made from recently-grown biomass (plant or animal matter). Biofuels have been around for a long time, but petroleum and coal have been used primarily as energy sources due to their high abundance, high energy value, and cheap prices. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum also come from biomass, but the difference is that they took millions of years to produce.

Lubricant Fundamentals

Snake Oil : Promise vs. Performance

Choosing the correct lubricating oil, with or without additives, is critical to the smooth operation of machinery, however, there are many such products for sale which do not actually do what they claim to on the packaging label. As consumers, we need to be extra vigilant in ensuring that the oil we use complies with OEM specifications and indeed contains the additives that are advertised. Beware - what appears to be “cheap” oil (with false additive claims) (also known as “snake oil”) can lead to very expensive damage.

Lubricant Fundamentals

Base Stocks & Additives - How oils are formulated

There are tens of thousands of different lubricants on the market, from simple hydraulic fluids to very sophisticated synthetic oils formulated for high performance engines. Think of the technology that is required to lubricate a formula one racing car; after the race the team is more likely to change the engine than the oil!

Lubricant Fundamentals

The Ups and Downs of Viscosity

The topic of viscosity has been covered extensively in many technical bulletins and with good reason. The viscosity of a lubricant is its most important physical property and it is this property that defines the very essence of the oil. Viscosity grading systems such as the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) for automotive oils and the ISO (International Standards Organisation) for industrial applications have received universal acceptance as a means of classifying lubricants.

Lubricant Fundamentals

How does Oil Work?

Friction is a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. Walking, writing, opening doors and drawers and driving to work all involve energy being expended in order to overcome friction. Although friction is generally thought of as a negative mechanical characteristic (approximately 20% of a car"s energy is spent in overcoming friction) it must be remembered that without it we would not be able to walk and the brakes on our cars would not work.

Lubricant Fundamentals

How to Read a Can of Oil (Part 1)

When purchasing a can, drum or tankerful of oil, it is important to realize that a number of international classification systems are used to describe the product and its uses. The classifications, which include ISO, SAE, API, CCMC, SABS, JAMA and ISLS, are each followed by a series of numbers and letters detailing either the viscosity of the oil or its performance properties. This bulletin will examine viscosity classification while the performance characteristics of oil will be covered in a later issue.

Lubricant Fundamentals

How to Read a Can of Oil (Part 2)

In part one of "How to read a can of oil", the focus was on the viscosity classification systems of lubricants, namely the International Standards Organisation (ISO) system for industrial lubricants and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) system for automotive oils. This technical bulletin will concentrate on the performance specifications of oils, addressing the following questions: What can I use this oil for? Which oil is suitable for the different types of equipment? Is one product better than another?

Lubricant Fundamentals

An Introduction to Synthetic Oils

Synthetic lubricants are a product of the trend towards increasingly complex industrial and automotive equipment designed to meet ever more severe operating conditions - such as extremes of temperature in the operating cycle, the need for sealed-for-life components or extended overhaul periods. In these cases the equipment has exceeded the performance capabilities of conventional mineral oil based lubricants, and created the need to develop synthetic oils.

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