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Level I Laboratory Lubricant Analyst (ISO 18436-5)

To become certified, an individual must meet the following requirements:

  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must have at least 12 months of experience in the field of laboratory-based lubricant testing and analysis for machinery condition monitoring, with a minimum of 1,200 hours of actual testing and analysis experience.
  • Training - Candidate must have received 24 hours of documented formal training as outlined in the Body of Knowledge of the LLA I. For online or recorded training, exercises, lab tasks, practice exams, and review exercises may be included in the training time total but shall not exceed four hours of the required course time. Candidate shall be able to provide a record of this training to ICML that shall include the candidate’s name, the name and signature of the instructor, the dates of the training, and the number of hours spent in the training.

    : ICML does not require, recommend, endorse or authorize any specific training course as official or approved. It is the responsibility of each candidate to research the training options available in his/her area and make a decision as to the training provider of his/her choice. ICML recommends the outline of the course of choice be compared to the exam's Body of Knowledge. It is in the person's best interest and their responsibility as an ICML candidate to ensure they are being trained in the same subject areas in which they will be tested. ICML's Bodies of Knowledge are of public domain and can be utilized by companies in the development of courses, as well as by any prospective candidate for evaluating the appropriateness of chosen training. 
  • Examination - Each candidate must successfully pass a 70 question, multiple-choice examination that evaluates the candidate's knowledge of the topic. Candidates have two hours to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification. 
The Level I LLA Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that one should have in order to pass the exam, in accordance with ISO 18436-5, Category I, Annex A. 

References from which exam questions were derived can be found in the Domain of Knowledge.

I.   Sample handling and preparation (30%)
     A. Sample cleanliness
        1. Sample diluting
        2. Cross-contamination
     B. Contaminant re-suspension
        1. Bottle Ullage
        2. Sample Agitation

II.  Lubricant health monitoring (30%)
        1. Kinematic viscosity ((ASTM D445/ISO 3104)
        2. Absolute (dynamic) viscosity (ASTM D2983/ISO 3104)
        3. Viscosity Index (ASTM D2270/(ISO 2909)
        4. Acid Number (ASTM D664, D974/ISO 6618, ISO 6619)
        5. Base Number (ASTM D4739, D974/ISO 6618, ISO 3771)
        6. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis (ASTM E169, ASTM D7418)
        7. Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ASTM D5185, 6595)
        8. Flash point test (ASTM D92, ASTM D93/ISO 2592, ISO 2719, ISO 1523 + ISO 3679 + ISO 13736)
        9. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) (ASTM D5967)
      10. Schiff’s reagent (ASTM D2982)
      11. Crackle test
      12. Co-distillation (ASTM D95/ISO 3733)
      13. Karl Fischer titration (ASTM D6304/ISO 10337 +ISO 12937)
      14. Cyclic voltammetry (ASTM 6971)
      15. Insolubles (ASTM D893)
      16. Gas chromatography (ASTM D3524, ASTM D3525)

III. Reagent Management (20%)
     A. Equipment and glassware (Cleaning and preparation)
     B. Chemicals
        1. Preparation
        2. Labeling
        3. Storage
        4. Safety
        5. Disposal
        6. Material safety data sheets

IV.  Instrument Calibration (20%)
     A. Reference materials
        1. Primary and secondary standards
     B. Record keeping
        1. Routine control charts

Domain of Knowledge

  • Roylance, B. and T. Hunt (1999) Wear Debris Analysis. Coxmoor Publishing, Oxford, UK.
  • Denis, J., J Briant and J. Hipeaux (1997) Lubricant Properties Analysis & Testing. Editions TECHNIP, Paris, France.
  • Troyer, D. and J. Fitch (1999) Oil Analysis Basics. Noria Publishing, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
  • Hunt, T. (1993) Handbook of Wear Debris Analysis and Particle Detection in Liquids. Elsevier Science Publishers, LTD, Essex, UK.
  • Toms, L. (1998) Machinery Oil Analysis. Coastal Skills Training, Virginia Beach, VA, USA.
  • Fitch, E. (1992) Proactive Maintenance for Mechanical Systems. FES, Inc., Stillwater, OK, USA.
  • Bloch, H. (2000) Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA.
  • Standard Practice of In-Service Monitoring of Mineral Turbine Oils for Steam and Gas Turbines, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 4378-92.
  • Standard Practice of In-Service Monitoring of Lubricating Oil for Auxiliary Power Plant Equipment, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6224-98.
  • Prichard, E. (1995) Quality in the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex, UK.
  • Prichard, E. and Barwick, V. (2007) Quality Assurance in Analytical Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, LGC, Teddington, UK.
  • 2001 Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 5, Petroleum Products.
  • Fitch, J. (2001) Sourcebook of Used Oil Elements, Noria Publishing., Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
  • Totten, G., Editor (2000) Handbook of Hydraulic Fluid Technology, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York.
  • Shugar, G. and Ballinger, J. (2011) Chemical Technicians' Ready Reference Handbook, 5th Edition, McGraw Hill Professional

These references can be purchased from the following organizations: