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#2224142 - 04/06/11 06:20 PM A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA
Lethal1ty17 Offline


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 680
Loc: Georgia
I decided to write about understanding UOA's for my chemistry term paper this semester worth 15% of my overall grade, and thought I would share it with you guys to get some input, or just has a good ol' discussion. The only criteria was that it had to deal in some way with chemistry, and we only had to make it 3 pages in length (double spaced) but there wasn't any way I could condense all of the basics of oil into that little space. It ended up at 9 pages including the cover and references sheet.

Keep in mind that this was written between 12am-4am last night while relying on mostly memory and pina colada Sobe drinks, so I know there might be quite a few errors and half-arsing at some points (I was tired). It was also formatted in Microsoft Word so the spacing, sizes, etc will look a little quirky but it looks very professional when printed. Copy and paste onto the forum just doesn't do it justice but I'll try my best.

Any comments/feedback/suggestions/corrections are gladly welcomed because I am for all intents and purposes, a noob at this whole thing and always looking for a chance to learn what I don't know.
_______________________________________________________________


Engine Oil Analysis

Understanding Spectral Analysis of Engine
Oil & Its Real-World Application



What is an engine oil analysis?

Engine oil analysis is a process that involves a sample of engine oil, whether virgin or used, and analyzing it for various properties and materials to monitor wear metals and contamination. By analyzing a sample of used engine oil, you are able to determine the wear rate, and overall service condition of an engine, along with spotting potential problems and imminent failure before it happens. This is a critical tool to use in certain industries such as aviation, racing, and commercial shipping fleets where downtime due to engine failure can be costly and potentially dangerous.


How does an engine oil analysis work?

Oil analyses are offered by many companies and are accomplished by using spectrometry. A spectral exam is done by injecting the oil sample into inductive coupled argon plasma, which is around 10,000° Celsius. The light generated from injecting the oil into the plasma is directed through a prism and broken up into different wavelengths and intensities. Those are then collected on an aperture plate, sensed by a photomultiplier tube, and given as a digital readout on the computer’s display. Each element and their concentrations have their own unique wavelength and intensity which can be matched against a calibrated sample to give you an accurate readout of each element and their concentration.


What is a real world application for an engine oil analysis?

By knowing the amount of each elemental metal in the sample, you are able to narrow down and monitor how specific components in an engine such as bearings are wearing. Not only can an analysis detect these trace metals, but they can also detect various types of contamination. Such as insoluble matter, fuel, or coolant, and be able to spot any abnormalities before they become a costly or dangerous problem. This allows industries to increase an engine’s service life, reduce repair bills, unscheduled down time, and catastrophic failures.


Interpreting and understanding an engine oil analysis report:

Below is a report given on a sample of used engine oil which I had analyzed from my personal vehicle, and the source each wear metal generally indicates inside an engine.



**Note: all universal averages are compared to an oil sample which was in use for approximately 4,100 miles in an identical engine, while my sample was in use for 8,740 miles.**

Aluminum - Aluminum is most commonly from wear (scuffing) on piston skirts as they repeatedly travel along the length of a cylinder. Other sources often include aluminum engine blocks, certain types of bearings, and heat exchangers (oil coolers).

Chromium - The source of chromium wear metals are almost always exclusively from piston rings which are used to form a tight seal between the moving piston and stationary cylinder wall. These rings have to reliably create a tight seal between the piston and the cylinder wall while travelling at up to 4,000+ feet per second and dealing with peak pressures of over 2,000 psi (136 Bar) depending on the engine design and usage.

Iron - This is the only wear metal that accurately and linearly increases with the length of time the sample has been in service. It has many sources inside of an engine, most commonly coming from cylinder liners, camshaft lobes, crankshaft journals, and oil pumps.

Copper – Copper is widely used due to its high ductility and thermal conductivity. It is mainly utilized in bushings and bearings such as: crankshaft journal bearings, connecting rod bearings, camshaft bushings, piston wrist pin bushings, thrust washers, and even heat exchangers (oil coolers).

Lead – Lead is a soft, sacrificial wear metal used on surfaces such as bearings. Lead based Babbitt alloys. Commonly found in main crankshaft journal bearings and contaminated fuels. Other sources include leaded fuels and gasoline octane improver.

Tin – Commonly alloyed with Copper and Lead, it is typically found in crankshaft journal, connecting rod, and camshaft bearings, along with heat exchanger cores and thrust washers.

