Oil Analysis III Training & ICML Certification

Onsite Training

Oil Analysis III Training & ICML Certification

Course Description:
Oil analysis and lubricant performance is your passion, and if you’re ready to be an expert authority for your company and lead a comprehensive, in-house analysis program – Oil Analysis III is the training you need to make this a reality.
Oil Analysis III (OA III) is designed to give managers and reliability professionals the right know-how to develop and implement a strong oil analysis program for their workplace or company. In addition to learning the right metrics for program implementation and evaluation, the OA III student will study the most advanced levels of diagnostics and predictive maintenance to ensure program success. The OA III curriculum is fully aligned with the body of knowledge of the International Council for Machinery Lubrication’s MLA III certification. It also comes with supplemental training materials to ensure knowledge retention.

Learning Objectives

  • Machine Wear
    31 factors contributing to abnormal engine wear, sensitivities of various wear particle technologies and how to determine particle composition by visual inspection.
  • Vibration and Oil Analysis
    Strengths and weaknesses of both vibration and oil analysis on 13 machine problems, combining the two for bearing failure analysis.
  • Fluid properties and Additive Depletion
    Root causes of oxidation and how to measure it, sludge and varnish formation and detection, 14 ways additives are depleted from oil.
  • Contamination
    Count and size particles yourself, six additives that suffer from water contamination, water effects on machines, elemental analysis for dust and dirt contamination.
  • Analysis Technology
    Discover the hidden data from your reports and learn the pros/cons of various measurement technologies.
  • Oil Analysis Program Design
    Select candidate machines, best practices for offsite lab cooperation, optimize interval-based oil changes, successfully gauge oil reaching end of its use, cost-benefit analysis of your program.

Topics Covered
The Level III MLA Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that a candidate shall have in order to pass the exam, in accordance with ISO 18436-4, Category III, Annex A.
References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Domain of Knowledge.

