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Readers Challenge    September 8, 2004

Bewildering Oil Analysis Results

Dr. John K. Duchowski, Principal Scientist, Pall Corporation, Scientific & Laboratory Services Dept.

Guessing at 'what these particles might be' is not going to provide the right answer. They need to be deposited on a membrane (25 mL to 50 mL sample filtered through 0.8 µm 25 mm dia. patch), examined microscopically and subjected to surface analytical technique such as XES or PIXE.

Since neither the distribution nor the ISO code is provided, they could equally be air, esp. if the ISO shows an odd distribution such as 21/21/21 or 21/21/12. The first would signify severe aeration while the latter compressed air such as that which can be found in samples obtained directly downstream of a high pressure pump.

Water bubbles can be exluded due to the low water content.

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