Molybdenum – This is most commonly used as an anti-wear/anti-scuff additive and has an effect commonly called “Moly plating” where over time, a thin and microscopic layer of Molybdenum tends to form between contact surfaces, thereby creating a lower coefficient of friction between the two parts. Concentration levels of Molybdenum vary greatly depending on the formulation of each specific oil brand, and viscosity. Oil brands with high Molybdenum concentrations include Red Line Oil and Royal Purple.

Nickel – Though not very widely used anymore, Nickel can be found in certain alloys of steel for internal engine parts, and also is used as a coating on bearings.
Manganese – Manganese is sometimes used in certain steel alloys and has virtually no other uses in these applications.

Silver – Due to its exceptional thermal conductivity, it is sometimes used as a coating for bearings providing minimal friction. However, it is susceptible to attack from Zinc-based additives and is not commonly used in the U.S. for equipment.

Titanium – Titanium is a newer, more environmentally friendly anti-wear additive being implemented due to more stringent emissions regulations, and is phasing out older, harmful phosphorous compounds such as ZDDP (Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate). ZDDP reduces the effectiveness of the catalysts in catalytic converters by creating a plating effect when combusted, and covering the catalyst. Titanium chemically binds to wear surfaces creating a hard, Titanium based oxide layer which reduces friction, thereby reducing wear. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand. Oil brands currently high in Titanium concentrations include Castrol Edge with Titanium.

Potassium - Most commonly found if there is a coolant mixing with, and contaminating the engine oil.

Boron – Used as a corrosion inhibiter, anti-wear and anti-oxidant additive. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

Silicon – A very common contaminant most typically found in a very abrasive solid form, which causes increased metal wear numbers (especially Iron) in oil analysis samples. However, in my case it is harmless and leaching from a silicone sealant which I used to seal a leaking valve cover gasket, though the most common source is from insufficient air filtration. Silicon concentrations in such cases as this will typically drop after each subsequent oil change.

Sodium – This is most commonly used as a corrosion inhibiter additive, and occasionally can indicate a coolant leak into the oil. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

Calcium – Used as a detergent and dispersant additive to maintain suspension of particulate matter, along with maintaining a reserve alkalinity. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

Magnesium – Also used as a detergent and dispersant additive to maintain suspension of particulate matter, and occasionally used in certain alloys of steel. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

Phosphorus – Used as an anti-wear, anti-oxidant, extreme pressure, and corrosion inhibitor additive. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

Zinc – Another anti-wear, anti-oxidant, and corrosion inhibitor additive also commonly found in bearing alloys. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

Barium – A detergent which also acts as another corrosion and rust inhibitor. Concentration levels vary greatly depending on oil brand.

SUS Viscosity @ 210°F – The Saybolt Universal Second viscosity (SUS) is a measurement of viscosity that 60 cm3 of oil takes to flow through a calibrated tube at a controlled temperature (210°F in this case). Each weight of oil such as a 30 weight (5w30/10w30/etc) has an acceptable range to fall into to meet that grade. In this case of a used motor oil sample, it should fall between 56 and 63 SUS. It fell at 56.9, which is slightly less viscous than a virgin sample of this identical oil, which began at 58.3 SUS. That means the sample had a 2.4% viscosity loss over its service life due mainly to shearing and slight fuel dilution. Oils such as Castrol Edge 5w30 are on the thinner end of the 30 weight spectrum, and are on the borderline of being a “thick” 20 weight oil straight from the bottle. They don’t take long to fall into that range when they shear.

cSt Viscosity @ 100°C – Viscosity at 100°C given in Centistokes. Less commonly used so there isn’t much to discuss here. Sorry folks.

Flashpoint in °F – This is basically the temperature at which the oil sample will start to combust in °F. Lower flashpoints tend to indicate a presence of fuel. The flashpoint of this sample was 410°F while a virgin sample of this identical oil began at 420°F, so the fuel content of this sample is quite low.

Fuel % - This is the amount of raw fuel content in your oil sample given as a percentage of total volume. Fuel dilution is common from cold starts with lots of idling (engine ECUs typically run rich on a cold idle) and short trips. This causes raw fuel to work past the piston rings and into your crankcase, which dilutes your oil and acts as a solvent, partially washing away the critical oil film and increasing wear between parts. This is why used motor oil (especially on older carbureted vehicles) sometimes smells like gasoline.

Antifreeze % - Percentage of antifreeze found in the sample given as a percentage of total volume. Antifreeze will show up in an oil sample and indicate a coolant leak into the oil from such things as cracked engine blocks or cylinders heads, and leaking cylinder head gaskets.

Water % - Percentage of water found in sample given as a percentage of total volume. Moisture is common in short trip vehicles that don't fully get the oil up to operating temperature long enough. It takes 10-15 minutes for the oil to get up to operating temperature, which is enough to start evaporating the moisture in the sample. The same goes for fuel in your sample too. An occasional long highway drive is good for your oil.

