Improvements in contamination control still remain in the shadows in the world of reliability. Invisible particles are one of the most significant causes of wear and tear on machinery. Lubricants are valuable assets to your company, and when handled properly, they will pay for themselves many times over. 

Successful lubrication programs focus on contamination control. Proper filtration, clean handling, and storage solutions are critical to reducing particulates to effectively extend fluid life and decrease the likelihood of lubricant-related failures. 

Equipment dependability is unquestionably important. Downtime is expensive, whether it's a hydraulic press in a manufacturing facility or an off-road loader in a mine. Most of the time, oil contamination is ignored, resulting in premature equipment failure and downtime.

In dealing with contamination, there are two ways: Removal and Prevention. In most cases, it may be important to remove and prevent. To monitor lubricant condition and overall machine health, you'll require thorough oil sampling and oil analysis procedures to eliminate and avoid contamination. For starters, eliminating contaminants is more costly than preventing them. To remove and avoid pollution, you'll need to conduct extensive oil samples and analysis methods.

Allowing only clean and dry air to enter the system is one of the greatest ways to avoid infection. When normal breathers are replaced with desiccant breathers, moisture is instantly reduced and eventually eliminated while particles as small as 3 microns are removed.

 oil contamination control bearing corrosionPhoto by: Acoem USA

Contamination Sources

Dirt and moisture are the two primary causes of contamination for your lubricants. Surface deterioration is responsible for 70% of component replacements or 'loss of function' in hydraulic and lubrication systems. Corrosion accounts for 20% of these replacements, while mechanical wear accounts for the remaining 50%.

Particle pollution on the inside and outside of a machine or component might be an early warning sign that something is amiss. Contaminants speed up the oxidation process and remove anti-wear compounds from the oil, particularly catalytic metal particles like copper, iron, and lead. The presence of a significant number of minute particles in a stable solution might cause the oil's viscosity to increase, reducing pumpability and perhaps increasing foaming.

Component Contaminants: 

  • System Assembly
  • Cylinders, fluids, hydraulic motors, hoses, pipes, pumps, reservoirs, valves, etc.

Contaminants Produced:

  • Operational Wear or break-in
  • Fluid Breakdown 

External Intrusion:

  • Breathers
  • Cylinder Rod, Bearing, Component Seals

Maintenance Induced Contaminants:

  • Assembly/ Disassembly
  • Oil Addition Make-up

oil contamination control moisture


Moisture in lubricants and hydraulic fluids can cause a variety of issues. Corrosion causes particle pollution, lubrication additive depletion, viscosity changes, and sludge formation by speeding up metal surface fatigue. Moisture is a constant source of contamination, whether it's from the environment or through plant operations. Water pollution can come from a variety of sources, including leaks and condensation caused by excessive ambient humidity.

 oil contamination control assets


Preventing Contaminants in Lube Oils

Lubrication oil is a fluid that is susceptible to contamination at various points of the product's life cycle, from the manufacturing process through the time it is changed. An excessive amount of pollution can overburden its capacity to clean the systems into which it is injected, reducing the oil's usable life.

  • Choose the right oil - Choose the proper sort of oil for each piece of machinery and a company that stands behind its product's quality. One of the most important maxims to remember is that fresh oil is not always clean oil. The timing is critical here in order to be able to make a claim under the manufacturer's warranty if the oil does not satisfy the quality standards that were promised.
  • Storage in a regulated environment - The circumstances under which lubricating oil is stored might be the source of water or other pollutant particles entering the system. If the barrels are left out in the open, the caps can expand and contract, providing holes for pollutants to enter. Even if practical challenges make it impossible to preserve the oil barrels in optimal storage conditions, they should be well-labeled and protected from harsh weather.
  • Items in the filler must be clean - To avoid contamination, it is critical that all of the materials involved be clean. The waste oil that is accumulated in them serves as a dust magnet. It will be introduced into the equipment during the next filling operation if it is not adequately cleaned.
  • Used Oil Extraction - The procedure of changing an old oil with a new one is critical since the old oil works as a catalyst for the new oil's degradation. Changing the oil is also a delicate process, not because of the oil that is thrown away, but because of what will occur when it is changed.
  • Technology to determine the sort of pollution is being invested in - Lubrication oil includes small particles that can reveal wear patterns or signal the existence of a severe breakdown. Sensor systems for oil monitoring allow proactive steps to be taken to enhance the machinery's condition.

 clean oil solutions contamination control cjc fine filters


LPI Clean Oil Solutions

Offline oil filtering systems with integrated circulating pumps are available from CJC® Fine Filters. The modular filter units are custom-built and scaled to meet the needs of each customer. For system components, in-line filters, and oil, lower operating and maintenance costs, higher productivity, and maximum lifetime are all advantages.