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History of Oil Analysis

The first use of used oil analysis dates back to the early 1940s by the railway companies in the Western United States. Prompted by the purchase of a fleet of new locomotives, technicians used simple spectrographic equipment and physical tests to monitor locomotive engines. As steam locomotives gave yield to diesel locomotives, oil analysis practices by railways caught on. By the 1980s oil analysis formed the basis of Condition Based Maintenance in most railways in North America.

Owing to the success of oil analysis in the railways, the American Navy used spectrometric techniques to monitor jet engines on their aircraft in the mid 1950s. Around this time Rolls-Royce was also experimenting with oil analysis for their jet turbines. Oil analysis began to spread and programs were developed by the American Army and Air Force throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

Commercial oil analysis laboratories first appeared on the scene in the early 1960s. WearCheck International was incorporated in 1966 in Toronto, Canada. WearCheck International now spans the globe with laboratories in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and South America. Offering an inexpensive and fast service commercial oil analysis laboratories brought oil analysis to industry.