Insolubles % – This is the amount of insoluble material in the sample given as a percentage of total volume. The most common insolubles are carbon from the combustion chamber, and dirt that gets sucked in through the engine’s intake system. This is mostly what turns your oil darker the longer it has been in service. High insoluble percentages indicate insufficient air and oil filtration, with the latter being the most common cause.

TBN - The TBN (Total Base Number) is a lubricant’s reserve alkalinity measured in milligrams of potassium hydroxide per gram of oil. Or in more simple terms, the amount of active additives remaining. This number is important because combustion byproducts tend to form acidic compounds and the TBN is the acid-neutralizing capacity of the lubricant. TBN does not decrease linearly with the time it has been in use. Example: it could start out at a TBN of 10, drop to 5 after only 1,000 miles of use, and then stabilize around 3 for a majority of the remaining service life. A TBN of <1.0 is generally considered to indicate near depletion of additives, and is a safe point to change your oil. Once the additives are depleted then the infamous sludge that the crazy Scot from the Castrol commercials has been warning us about can begin to form. A virgin sample of this identical oil begins with a TBN of 11.7.

TAN – The TAN (Total Acid Number) is the amount of potassium hydroxide measured in milligrams needed to neutralize the acids in one gram of oil. When plotted on a graph with the TBN, the point at which the two lines cross is the optimal point to change your oil and indicates nearing additive depletion. For cost reasons I didn’t get the TAN test done because the TBN is a more reliable method to determine the active additive remaining.



References
Stark, J. (n.d.). Spectrometry: The Marvel Of The Lab. Retrieved April 6, 2011, from Blackstone Labs: http://www.blackstone-labs.com/spectrometry-the-marvel-of-the-lab.php
What Is Oil Analysis? (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2011, from Bob Is The Oil Guy: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=56
Sources Of Wear Metals In Oil Analysis. (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2011, from Bently Tribology Services: http://www.bentlytribology.com/publications/appnotes/app31.php

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#2224150 - 04/06/11 06:27 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
CATERHAM Offline


Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 9442
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Good for you!
At least someone is putting their motor oil knowledge to some good use.
_________________________
74 Lotus Europa 5W-50
86 Porsche 928S TGMO 0W-20 25%/M1 0W-40
96 BMW 328i Idemitsu/TGMO 0W-20 70%/M1 0W-40
94 Caterham 7 Sustina 0W-20 80%/0W-50

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#2224161 - 04/06/11 06:37 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
GMFan Offline


Registered: 12/26/07
Posts: 1455
Loc: Catskills, NY
I read the whole paper and enjoyed it. It was very informative without dragging on. I bet a lot of folks never even give motor a thought...it really is an amazing science.
_________________________
2011 Mazda6i Sport 6spd MT-50k miles
PP 0w20-Purolator PureOne
"If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all."

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#2224164 - 04/06/11 06:38 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: CATERHAM]
chad8 Offline


Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: michigan
You did a really nice Job. It explained in simple detail what has taken me years to not fully understand. A+.

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#2224165 - 04/06/11 06:39 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
El_Schaf Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 176
Loc: Michigan, USA
Excellent use of resources to do the chem paper.
_________________________
2008 Pontiac Grand Prix 3800 V6.

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#2224170 - 04/06/11 06:45 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
CATERHAM Offline


Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 9442
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
You could add that Moly is additive in most oils and in high doses in the Japanese OEM 0W-20 oils. That more of a a main line use than mentioning RL and RP.
_________________________
74 Lotus Europa 5W-50
86 Porsche 928S TGMO 0W-20 25%/M1 0W-40
96 BMW 328i Idemitsu/TGMO 0W-20 70%/M1 0W-40
94 Caterham 7 Sustina 0W-20 80%/0W-50

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#2224222 - 04/06/11 07:28 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
Johnny Offline


Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 14013
Loc: Retired | Wausau, WI
Great report. Why did you wait until the last minute to do it? Oh, never mind, I use to to the same thing.

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#2224246 - 04/06/11 07:50 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14477
Loc: Midwest
Quote:
Great report. Why did you wait until the last minute to do it? Oh, never mind, I use to to the same thing.


I used to do the same thing, like finishing up at 3:00AM. I could never understand myself why but procrastination forced the neurons to fire at the last minute.

