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For several years, a variety of spectrographic methods has been used by railroad and petroleum laboratories for the determination of wear metals in used diesel locomotive crankcase oils. These methods have, in general, met the needs of individual laboratories, since each method is fairly self-consistent and therefore useful in detecting any major change in the metal content of the lubricant. For the purpose of monitoring a particular locomotive over a period of time, apparently any one of numerous methods might be employed with satisfactory results. However, with the rapid adoption of spectrographic analysis of used oils, there came the inevitable necessity of comparing the results of one laboratory with another, and one method with another. Opposing methods were found to provide distinctly different absolute values within a given laboratory, and a single method could seldom be made to reproduce results from laboratory to laboratory. With this situation existing in early 1951, ASTM Committee D-2 on Petroleum Products was asked to investigate the possibility of standardizing spectrographic procedures for the analysis of used diesel locomotive crankcase oils. Within ASTM Committee D-2, the assignment falls under the jurisdiction of Research Division III on Elemental Analysis, and has become the major responsibility of Section J of Research Division III. Section J has a membership of approximately 40 representatives of petroleum, railroad, and locomotive manufacturing laboratories.
Bryan, F. R.
Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich.