Particle Counting: Getting Started and Best Practices

Considered to be one of the most crucial tests in oil analysis, the importance of particle counting can’t be overstated. Particle counting helps identify potential problems in fluids and lubricants by monitoring and detecting the number and size of different particles in the oil sample. From spotting high contamination or wear conditions to checking turbine oil cleanliness, particle counting is an invaluable part of any oil analysis or condition monitoring program.

Although pioneers like Dr. E.C. Fitch showed the value and utility of counting particles in lubricant systems by the 1970s, it took over a decade before it was widely used by industrial plants. This guide is designed to help those who want to get more value and actionable insights from particle counting or start a new program. We will also cover advances in digital particle counting, such as the ability to identify wear particles or distinguish particles from bubbles to improve root cause analysis and PdM activities.

Thank you to Reliability 360 for sponsoring this educational whitepaper and sharing their knowledge of particle counting in the industry today.

Topics Covered

  • Determining the Absolute Number of Particles
  • Optical Microscopy
  • Basic Optical Particle Counting
  • “True Optical” Particle Counters
  • Pore Blockage Particle Counting
  • Understanding Particle Count Data
  • Who is ISO?
  • ISO 4406:99
  • SAE AS4059
  • Reasons for High Particle Counts
  • Setting up an Onsite Oil Analysis Program
  • How to Conduct More Accurate Particle Counting
  • How to Get the Most from Your Particle Counter
  • Other Uses for Particle Counters
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