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Many tests have been proposed for evaluating used oils, but not one of them has found a general application. The results obtained in the laboratory have not been able to be correlated with the actual condition of the oil in the transformer. This situation has brought up the thesis, that it is impossible to foresee the modifications that an oil is undergoing during transformer operation, and that the laboratory work has to be limited to a frequent control of the condition of the oil by applying different analytical tests. The author has been engaged in controlled field tests since 1926, and was in the position to work out a test-method describing correctly the condition of an oil in operation and the type and extent of the modifications which will occur in the oil in operation during a further couple of years. This paper describes the results obtained and the methods used. The different points discussed in this paper are illustrated by some examples chosen among the thousands of oils studied. These examples should be considered as representative cases and not as individual cases.
Head of Laboratory, Institut Français du Petrole, Department Lubrifiants,