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Savant Labs
A World of Lubrication Understanding

Test Descriptions

For your information and convenience, Savant Labs has described some of our most frequently requested test methods. For a full list of test methods click here. The methods listed on this page are organized by category:

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Viscosity / Shear Stability

Test Description Method
Brookfield Viscosity

Rotational low-shear measurement of viscosity at low temperatures. Test method can be applied to a wide viscosity range of lubricants to ensure that viscosity increase due to low temperature is within limits for the applications or specifications of interest. 

ASTM D2983
CCS

Low temperature, high shear stress viscosity using the Cold Cranking Simulator Viscometer. Test predicts the comparative ability of an oil to give satisfactory low-temperature engine cranking speed. Reported in cP.

ASTM D5293
CCS Scan

CCS viscosity values over a low-temperature range from -10°C to -35°. Indicates affects of low temperatures on startability over full range of scan. Reported in cP in the database and represented as a line graph in the IOM Primary Report.

ASTM D5293
Cone & Plate Viscosity

Viscosity measurement using a Cone & Plate Viscometer, useful for higher viscosity samples and can be paired with high shear techniques to provide multi-shear rate viscosity curves. 

SAVLAB CAP
Fuel Injector Shear Stability Test

Test evaluates the percent viscosity loss for polymer-containing fluids resulting from polymer degradation in the high shear nozzle device. D5275 combined with HTHS viscosity is a required test in the General Electric B82 locomotive specification. Reported in cSt. KV at 100C before and after shear and in % loss in viscosity. 

ASTM D5275
Gelation Index and Gelation Index Temperature

Gives Gelation Index and Gelation Index Termperature using the Scanning Brookfield Technique. Determines the tendency of an oil to cause problems by forming a gelated structure at temperatures below 0°C (32°F). ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D5133
High Temp. High Shear HTHS Viscosity at 100°C

High temperature high shear rate viscosity using the Tapered Bearing Simulator (TBS) Viscometer determines the dynamic viscosity of engine oil at 100°C and one million reciprocal seconds. Simulates the ability of an oil to meet the hydrodynamic needs of the engine in high shear areas. Reported in cP. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D6616
High Temp. High Shear HTHS Viscosity at 150°C

High temperature high shear rate viscosity using the Tapered Bearing Simulator (TBS) Viscometer determines the dynamic viscosity of engine oil at 150°C and one million reciprocal seconds. Simulates the ability of an oil to meet the hydrodynamic needs of the engine in high shear areas. Reported in cP. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D4683
High Temp. High Shear Viscosity at Other Temperatures or Other Shear-Rates

High temperature high shear rate viscosity using the Tapered Bearing Simulator (TBS) Viscometer determines the dynamic viscosity of engine oil can be tested from 40°C  to 200oC and a wide range of shear rates. Simulates the ability of an oil to meet the hydrodynamic needs several areas of the engine and map a lubricant’s viscosity response to temperature and shear. Reported in cP. 

ASTM D4683 Modified
High Temp. Low Shear Viscosity

High temperature low shear viscosity using the Tannas Basic Rotary (TBR) Viscometer. Determines the dynamic viscosity of oil at a selected temperature and two hundred reciprocal seconds. Helps to characterize the Viscosity Index improver used in a given engine oil or used to obtain reliable viscosity data at high temperatures. Reported in cP.

SAVLAB TBR
Kinematic Viscosity

Kinematic Viscosity at 40°C and 100°C. Reported in cSt. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D445
Kinematic Viscosity

Kinematic Viscosity at a range of temperatures from -40oC to 150oC. Reported in cSt. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D445
KRL Shear Stability

Tests a lubricating oil using a tapered roller bearing to determine lubricant shear stability Reported in cSt. KV at 100oC before and after shear and % loss in viscosity.

CEC L-45-99 Mod. & ASTM D445
Kurt Orbahn Shear Stability

Test evaluates the shear stability of polymer-containing fluids. The test method measures the percent viscosity loss at 100oC when evaluated by the European diesel injector apparatus. ASTM D6278 is typically run at 30 passes, but can be customized. ASTM D7109 requires data to be collected at 30 and 90 passes. Reported in cSt. KV at 100oC before and after shear and % loss in viscosity. Both methods are ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D6278 or D7109
MRV / TP-1

Low temperature low shear viscosity using the Mini-Rotary Viscometer with a specified temperature profile. Predicts the ability of oil to permit satisfactory flow to the engine oil pump at the SAE specified temperature. Reported in cP. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D4684
Pour Point

An index of the lowest temperature at which a petroleum product will still pour. Reported in oC, in increments of 3oC. 

ASTM D97
Scanning Brookfield Viscosity (Gelation Index)

Low temperature low shear viscosity using the Scanning Brookfield Technique (SBT). Predicts the ability of oil to permit satisfactory flow to the engine oil pump screen and to the pump over a range of cold temperatures from 0°C to -40°C. Reported in °C and cP. Includes report of the Gelation Index. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D5133
Sonic Shear

Evaluation of the shear stability of an oil containing polymer in terms of the permanent loss in viscosity that results from irradiating a sample of the oil or hydraulic fluid in a sonic oscillator. Reported in cSt. KV at 40oC before and after irradiation and % loss in viscosity.

ASTM D2603 or D5621
Viscosity Index

An empirical measure of the viscosity-temperature relationship. Used to determine the characteristics of base oils and the effects of VI Improvers. The value is determined from Kinematic Viscosity measurements at 40° and 100°C. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D2270
Viscosity Loss Profile (VLP)

Uses the HTHS and HTLS viscosity values at 100°C and 150° before and after permanently shearing the oil using the Kurt Orbahn to determine the five forms of Temporary and Permanent Viscosity Losses. Values characterize the oil’s shear stability and are related to the molecular weight distribution of the VI Improver used in formulating and blending the engine oil. Reported graphically and in percent loss values.

ASTM D4683, ASTM D6616, SAVLAB TBR

Oxidation / Corrosion

Test Description Method
Ball Rust Test

Measures the ability of an engine oil to protect valve train components against rusting or corrosion under low temperature, short-trip service. Required as part of the API SN specification. 

ASTM D6557
Copper Strip Corrosion

The copper strip corrosion test is designed to assess the relative degree of corrosivity of a petroleum product. Acidic corrosion results in wear, which can lead to component failure. The range is 1A (the best) and 4 (the worst), 1B is typical.

ASTM D130
FTIR, Oxidation of an In-Service Fluid

This test method uses Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry for monitoring build-up of oxidation products in in-service petroleum and hydrocarbon based lubricants as a result of normal machinery operation. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D7414
High Temperature Corrosion Bench Test (HTCBT)

Tests diesel engine lubricants to determine their tendency to corrode various metals, specifically alloys of lead and copper commonly used in cam followers and bearings. This test is required in the API CK/FA-4 specification. 

ASTM D6594
Oxidation Characteristics

This test attempts to determine the expected turbine oil life by subjecting the test oil to oxidative stress using oxygen, high temperatures, water and metal catalysts, all of which increase sludge and acid formation. Test is complete when the sample acid number reaches 2.0 but has also been configured based on TAN below a minimum value after a certain time duration such as 2000 hours.

ASTM D943
Oxidation Stability, Bio-Diesel Fuel

Test determines of the oxidation stability of fuels for diesel engines, by means of measuring the induction period of the fuel up to 48 h. The method is applicable to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) intended for the use as pure biofuel or as a blending component for diesel fuels, and to blends of FAME with diesel fuel containing 2 % (V/V) of FAME at minimum. 

EN 15751
Oxidation Stability, Bio-Diesel Fuel Blends

Rancimat method for the determination of the oxidation stability of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) at 110°C.

EN 14112
Oxidation Stability, Grease

This test determines resistance of lubricating greases to oxidation when they are stored in an oxygen atmosphere in a sealed system at an elevated temperature. The standard test reports % pressure loss after 100 hours. 

ASTM D942
Rotating Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test (RPVOT)

Utilizes an oxygen-pressured vessel to evaluate the oxidation stability of new and in-service turbine oils in the presence of water and a copper catalyst coil at 150°C. Reported in minutes to a 25.4 psi pressure drop. Test can also be run to a hard break for research purposes. Also formerly known as RBOT.

ASTM D2272
Rust Prevention

D665 is available in 4 hour and 24 hour versions and can be run with distilled water and simulated seawater. Evaluates an inhibited mineral oil’s ability to aid in prevention of rust of ferrous parts if mixed with water. 

ASTM D665
Sludging & Corrosion Tendency

This test evaluates the tendency of inhibited mineral oil based steam turbine lubricants and mineral oil based anti-wear hydraulic oils to corrode copper catalyst metal and to form sludge during oxidation in the presence of oxygen, water, and copper and iron metals. 

ASTM D4310
TEOST 33C

Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test, 33C method. Measures the deposit-forming tendencies of an engine oil in the turbocharger at very high temperatures. Reported in milligrams of deposit.