  • I. Lubrication Fundamentals (20%)
    • A. Lubrication Regimes
      • 1. Hydrodynamic
      • 2. Elasto-hydrodynamic
      • 3. Boundary
    • B. Base oils
      • 1. Common mineral oil characteristics
        • a) Paraffinic
        • b) Naphthenic
      • 2. Common synthetic oil characteristics, advantages and disadvantages
        • a) Synthesized hydrocarbons
        • b) Phosphate esters
        • c) Dibasic acid esters
        • d) Polyglycols
    • C. API and other base oil classifications
    • D. Basic lubricant additive functions
      • 1. Antioxidants/oxidation inhibitors
      • 2. Rust inhibitors
      • 3. Corrosion inhibitors
      • 4. Demulsifying agents
      • 5. Viscosity index (VI) improvers
      • 6. Detergents
      • 7. Dispersants
      • 8. Pour-point depressants
      • 9. Foam inhibitors
      • 10. Anti-wear (AW) agents
      • 11. Extreme pressure (EP) agents
  • II. Fundamentals of Machine Wear (15%)
    • A. Common Machine Wear Mechanisms
      • 1. Abrasive wear
        • a) Two-body abrasive wear
        • b) Three-body abrasive wear
      • 2. Adhesive wear
      • 3. Surface fatigue
      • 4. Corrosive wear
      • 5. Fretting wear
      • 6. Erosive wear
      • 7. Electrical wear
      • 8. Cavitation wear
        • a) Gaseous cavitation
        • b) Vaporous cavitation
    • B. Common Machine-specific Wear Modes
      • 1. Gearing
      • 2. Plain bearings
      • 3. Rolling element bearings
      • 4. Hydraulics
  • III. Wear Debris Analysis (21%)
    • A. Analytical ferrography
      • 1. Wear debris analysis techniques
        • a) Light effects
        • b) Magnetism effects
        • c) Heat treatment
        • d) Chemical treatment
        • e) Morphology
        • f) Surface detail
      • 2. Wear particle types, origins and probable causes
        • a) Cutting wear particles
        • b) Spherical particles
        • c) Chunky particles
        • d) Laminar particles
        • e) Red oxide particles
        • f) Black oxide particles
        • g) Corrosion particles
        • h) Non-ferrous particles
        • i) Friction polymers
    • B. Atomic emission elemental spectroscopy
      • 1. Basic determination of wear particle metallurgy from elemental composition
      • 2. Evaluating sequential trends
      • 3. Evaluating lock-step trends
      • 4. Particle size limitations of common atomic emission spectrometers
      • 5. Advanced techniques
        • a) Acid/microwave digestion
        • b) Rotrode filter spectroscopy
      • 6. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and other advanced elemental spectroscopy methods
  • IV. Analyzing lubricant degradation (25%)
    • A. Oxidative base oil failure
      • 1. Causes of oxidative base oil failure
      • 2. Recognizing at-risk lubricants and applications
      • 3. Strategies for deterring or mitigating base oil oxidation
      • 4. Recognizing the effects of base oil oxidation
      • 5. Strengths, limitations and applicability of tests used to detect and troubleshoot base oil oxidation
        • a) Acid number
        • b) Viscosity
        • c) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis
        • d) Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test
        • e) Sensory inspection
    • B. Thermal failure of base oil
      • 1. Causes of thermal degradation
        • a) Hot surface degradation
        • b) Adiabatic compression induced degradation
      • 2. Strengths, limitations and applicability of tests used to detect and troubleshoot thermal failure of the base oil
        • a) Acid number
        • b) Viscosity
        • c) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis
        • d) Thermal stability test (ASTM D 2070-91)
        • e) Ultracentrifuge detection of carbon insolubles
        • f) Sensory inspection
    • C. Additive depletion/degradation
      • 1. Assessing risk for common additive depletion/degradation mechanisms
        • a) Neutralization
        • b) Shear down
        • c) Hydrolysis
        • d) Oxidation
        • e) Thermal degradation
        • f) Water washing
        • g) Particle scrubbing
        • h) Surface adsorption
        • i) Rubbing contact
        • j) Condensation settling
        • k) Filtration
        • l) Aggregate adsorption
        • m) Evaporation
        • n) Centrifugation
      • 2. Strengths, limitations and applicability of methods for measuring additive depletion/degradation
        • a) Atomic emission spectroscopy
        • b) Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy
        • c) Acid number
        • d) Base number
        • e) Viscosity index (VI)
        • f) Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test
        • g) Blotter spot test
    • D. Detecting wrong lubricant addition
      • 1. Viscosity
      • 2. Neutralization number (AN/BN)
      • 3. Elemental spectroscopy
      • 4. Fourier Transfer Infrared Analysis
      • 5. Other Tests
  • V. Oil analysis program development and program management (19%)
    • A. Machine-specific test slate selection
    • B. Optimizing frequency of analysis
    • C. Setting alarms and limits
      • 1. Setting goal-based limits for contamination
      • 2. Statistically derived level limits
        • a) Editing data
        • b) Calculating averages
        • c) Calculating standard deviation
        • d) Setting upper and lower limits using the mean and standard deviation
        • e) How changes in system operation or maintenance influence statistically derived inferences
      • 3. Rate of Change Limits
        • a) Calculating rate of change
        • b) Slope-based alarms
        • c) Statistically derived rate of change limits
      • 4. Setting aging limits for fluid properties
        • a) Physical properties
        • b) Chemical properties
        • c) Additive properties
    • D. Managing oil analysis information
    • E. Creating and managing oil analysis procedures
    • F. Scoping oil analysis training for reliability technician, trades people and management
    • G. Performing cost/benefit analysis for oil analysis and contamination control programs
      • 1. Calculating program costs
      • 2. Estimating program benefits
      • 3. Calculating return on investment metrics
      • 4. Generating an effective business proposal
    • H. Quality Assurance
      • 1. Of onsite oil analysis
      • 2. Of offsite oil analysis providers

Event Category


Course Duration

5 days




Reliability Expert Center
REC provides services to many sectors including: oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining, metal, power and utility, and is currently developing a customer base in banking and finance with corporate sustainability consultancy, training and software.

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