Analytical ferrography is a powerful and often overlooked diagnostic tools in terms of oil analysis. Solid debris suspended or settled in a lubricant is separated prior to being deposited onto a glass slide or filter patch. The particles isolated are then examined under a microscope to review particle size, concentration (quantity), composition (arrangement), morphology (shape) and surface condition of both the ferrous and non-ferrous wear particles found to be present.
The power of this analytical tool is in how reviewing these key areas typically can uncover the failure mode which generated each particle, but also help elude as to where the particle originated when coupled with other techniques. Essentially, ferrography has the power to act as a small-scale tool in root cause analysis (RCA).