ASTM D6335
TEOST MHT

Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test, MHT method. Measures the deposit-forming tendencies of an oil at piston ring-pack operating temperatures. Reported in milligrams of deposit. 

ASTM D7097
TFOUT

Oxidation resistance by using the Thin Film Oxygen Uptake Test. Measures the length of time an oil withstands oxidation during exposure to oxygen at 160°C. Reported in minutes of resistance until the oxygen pressure falls sharply indicating the anti-oxidant has been overwhelmed or until the oil surpasses 500 minutes without overwhelming the anti-oxidant.

ASTM D4742

Foaming / Emulsion / Volatility / Water Tolerance

Test Description Method
E85 Emulsion Retention

Bio-fuels like E85 have a greater tendency to form water contamination during engine operation which can negatively affect the lubrication and detergency of the engine oil. The test evaluates the ability of an engine oil, contaminated with a specified amount of water and simulated E85 fuel, to emulsify the water after agitation and to maintain this emulsion at temperatures of 20 °C to 25 °C and -5 °C to 0 °C for at least 24 h. Required test for API SN.

ASTM D7563
Air Release / Gas Bubble Separation

Tests the ability of turbine, hydraulic, and gear oils to separate entrained air. Compressed air is blown through the test oil, which has been heated to a temperature of 25, 50, or 75°C. After the air flow is stopped, the time required for the air entrained to release from the sample. 

ASTM D3427
Demulsibility

This test provides a guide for determining the demulsibility characteristic of lubricating oils that are prone to water contamination and may encounter the turbulence of pumping and circulation capable of producing water-in-oil emulsions.

ASTM D2711
Demulsibility Extreme Pressure

Alternative procedure in the D2711 method for lubricating oils that contain extreme pressure (EP) additives. 

ASTM D2711 EP
Emulsion Characteristics / Water Separability

This method provides a measurement guide for determining the water separation characteristics of oils subject to water contamination and turbulence. It is used for specification of new oils and monitoring of in-service oils.

ASTM D1401
Engine Oil Filterability (EOFT)

When an engine is run for a period of time and then stored over a long period of time, the by-products of combustion might be retained in the oil in a liquefied state. Under these circumstances, precipitates can form that impair the filterability of the oil the next time the engine is run. Required test for API SN. 

ASTM D6795
Engine Oil Water Tolerance (EOWT)

Determination of the tendency of an oil to form a precipitate that can plug an oil filter. It simulates a problem that may be encountered in a new engine run for a short period of time, followed by a long period of storage with some water in the oil. Required test for API SN.

ASTM D6794
Evaporation Loss, Grease

Determination of the loss in mass by evaporation of lubricating greases and oils for applications where evaporation loss is a factor. Evaporation loss data can be obtained at any temperature in the range from 100 to 150°C (210 to 300°F).

ASTM D972
Foaming Characteristics

Determines the foaming characteristics of an oil at specified temperatures and conditions. Both the foaming tendency and stability of the foam are rated using Sequences I-IV and reported in mL and minutes, respectively. Required test for API SN. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D892 & D6082
Noack Volatility

Volatility of the engine oil at 250°C using the non-Woods Metal version of the Noack. Measures percent oil volatilized during the test. Required test for API SN.

ASTM D5800
Phosphorus Emission Index

Analysis of the volatilized oil to determine the amount of catalyst-contaminating phosphorus compounds volatilized with the oil. Determines the milligrams of phosphorus volatilized per liter of the engine oil tested. Reported as an index value.

SAVLAB PEI
Simulated Distillation by GC

Presents the chromatographic 'fingerprint' of the oil. Also reports the percent oil volatilized at 371°C (700°F).

ASTM D6417
Sulfur Emission Index

Analysis of the volatilized oil to determine the amount of sulfur compounds volatilized with the oil. Determines the milligrams of sulfur volatilized per liter of the engine oil tested. Reported as an index value.

SAVLAB SEI
TGA Noack Volatility

Volatility of the engine oil at 250°C using thermogravimetric analysis. Measures percent oil volatilized during the test. Useful test where only a sample amount of sample is available. 

ASTM D6375

Physical Properties

Test Description Method
Bulk Modulus

Method covers the determination of isothermal secant and tangent bulk modulus of liquids which are stable and compatible with stainless steel under the conditions of test.

ASTM D6793
Cone Penetration, Grease

Measure the consistency of lubricating greases by the penetration of a cone of specified dimensions, mass, and finish. The penetration is measured in tenths of a millimeter. Worked sixty strokes is a commonly selected option for this test. 

ASTM D217
Density

Determination using a glass hydrometer in conjunction with a series of calculations, of the density, relative density, or API gravity of crude petroleum, petroleum products, or mixtures of petroleum and nonpetroleum products. Standard temperature is 15oC. 

ASTM D1298 or D4052
Density by Pycnometer

Determination of density using a glass pycnometer. Accurate over a wide temperature range up to 150oC. 

SAVLAB LPYC
Distillation

Atmospheric distillation of petroleum products using a laboratory batch distillation unit to determine quantitatively the boiling range characteristics of such products as light and middle distillates.

ASTM D86
Dropping Point, Grease

Temperature which a lubricant grease becomes too hot and loses its plastic consistency.

ASTM D2265
Flash & Fire Point by Cleveland Open Cup

Measures the temperature at which flammable fumes above the fluid will flash. Used in assessing the overall flammability hazard of an oil. Can indicate the possible presence of more volatile and flammable materials in relatively nonvolatile or nonflammable fluids. Reported in °C and °F.

ASTM D92
Flash Point Pensky Martin Closed Cup

Measures the temperature at which flammable fumes above the fluid will flash. Used in assessing the overall flammability hazard of an oil. Can indicate the possible presence of more volatile and flammable materials in relatively nonvolatile or nonflammable fluids. Reported in °C and °F. Closed cup is meant for lower flammability materials.

ASTM D93
Homogeneity & Miscibility

Determination if an automotive engine oil is homogeneous and will remain so, and if it is miscible with certain standard reference oils after being submitted to a prescribed cycle of temperature changes.

ASTM D6922
Particle Count

This test reports cleanliness levels of hydraulic fluids.

ISO 4406
Specific Heat

Determination of specific heat capacity by differential scanning calorimetry.

ASTM E1269
Surface Tension

Determination of surface tension and interfacial tension of solutions of surface-active agents using a tensiometer. 

ASTM 1331
Trace Sediment

Measures the trace level amount of sediment that is naphtha-insoluble and can be separated by centrifuging.

ASTM D2273
Vapor Pressure by Isoteniscope

The determination of the vapor pressure of pure liquids, the vapor pressure exerted by mixtures in a closed vessel at 40 ± 5 % ullage, and the initial thermal decomposition temperature of pure and mixed liquids. It is applicable to liquids that are compatible. Available as a single temperature determination or as a multiple temperature scan. 

ASTM D2879
Water & Sediment

This test is used as an indication of water and sediment in middle distillate fuels such as Grade Nos. 1 and 2 fuel oil (Specification D396), Nos. 1-D and 2-D diesel fuel (Specification D975), and Nos. 0-GT, 1-GT, and 2-GT gas turbine fuels.

ASTM D2709

Molecular Characterization

Test Description Method
Acid Number

Acid Number (or Total Acid Number or TAN) is a measure of the amount of acidic substance in the oil. TAN can be used as a measure of lubricant degradation while in service. Reported in mgKOH/g. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D664
Ash or Total Ash

The sample contained in a suitable vessel is ignited and allowed to burn until only ash and carbon remain. The carbonaceous residue is reduced to an ash by heating in a muffle furnace at 775°C, cooled and weighed. Reported in weight % ash. 

ASTM D482
Base Number

Base Number (or Total Base Number) determines the ability of an oil to neutralize combustion or engine oil oxidation acids. Reported in mgKOH/g. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D2896
Carbon Distribution by Gas Chromatography

The determination of the boiling range distribution of petroleum products. The test method is applicable to petroleum products and fractions having a final boiling point of 538°C (1000°F) or lower at atmospheric pressure as measured by this test method. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D2887
Carbon Residue

This test determines of the amount of carbon residue formed after evaporation and pyrolysis of petroleum materials under certain conditions and is intended to provide some indication of the relative coke forming tendency of such materials. 

ASTM D4530
Chlorine by XRF

This test measures chlorine content in lubricating oils by wavelength dispersive XRF. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D6443
Elemental Analysis by ICP

Analysis of a broad range of elements (Al, Sb, Ba, B, Ca, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb, Mg, Mo, Ni, P, Si, Ag, Na, Sn, Ti, Zn) using Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometer (ICP). The test shows concentration of the foregoing metal and non-metal-containing components present in the engine oil formulation. Also provides information on some forms of contamination from additive processing and formulation. Reported in parts per million. Required test for API SN. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D5185 & D4951
FAME, Fatty Acid Methyl Esters Content

Standard Test Method for determination of Biodiesel (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) content in diesel fuel oil using Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy. 

ASTM D7371
Fuel Dilution, Diesel

The use of gas chromatography to determine the amount of diesel fuel in used or in-service engine lubricating oil. The diesel fuel diluents is analyzed at concentrations up to 12 mass %. Requires 250 mL of fresh oil and fuel. ISO 17025 Accredited. Reported in % Fuel. 

ASTM D3524
Fuel Dilution, Gasoline

The use of gas chromatography to determine the amount of gasoline in used or in-service engine lubricating oil. ISO 17025 Accredited. Reported in % Fuel.

ASTM D3525
Nitrogen

Nitrogen content by chemiluminescence. Measures the amount of nitrogen associated with ashless detergents. Reported in percent by weight. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D5762
Nitration, In-Service Fluid

FTIR analysis for in-service fluids to determine the content of nitration components. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D7624
Phosphate, Anti-Wear, In-Service Fluid

FTIR analysis for in-service fluids to determine the content of phosphate anti-wear components. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D7412
Soot, In-Service Fluid

FTIR analysis for in-service fluids to determine the content of soot. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D7844
Sulfate Content, In-Service Fluid

FTIR analysis for in-service fluids to determine the content of sulfate components. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D7415
Sulfated Ash

Determination of the sulfated ash from unused lubricating oils containing additives and from additive concentrates used in compounding. Required test for API CK/FA-4. Reported in percent by weight.

ASTM D874
Sulfur

Sulfur content by pyro-fluorescence. Measures the total amount of sulfur in the formulated engine oil. Reported in percent. ISO 17025 Accredited.

ASTM D5453
Sulfur by XRF

Sulfur content by wavelength dispersive XRF. Measures the total amount of sulfur in the formulated engine oil. Reported in percent. Required test for API SN. 

ASTM D2622
Soot by TGA

This test uses thermogravimetry to determine the amount of highly volatile matter, medium volatile matter, combustible material, and ash content of compounds. This test can be custom configured by temperature range, time, temperature ramp rate and gas environment. 

ASTM E1131
Water by Karl Fischer

Direct determination of water in the range of 10 to 25,000 mg/kg (ppm) entrained water in petroleum products and hydrocarbons using automated instrumentation. ISO 17025 Accredited. 

ASTM D6304

Performance / Wear

Test Description Method
Four Ball Wear

Procedure for making a preliminary evaluation of the anti-wear properties of fluid lubricants. Sliding conditions intended to predict wear characteristics with steel-on-steel.

ASTM D4172
Four Ball Wear, Grease

Procedure for making a preliminary evaluation of the anti-wear properties of greases. Sliding conditions intended to predict wear characteristics with steel-on-steel.

ASTM D2266
Four Ball Wear Extreme Pressure

Covers the determination of the load-carrying properties of lubricating fluids. The following two determinations are made: Load-wear index (formerly Mean-Hertz load), Weld point by means of the four-ball extreme-pressure (EP) tester.

ASTM D2783
Pin & Vee Wear

A procedure for making a preliminary evaluation of the wear properties of fluid lubricants by means of the Falex Pin and Vee Block Lubricant Test Machine. The pin & vee test is highly customizable and useful for comparison of lubricants. 

ASTM D2670
General Electric Diesel Locomotive B82 Specification

Testing package to simulate diesel locomotive operation including HTHS viscosity before and after shear degradation. 

GE B82-1
GF-5 Seal (Elastomer) Compatibility

Seal compatibility when exposed to oil at an elevated temperature and stored for two weeks. Measured properties include change in hardness, volume, tensile strength and elongation. Required test for API SN. 

ASTM D7216
GM dexos 1 Seal (Elastomer) Compatibility

Seal compatibility when exposed to oil at an elevated temperature and stored for 1-2 weeks depending on elastomer. Measured properties include change in hardness, volume, tensile strength and elongation. 

ASTM D7216
GM dexos 2 Seal (Elastomer) Compatibility

Seal compatibility when exposed to oil at an elevated temperature and stored for 1-2 weeks depending on elastomer. Measured properties include change in hardness, volume, tensile strength and elongation. 

ASTM D7216
Water Washout, Grease

Estimates the resistance of greases to water washout from ball bearings under conditions of the test, 38oC or at 80oC under prescribed conditions.

ASTM D1264
Heavy Duty Diesel Seal (Elastomer) Compatibility

Seal compatibility when exposed to oil at an elevated temperature and stored for two weeks. Measured properties include change in hardness, volume, tensile strength and elongation. Required test for API CK/FA-4.

ASTM D7216