Aircraft Engine Oil Analysis by Neutron Activation Techniques.
FRANK J SEILER RESEARCH LAB UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY COLO
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At the present time all three military services use the Spectrometric Oil Analysis Program SOAP for the routine analysis of engine oil samples. The purpose of this program is to continually monitor the amounts of wear metal contaminants found in engine oil as an indicator of engine wear and possible engine failure. Use of such a program results in large savings by extending the time between oil changes and, more importantly, by indicating when engines should be taken out of service for preventive maintenance. The current program uses either atomic emission or atomic absorption for the analysis. The problems associated with the current methods are twofold. First, the instruments require a laboratory environment and the results from a particular sample may take days to return to the user. Under these conditions an engine might be operated to failure before notification of a failed oil sample. Secondly, the instruments are fairly expensive. This report summarizes the research which was done using Californium-252 as a neutron source in order to determine the feasibility of using such a source for analyzing USAF aircraft engine oil samples by neutron activation techniques. The desired solution would be an inexpensive facility which could be located on every flightline and provide the individual concentration of 13 different elements in each oil sample prior to the aircraft being flown again.
- Physical Chemistry
- Lubricants and Hydraulic Fluids
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods