Polaris Laboratories recently adopted the new American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) test method to measure the acidity of oils.

Released in December 2014, ASTM D7946 was designed to test the initial pH (i-pH) of in-service lubricants. Compared to the previous method (ASTM D664), i-pH is superior for measuring the acidity or alkalinity of lubricants.

"We test pH at each of our laboratories around the globe, so transitioning to initial pH required collaboration and coordination," said Bryan Debshaw, Polaris Laboratories chief executive officer. "However, the benefit to our customers was obvious, so we worked quickly to adopt ASTM's new method."

Polaris Laboratories uses pH to evaluate the strength of the acids present in compressors, natural gas engine and biogas engine lubricants. Typical operations (oxidation, blow-by of combustion gases) and environmental contamination increase the acidity of lubricants, which decreases the pH.

Most oils contain detergent and antioxidant additives to neutralize acid. As these additives are depleted, the lubricant no longer protects the internal components from corrosion. Oil analysis uses i-pH and acid number tests to determine if the lubricant is suitable for continued use and if the oil drain can be extended, saving time and money.

For more information, visit www.polarislabs.com.