What year in college and which chem course is this?
_________________________
"It only knows that it needs, it does not know WHAT it needs." Spock from Star Trek smile

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#2224257 - 04/06/11 07:56 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
Lethal1ty17 Offline


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 680
Loc: Georgia
It is actually due April 21st, I just happened to start on it last night out of shear boredom. Here is the link to the UOA discussion on it http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2222115#Post2222115

Oh, and I'm a sophomore in Chem 101 blush I just wanted to impress my professor. I'm taking it easy this year before I leave for the Army.


Edited by Lethal1ty17 (04/06/11 07:57 PM)

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#2224275 - 04/06/11 08:03 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14477
Loc: Midwest
This was a good, practical paper.

And in advance, thank you for your upcoming service to our country.
_________________________
"It only knows that it needs, it does not know WHAT it needs." Spock from Star Trek smile

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#2224445 - 04/06/11 11:09 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33611
Loc: New Jersey
While a really nice write-up on UOA, as a chemical engineer, I can't say that it is either of length to be a real paper, or have enough detail to satisfy my desires to better understand chemistry or analytical techniques. It is kinda-sorta a semi-technical section of a "white paper" or similar. Not sure if that was the intent of the exercise.

While I certainly understand that this is a far more difficult undertaking, thinking back to college, I do not think that this would pass for showing knowledge and expertise in a chemistry-related area. Is this a Chem 101 type class? In there it may be more than enough though...

Please dont take this as being down on the paper. I like what you wrote up and frankly I think this would be a good sticky for this UOA section... But as a "peer reviewer" Id say there is not enough detail on any technical topic area to say it is near satisfactory in terms of completeness of discussion of a chemistry/analytical topic.

But I do like what you put together... Very nice!

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#2224482 - 04/07/11 12:05 AM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
tinmanSC Online   content


Registered: 09/07/10
Posts: 1913
Loc: Oswego, IL
I took an English class online a few months ago and we had to critique others work. It always annoyed me when people said "yeah, good" without giving real feedback... so... from a scholastic perspective...

"By knowing the amount of each elemental metal in the sample, you are able to narrow down and monitor how specific components in an engine such as bearings are wearing." You say "specific components" then mention "bearings are wearing." "Bearings are wearing" is not a component; Consider rephrasing to just "bearings."

"Chromium - The source of chromium wear metals are almost always exclusively..." Consider rephrasing to something without the "almost always exclusively" as "always" and "exclusively" mean the same thing in this context.

"This is the only wear metal that accurately and linearly increases with the length of time the sample has been in service." This is one of the English gotchas that come up from time to time. You said that this sample has been in service, but this sample has never been in service. The oil has, but it wasn't a sample then. It become a sample when you removed it from service, thus, this sample has no service life. It may be purely academic, but some college English teachers will catch you on this one.

"Ductility" Excellent usage of the word.

"Oil brands with high Molybdenum concentrations include Red Line Oil and Royal Purple." consider removing name brands from your work and this is probably of little value to your intended audience (professor). Same with Titanium and SUS Viscosity.

"However, it is susceptible to attack from Zinc-based additives" Consider rephrasing "attack" to something more relevant to chemistry.

What about the elements present that were not mentioned in your UOA but are relevant to lubrication (i.e. Sulfur)?

"This is basically the temperature at which the oil sample will start to combust in °F." Consider removing "basically" as it makes the definition sound ambiguous.

SUS Viscosity - You give the incorrect deffinition here. The "SUS Viscosity" is not a measure of a unit of viscosity, it's a measure of a unit of time it takes for a speicific amount of oil to flow at a reference temperature.

"and dirt that gets sucked in through the engine’s intake system." Technically it gets blown in, as a reduction of air pressure in the intake causes the high pressure outside air to push it's way into the intake. But, perhaps this is best left uncorrected. smile

"The TBN (Total Base Number) is a lubricant’s reserve alkalinity measured in milligrams of potassium hydroxide per gram of oil." The reserve additive can also so be Calcium Sulfonate.
_________________________
Cost of Hobby=2L
(Where L=Cost of Lubricant)
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#2224483 - 04/07/11 12:06 AM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: JHZR2]
Lethal1ty17 Offline


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 680
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
This was a good, practical paper.

And in advance, thank you for your upcoming service to our country.


thank you for both

Originally Posted By: JHZR2
While a really nice write-up on UOA, as a chemical engineer, I can't say that it is either of length to be a real paper, or have enough detail to satisfy my desires to better understand chemistry or analytical techniques. It is kinda-sorta a semi-technical section of a "white paper" or similar. Not sure if that was the intent of the exercise.

While I certainly understand that this is a far more difficult undertaking, thinking back to college, I do not think that this would pass for showing knowledge and expertise in a chemistry-related area. Is this a Chem 101 type class? In there it may be more than enough though...

Please dont take this as being down on the paper. I like what you wrote up and frankly I think this would be a good sticky for this UOA section... But as a "peer reviewer" Id say there is not enough detail on any technical topic area to say it is near satisfactory in terms of completeness of discussion of a chemistry/analytical topic.

But I do like what you put together... Very nice!


i agree, it was really more of a basic intro paper for those who are unaware what a UOA is and stuff like that, you gotta learn to walk before you can run. i could have gone way, way more into detail, but since it is just for a chemistry 101 class and was written in the wee hours of the night, i called it quits after so many pages. i know its nowhere near what a legit, detailed write up but i wasn't aiming for that. i do think it will help a lot of people understand a little better though. but thank you.

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#2224487 - 04/07/11 12:10 AM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: tinmanSC]
Lethal1ty17 Offline


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 680
Loc: Georgia
Originally Posted By: tinmanSC
I took an English class online a few months ago and we had to critique others work. It always annoyed me when people said "yeah, good" without giving real feedback... so... from a scholastic perspective...

"By knowing the amount of each elemental metal in the sample, you are able to narrow down and monitor how specific components in an engine such as bearings are wearing." You say "specific components" then mention "bearings are wearing." "Bearings are wearing" is not a component; Consider rephrasing to just "bearings."

"Chromium - The source of chromium wear metals are almost always exclusively..." Consider rephrasing to something without the "almost always exclusively" as "always" and "exclusively" mean the same thing in this context.

"This is the only wear metal that accurately and linearly increases with the length of time the sample has been in service." This is one of the English gotchas that come up from time to time. You said that this sample has been in service, but this sample has never been in service. The oil has, but it wasn't a sample then. It become a sample when you removed it from service, thus, this sample has no service life. It may be purely academic, but some college English teachers will catch you on this one.

"Ductility" Excellent usage of the word.

"Oil brands with high Molybdenum concentrations include Red Line Oil and Royal Purple." consider removing name brands from your work and this is probably of little value to your intended audience (professor). Same with Titanium and SUS Viscosity.

"However, it is susceptible to attack from Zinc-based additives" Consider rephrasing "attack" to something more relevant to chemistry.

What about the elements present that were not mentioned in your UOA but are relevant to lubrication (i.e. Sulfur)?

"This is basically the temperature at which the oil sample will start to combust in °F." Consider removing "basically" as it makes the definition sound ambiguous.

SUS Viscosity - You give the incorrect deffinition here. The "SUS Viscosity" is not a measure of a unit of viscosity, it's a measure of a unit of time it takes for a speicific amount of oil to flow at a reference temperature.

"and dirt that gets sucked in through the engine’s intake system." Technically it gets blown in, as a reduction of air pressure in the intake causes the high pressure outside air to push it's way into the intake. But, perhaps this is best left uncorrected. smile

"The TBN (Total Base Number) is a lubricant’s reserve alkalinity measured in milligrams of potassium hydroxide per gram of oil." The reserve additive can also so be Calcium Sulfonate.


had i actually gone over the paper more in detail today (after i slept) i would have corrected the things you mentioned such as the bearings wearing, almost always exclusively, and the basically part. i kept looking at them last night but at 4am, i wasnt firing on all cylinders.

very good points made on everything else though, wouldnt have thought of that and thanks for pointing them out.

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#2265192 - 05/18/11 08:59 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
Lethal1ty17 Offline


Registered: 07/01/10
Posts: 680
Loc: Georgia
I was messaged by one of the mods yesterday evening about using this write up for something on the new home page.

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#2535726 - 02/13/12 09:29 PM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
Carbon Offline


Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 487
Loc: near Chicago
I suggest comparing the spectral analysis to the classic flame tests of qualitative analysis in chemistry. The flame tests are limited to the more easily ionized elements, but there is a relationship. I presume you did flame tests in lab.


Edited by Carbon (02/13/12 09:39 PM)

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#2685226 - 07/16/12 01:53 AM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
lubrex1 Offline


Registered: 07/14/12
Posts: 1
Loc: united arab emirates
hi,
i recently bought an ICP for elemental analysis, Is there any body who could guide me about element's wave lenght selection etc.

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#2994493 - 05/06/13 10:24 AM Re: A Chemistry Term Paper On My UOA [Re: Lethal1ty17]
DriveHard Offline


Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 366
Loc: Nevada, IA
Seems to be a glaring error...

You stated
These rings have to reliably create a tight seal between the piston and the cylinder wall while travelling at up to 4,000+ feet per second

WOW! If that were the case, there would be thousands of sonic booms in our engine all the time!

I think you meant FEET PER MINUTE.
Nice work though.
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