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Flash point testing


for used oil and lubricants analysis


Monitoring of the operating condition of lubricating oils in equipment such as marine diesel engines, generators, turbines, gearboxes and other large machinery is a vital part of day to day maintenance. The cleanliness and operating condition of a lubricant is essential to equipment reliability.

Testing the Flash point of in-service and used oils and lubricants is a key method for checking their performance characteristics. Flash point can be used as a preventive measure in assessing potential for failure of plant and equipment, for extending the life of high cost synthetic lubricants and for safety purposes when used oils are recycled.

Reduced lubricating properties and contamination cause the greatest concerns. Most problems associated with engine lubricants result from lubricant contamination due to combustion by-products entering the crankcase, these gases and volatiles can interact with one another and with the lubricant.


In many applications the flash point test remains the preferred method for detecting certain contaminants and non-conforming lubricant conditions. A change in flash point value from the original or expected value of the ‘clean’ lubricant is an indication that contamination or degradation may have occurred.

Flash point can also be used to troubleshoot such problems as thermal failure, base oil cracking, contamination (e.g. fuel,solvent or water), mixed and wrong oils, and antifreeze contamination.

The flash point result may also give some indication about the volatility and content of components present in the test sample. Most commonly used as a quick pass/fail (flash/no-flash) test for fuel dilution, that provides a rapid and precise indication of the liquids volatility characteristic.


ASTM D3828, D3278, D7236, EN ISO 3679, EN ISO 3680, IP 523, IP 524, IP 534

The Setaflash test methods are internationally specified and approved by leading regulatory authorities. The ‘ small scale rapid equilibrium’ test has great advantages over the traditional Pensky-Martens test because it is much faster, requires a much smaller sample volume (just 2 to 4ml of test sample) and requires minimum laboratory skills.

The Setaflash testers are specifically designed and approved for rapid testing and spot checks on most types of new and used products, they are compact and portable in size so are ideal for use in the laboratory, production line or field environments. They are inexpensive, simple to use and speed up the measurement of Flash Point making this an affordable and safe procedure for most user applications.

The Setaflash 3 tester incorporates automatic flash detection and easy to operate controls designed to minimise operator skill and guarantee reliable results. A precise and repeatable 'flash/no flash' result is shown on a digital display in less than 2 minutes, reducing waiting periods and allowing sample evaluation in the shortest time possible.

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Setaflash Series 8

Copyright Stanhope–Seta Limited 2014