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Level II Machinery Lubrication Technician

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

  • Education and/or Experience - Candidates must have at least three years education (post-secondary) or on-the-job training in one or more of the following fields: machinery lubrication, engineering, mechanical maintenance and/or maintenance trades.

  • Hold Level I Machinery Lubrication Technician (MLT) certification.

  • Training - Candidate must have received 16 hours of documented formal training in machinery lubrication as outlined in the Body of Knowledge of the MLT II. For online or recorded training, exercises, practice exams, and review exercises may be included in the training time total but shall not exceed three hours of the required course time. These 16 hours are in addition to the previous 16 hours of training required for MLT I, for a total cumulative training of 32 hours. 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.

Note: 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. It is also the candidate’s responsibility to ensure each instructor is currently certified at the level of instruction. (Candidates can do this by checking for an instructor’s name in our real-time directory of certified professionals.) 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 100 question multiple choice examination that tests the candidate's mastery of the body of knowledge. Candidates have three hours to complete the closed-book examination. A score of 70% is required to pass the examination and achieve certification. Contact ICML about the availability of the exam in other languages.


The Level II MLT Body of Knowledge is an outline of concepts that one should have in order to pass the exam.


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


I. Maintenance Strategy (5%)
   A. The impact of lubrication on machine reliability
   B. The impact of lubrication on lubricant life and consumption
   C. Maintenance program strategies for achieving lubrication excellence


II. Lubrication Theory (5%)
   A. Friction & Tribology

    1. Types of friction and wear

   a)  Wear modes and influencing factors

   b)   Machine frictional surfaces most at risk for specific wear modes (e.g., abrasion)

     2.    Mechanisms of Lubrication regimes

   a)  Boundary

   b)  Mixed film

   c)   Hydrodynamic

   d)   Elastohydrodynamic

   B. Lubricant categories

    1.  Gaseous

    2.  Liquid

    3.  Cohesive

    4.  Solid


III. Lubricant Formulation (10%)
   A. Base-oil Refining Methods and API categories

    1.  Solvent-refined

    2.  Hydro-treated

    3.  Severely Hydro-treated

    4.  Hydrocracked

   B. Mineral Base Oils

    1. Naphthenic

    2.  Paraffinic

    3.  Aromatic

   C. Vegetable Base Oils & Biolubes

   D. Synthetic lubricant characteristics/applications/compatibility

    1.  Synthesized hydrocarbons (e.g., Polyalphaolifins)

    2.  Dibasic acid esters

    3.  Polyol esters

    4.  Phosphate esters

    5.  Polyalkylene glygol

    6.  Silicones

    7.   Fluorocarbons

    8.  Polyphenyl Ethers

   E. Food Grade lubricant Classification

   F. Types and Functions of additives

   G. Types and Functions of solid additives

   H. Modes of additive depletion

IV. Grease Application and Performance (5%)
   A. Grease applications requiring high consistency

   B. Grease applications requiring low consistency

   C. Causes of grease separation

   D. Multipurpose greases

   E. Performance and application of specific grease thickeners

   F.  High temperature greases

   G. Coupling greases


V. Lubricant Selection (15%)
  A. Viscosity selection/adjustments according to machinery condition/environmental conditions

