Catching Oil Cross-Contamination

At the Phillips 66 Trainer Refinery near Philadelphia, Pa., we recently converted some turbine/gearbox lube oil circulating systems from an ISO VG 100 synthetic lube to an ISO VG 68 turbine oil.

The systems were emptied of the old fluid and flushed before the new fluid was added. After the changes were completed, oil samples were taken to establish new baseline values of analysis parameters. We established baselines of 65.3 cSt and 23 ppm phosphorus.

The analysis from one of the systems indicated potentially nonconforming values for viscosity (90.4 cSt) and phosphorus (1,969 ppm) relative to the baseline. These values were more indicative of the previous oil and we decided that the wrong oil might have been added accidentally.

Operations personnel were notified, the oil was dumped, and the equipment flushed and refilled with the correct oil. The systems were put into operation for 24 hours, dumped, flushed and refilled again with the correct new oil.

The fluids were tested again, this time showing the type of results originally anticipated, allowing us to establish new baselines.

Editor’s Note
This story serves to illustrate the importance of sampling components immediately after an oil change to baseline the new oil parameters and to confirm that the correct oil has been added. Submitted by Brian Mann, Phillips 66 Company - Trainer Refinery

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