USED OIL ANALYSIS TIMELINE

1927

Pin and Vee Block tester introduced by Falex quantify scientifically the antiwear and extreme pressure properties of fluid and solid lubricants

Pre-1940’s Simple procedures such as smelling used oil for the sour odor of excess acid, checking visually for signs of contamination, or placing a drop of sample on absorbent paper to detect contaminants and monitor additive effectiveness.
1940’s The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad research laboratory successfully detected diesel engine problems through wear metal analysis of used oils. A key factor in their success was the development of the spectrograph, a single instrument that replaced several wet chemical methods for detecting and measuring individual chemical elements such as iron or copper. This practice was soon accepted and used extensively throughout the US  railroad industry to successfully bring down engine failures
1955 United States Naval Bureau of Weapons began a major research program to adopt wear metal analysis for use in aircraft component failure prediction. These studies formed the basis for a Joint Oil Analysis Program (JOAP) involving all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The JOAP results proved conclusively that increases in component wear could be confirmed by detecting corresponding increases in the wear metal content of the lubricating oil.
Late50’s-Early60’s Retired military personnel brought their knowledge of the value of oil analysis to industry
1958

Pacific Intermountain Express (P.l.E.) became the first trucking company to set up an in‐house used oil

analysis laboratory to control vehicle maintenance costs.
1960 Analysts, Inc. became the first independent laboratory to provide a complete oil analysis diagnostic Service.

1986

The development of the Atomic Force Microscope enabled scientists to study & understand friction at the atomic scale
TODAY

Today, oil analysis labs and handheld test equipment make it possible for lubrication professionals and maintenance managers to quickly and reliably determine whether their system of equipment and lubricants is functioning

as it should based on chemical analysis, ultrasonic findings and spectrographic evidence.