   B. When to use synthetic lubricants

   C. When to use biodegradable lubricants

   D. Lubricant consolidation

   E. Select lubricating oils for:

    1.  Fire-resistant applications

    2.  Hydraulics – Mobile/industrial

    3.  Turbines

    4.  Compressors

    5.  Bearings

    6.  Chains/conveyors

    7.  Mist applications

    8.  Gears – Automotive/industrial

    9.  Engines – Diesel/Gas/Gasoline

   10.  Pneumatic tools

   11.  Spindles

   12.  Ways/slides

   F. Selecting greases for:

    1. Chassis

    2.  Couplings

    3.  Anti friction bearings

    4.  Journal bearings

    5. Automotive bearings

    6. Automatic Lubrication Systems

   G. Lubricant Selection standards development

   H. Procedures for testing and quality assurance of incoming lubricants

    I. Procedures for approval of candidate lubricants


VI. Lubricant Testing and Performance Analysis (10%)
  A. Viscosity

   B. Flash/Fire point

   C. Pour ASTM D97/Cloud point ASTM D2500

   D. Foam ASTM D892

   E. Air release properties ASTM D3427

   F. Neutralization number

    1. Acid Number ASTM D 664/D974

    2. Base Number ASTM D 974/D2896

   G. Filterability ISO 13357

   H. Oxidation stability

    1.  Turbine Oil Oxidation Stability Test ASTM D943

    2.  Rotary Pressure Vessel Oxidation Test ASTM D2272

   I. Rust and Corrosion tests

    1.  Turbine Oil Rust Test ASTM D665

    2.  Copper strip corrosion  ASTM D130

   J. Anti-wear tests

    1.  Four ball wear test ASTM D2266

    2.  Vickers wear pump test ASTM D2882

    3.  SRV Test

   K. Extreme Pressure

    1.  Four ball EP test ASTM D2596

    2.  Timken Extreme Pressure Test ASTM D2509

    3.  Falex EP/Wear Test ASTM D2670

    4.  FZG Four Square Gear Test Rig ASTM D5182.97

   L. Demulsibility ASTM D 1401

   M. Grease consistency ASTM D217

   N. Dropping point of grease ASTM D2265

   O. Mechanical Stability of greases ASTM D217A

   P. Rolling Stability if Greases ASTM D1831

   Q. Water washout test for greases ASTM D1264

   R. Water spray test for greases ASTM D4049

   S. Rolling bearing rust test ASTM D1743

   T. Koppers Centrifugal Stability Test

   U. Oil separation in grease storage ASTM D1742

   V. Oxidation Stability – Greases ASTM D942


VII. Lubricant Application (15%)

   A. Procedures for:

    1.  Oil drain

    2.  Reservoir/system flushing

    3.  Disassembling/cleaning reservoirs and sumps

    4.  Filling

    5.  Top-up

    6.  Grease packing

    7.  Re-greasing

    8.  Grease changeout

   B. Determine/calculate correct amount for re-greasing
   C. Determine/calculate correct frequency interval for re-greasing

   D. Select and manage optimum equipment/systems for lubricant application according to machinery requirements

   E. Safety/health requirements for lubricant application

   F. Manage proper maintenance of lubrication equipment

   G. Manage proper maintenance of automatic lubrication systems

   H. Create/update lube survey

    I. Record execution of lube program

   J. Proactive management and detection of leaks

   K. Waste oil/filters management/disposal

   L. Writing a lubrication PM


VIII. Preventive and Predictive Maintenance (10%)

   A. Creating and managing lube PMs and routes

   B. Creating and manage lubrication inspection check list

   C. Used oil analysis to determine optimum condition based oil changes

   D. Used oil analysis to troubleshoot abnormal lubricant degradation conditions

   E. Used oil analysis to troubleshoot abnormal wear related to lubricant degradation/contamination

   F.  Procedures and methods for identifying root cause of lubricant failure

   G. Use of technology aids to determine optimum re-grease frequency/quantity (ultrasonic, temperature monitoring, shock impulse, etc.)


IX. Lubricant Condition Control (20%)

   A. Proper sampling procedures

   B. Proper sampling locations

   C. Proper selection of breathers/vents

   D. Proper selection of filters according to cleanliness objectives

   E. Filter rating – Beta Ratio

   F. Sump/Tank  Management  to reduce:

    1.  Air entrainment/foam

    2.  Particles

    3.  Water

    4.  Sediments

    5.  Heat

    6.  Silt/sediments

    7.  Unnecessary lubricant volume

   G. Proper selection of reconditioning systems for:

    1.  Water

    2.  Air/gas

    3.  Particles

    4.  Oxidation products

    5.  Additive depletion

   H. Lube reclamation

    1.  Requirements

    2.  Feasibility

    3.  Procedures for reclaiming/reconditioning

    4.  Use of oil analysis to approve reclaimed/reconditioned lubricants


X. Lube Storage and Management (5%)

   A. Design optimum storage room

   B. Defining maximum storage time according to environmental conditions/lubricant type

   C. Safety/Health requirements

   D. Proper sampling procedures/locations for sampling stored lubricants

   E. Procedures for reconditioning/filtering stored lubricants


Domain of Knowledge
  • Bannister, K. (2007) Lubrication for Industry, Industrial Press, Inc., New York, USA.
  • Bloch, H., Bannister, K. (2017) Practical Lubrication for Industrial Facilities, 3rd Edition. The Fairmont Press, Lilburn, Georgia, USA.
  • Hodges, P. (1996) Hydraulic Fluids. Arnold Publish, London, England, UK and John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, USA.
  • Landsdown, A. (1994) High Temperature Lubrication. Mechanical Engineering Publications, Ltd., London, England
  • Landsdown, A. (1996) Lubrication and Lubricant Selection. Mechanical Engineering Publication, Ltd., London, England, UK.
  • Scott, R., Fitch J., & Leugner, L. (2012) The Practical Handbook of Machinery Lubrication, Noria Publishing, Tulsa, OK USA
  • NLGI, (2017) Lubricating Grease Guide, 6th ed., The National Lubricating Grease Institute, Kansas City, MO USA
  • Ludema, K. (1996) Friction, Wear, Lubrication: A Textbook in Tribology. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, USA.
  • Pirro, D. M., & Wessol, A. A. (2016) Lubrication Fundamentals, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, USA
  • The Lubrication Engineer's Manual, (2010) Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, Pittsburgh, PA USA
  • Troyer, D., & J. Fitch (2010) Oil Analysis Basics. Noria Publishing, Tulsa, OK USA 

These references can be purchased from the following organizations:

Barnes and Noble
Noria Corporation

MLT II Certification is valid for three years from the date of issue. Individuals certified as Machinery Lubrication Technicians (MLT) must recertify their competency every three years. The purpose for recertification is to ensure that certified individuals keep their skills current and up-to-date.

Recertification is achieved by a points system. To recertify by points, individuals must accumulate 15 recertification points over the three-year period and submit a completed application to ICML. Points may be claimed using the following criteria:

Training1 point per day10 pointsProof of attendance (certificate, badge or letter from training company on its letterhead) and a copy of the course outline
Employment4 points per year12 pointsLetter from employer, on company letterhead, with title of signer shown
Article Publication2 points per article6 pointsCopy of article and table of contents of the book, proceedings, magazine or journal in which it was published
Conference Attendance1 point per conference day6 pointsProof of attendance (certificate, badge or letter from conference organizer on its letterhead) and copy of program


Criteria of Acceptability

  • Employment - Employment must be in a field related to industrial lubrication and/or oil analysis.
  • Training/Conference Attendance – Training/Conference topics related to oil analysis, lubrication or other topics important to effective equipment maintenance and management will be accepted.
  • Article Publication - Articles published in journals, magazines, books or proceedings should be related to a topic within the body of knowledge for oil analysis, lubrication or equipment maintenance or management.

All points must be earned during the time the MLT II certification is in effect. Points earned before or after the certification period will not be accepted. Points may be applied to multiple ICML certifications held by the individual, assuming that the points are applicable and approved for each individual recertification.

If a candidate’s only source of recertification points is employment, the extra points required may be earned via participation in employment-related best practices activities, as per below criteria:

  • Lube related failure elimination and/or prevention activities
  • Lube procedure and best practices development
  • Lube program auditing tasks
  • Lube specification development
  • Lube related work management system development