Aviation Analysis Program

Water by Karl Fischer

Water contamination in hydraulic fluids or oils is a significant problem and can produce both emulsions that increase the viscosity and decrease the load bearing ability of the oil and under load.  It can also heat and cause either cavitation or hydrogen embrittlement. All are major causes of increased wear, rusting and sludge build-up, and, when combined with combustion gases in engine oils can form strong corrosive acids. Using coulometric Karl Fischer titration, oil water levels are measured down to parts per million (ppm) concentrations. The acceptable limit is normally set by the engine and/or oil manufacturers.