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Application Note: Oil Condition Monitoring with microVISC-m Viscometer

Why are oil viscosity measurements critical for lubricating oil condition monitoring? 

Oil viscosity measurements play a critical role in determining lubricating oils' usability and quality. Excessively high viscosity leads to poor lubrication, excessive friction, and high power consumption. Excessively low viscosity causes an excessively thin oil film between moving parts, causing catastrophic failure. Each lubricating oil is therefore designed to have an optimal viscosity, within a specified range for each application.

Typical practice is to send oil samples extracted from the machinery to off-site laboratories for viscosity measurements — which can take days, if not weeks. Such an infrequent and delay in viscosity results can lead to missing the opportune time for oil exchange, which can cause machinery or compressor breakdowns resulting in significant down time and financial losses.

Why are oil viscosity measurements critical for lubricating oil condition monitoring? 

microVISC-m is the portable viscometer that measures oil viscosity quickly and easily. An aliquot of sample as small as 100 microliters of oil is loaded into a disposable pipette. The oil sample is in the pipette, pushed by a miniature pump and enters the viscometer sensor chip for quick viscosity measurements. View the opration details here. One can measure oil viscosity within a minute and the next oil sample can simply be pushed to through the sensor chip—no in-between cleaning. The viscometer measures dynamic viscosity and calculates kinematic viscosity based on the entered oil density at ambient conditions. The oil viscometer also displays kinematic viscosities at 40 ºC, 80 ºC, and 100 ºC following ASTM D341, which allows direct comparisons to the healthy oil.

Download our application note to view more details on oil viscosity measurements of new or used commercial oils with microVISC-m

Viscometer featured in this Application Note:


Minimum Sample 100 μL
Viscosity Range 1-3500 cSt
Operating Range 18 - 40 ºC
Output Range 20 - 100 ºC
Humidity Range 0-90%, non-condensing
Accuracy  +/-2% reading
Repeatability +/- 0.5% reading
Typical Test Time  < 1 min
Standards Correlation to ASTM D445

microVISC-m, Oil Health Monitoring Viscometer



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