What Coolant Analysis Tells You
There's more to coolant analysis than testing coolant formulations — it's about identifying problems within the cooling system that can be detrimental to engine performance or lead to premature engine failure. Coolant analysis can detect:
- Metal corrosion
- Combustion gas leaks
- Electrical ground problems
- Localized overheating
- Chemical breakdown
The Benefits of Coolant Analysis
Over 40% of engine failure is due to a problem in the cooling system. This vital system is typically the most neglected, least understood component of the modern engine. Regular coolant testing and routine maintenance can achieve maximum system efficiency and identify potential problems before they become catastrophic failures.
- Extend coolant drain intervals
- Extend equipment life
- Identify minor problems before they become major failures
- Maximize asset reliability
Sign up for POLARIS Laboratories®' public Cooling System Maintenance Training
Sign up for POLARIS Laboratories®' webinar series on cooling system maintenance, coolant formulation and program management.
- Coolant Analysis Related Technical Bulletin
- How to Take a Coolant Sample
- How to Read a Coolant Analysis Report
- Coolant Product Guide
Coolant Test Packages
A cooling system is subject to pitting, corrosion, cavitation, erosion and electrolysis. Although coolants are formulated to help prevent these problems from occurring, improper maintenance and mechanical issues can hinder the effectiveness of the fluid. Coolant analysis will identify if these issues are present and determine if the coolant you're using is providing adequate protection. It will also identify:
- Localized overheating causing the glycol to degrade and form acids
- Scale and deposit formations that can act as insulators, which form barriers for proper heat transfer
- Mixing of coolant formulations causing inadequate protection of metals
Newer formulated organic acid coolants contain carboxylic acid as the main inhibitor and these organic acids should be monitored with testing to determine if enough is present for proper metal protection. There are two types of carboxylic acid tests offered by POLARIS Laboratories®. The PASS/FAIL test kit is for specific ELC coolant products. HPLC testing measures the parts per million for all organic acid formulations. If a carboxylic acid test fails or the carboxylic acid analytes are low, non-compatible coolant or fluid could be present.
Coolant Test Packages at a Glance
The table below is a visual summary of the different coolant test packages that POLARIS Laboratories® offers. A more detailed explanation of the test packages can be found below the table.
|Tests||Basic||Condition Monitor Conventional||Condition Monitor ELC||Advanced Condition Monitor Conventional||Advanced Condition Monitor ELC|
|Glycol % (FP & BP)|
The following tests monitor coolant maintenance levels to ensure proper engine metal protection, glycol levels for freeze and boil point control, nitrited coolant for prime metal pitting protection, acidity/alkalinity of the fluid and visual contaminants.
Condition Monitor Conventional
Level II testing monitors the corrosion metals, inhibitors and contaminants that may be present. This level includes all Level I tests plus:
Condition Monitor ELC
Level III testing monitors the organic acids and azoles in the newer organic acid technology and hybrid formulated coolants. It is beneficial in determining contamination/dilution with conventional coolant or topping off with water which can cause over dilution of the carboxylates leaving the system vulnerable to corrosion due to lack of protection. This level includes all Level I and II plus:
- Organic Acids and Azoles by HPLC - Benzoic Acid, Sebacic Acid, 2-Ethylhexanoic, Benzotriazole (BZT), Tolyltriazole (TTZ), and Mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT).
Advanced Condition Monitor Conventional
Level IV testing identifies possible sources of problems detected in testing levels I and II, such as combustion gas leaks, air contamination, electrical ground problems, localized over-heating, chemical breakdown or other contamination sources inside or from outside the system. Level IV testing also identifies the type and degree of degradation acid formation resulting from any glycol degradation as a result of cooling system problems. It includes all tests in Levels I and II plus:
- Inhibitor, Contaminants and Degradation Acids by IC - (Nitrite, Nitrate, Chloride & Sulfate, Glycolate, Formate, Acetate & Oxalate)
Advanced Condition Monitor ELC
Level V testing is recommended for customers using ELC coolants that are experiencing or suspect possible mechanical issues that can cause premature engine failure or trying to determine warranty compliance.
- All tests in Levels I, II, III and IV.
POLARIS Laboratories® Announces 2013 Public Training Classes
POLARIS Laboratories®, an innovative leader in the fluid analysis industry, has announced its public training class schedule for 2013. Whether attendees are just beginning to establish fluid analysis best practices or they've been in the industry for years, these classes will expand their knowledge of oils and coolants and help them understand the importance of doing fluid analysis and doing it well.
POLARIS Laboratories® Opens New Fluid Testing Lab in Moscow, Russia
The company has now expanded into Russia with the opening of POLARIS Laboratories® Russia, the official representative of POLARIS Laboratories®, located in Moscow.
Cooling Systems Maintenance
May 28, 2013
May 29-30, 2013
July 24-25, 2013
Tradeshows & Conferences
Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show
June 5-6, 2013
Oil Sands Trade Show
Fort McMurray, AB
September 10-11, 2013