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An Assessment of the Influence of Gas Turbine Lubricant Thermal Oxidation Test Method Parameters Towards the Development of a New Engine Representative Laboratory Test Method

In the development of a more accurate laboratory scale method, the ability to replicate the thermal oxidative degradation mechanisms seen in gas turbine lubricants, is an essential requirement. This work describes an investigation into the influence of key reaction parameters and the equipment set up upon extent and mechanism of oil degradation. The air flow rate through the equipment was found to be critical to both degradation rate and extent of volatilization loss from the system. As these volatile species can participate in further reactions, it is important that the extent to which they are allowed to leave the test system is matched, where possible, to the conditions in the gas turbine. The presence of metal specimens was shown to have a small influence on the rate of degradation of the lubricant. Loss of metal from the copper and silver specimens due to the mild corrosive effect of the lubricant was seen.