US ARMY TARDEC FUELS and LUBRICANTS RESEARCH FACILITY (SWRI) SAN ANTONIO United States
Diesel engine powered Aircraft Ground Equipment AGE undergo mandatory 6-month lubricant change intervals, regardless of the equipment utilization during that 6-month period. As such, low utilization items could possibly operate with the lubricant change interval extended. Likewise high utilization equipment may need earlier changes, or remain at the 6-month interval. In parallel with the oil change interval study an engineering evaluation of a handheld oil condition analyzer was conducted. Within the limitations of the study of diesel engine powered AGE assets at two U.S. Air Force locations, assets monitored were not impacted by eliminating the 6-month oil change interval based on the measured lubricant condition. Lightly utilized assets may possibly extend drain intervals past 12-months. Portable analyzers appeared sufficiently accurate for monitoring lubricant condition when compared to ASTM laboratory test results. Potential cost savings exist, stemming from condition based monitoring of lubricants.