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Home » Industry News » Automation & Process Control » The importance of lube oil system filtration and monitoring

The importance of lube oil system filtration and monitoring

THE viscosity of oil in a lube system and its impact on system bearings if not filtered appropriately can adversely impact on system performance and have catastrophic consequences and system non-performance. SKF states; “as long as particles larger than the lubricant film are removed, bearings can have an infinite life”.  Lubricants must be checked for contamination when the lube oil is delivered at the plant. Whether it is offline filtration or online filtration engineers should ensure the lube oil is clean and meets the system specifications.

Chris Banks of Hydrasales advocates contamination control measures and strongly recommends that system designers and system constructors incorporate simple, cost effective equipment in their system design for cleanliness in lubrication systems.

He cites the inclusion of the following types of equipment for reducing contamination within a hard-working system. These applications normally run 24/7 and the engineer cannot afford a breakdown or disruption in the working cycle.

A medium pressure inline filter range

A wide range of inline filtration caters for flows from 200 ℓ/min to 3 000 ℓ/min and pressures from 20 bar – 80 bar.

Banks says; “Hydrasales has full access to MP Filtri’s filter sizing software allowing our customer peace of mind that the correct filter is identified for the application and can meet the design requirements.”

The LMP range of durable in-line filters have a wide range of element media options, including water removal. Banks advises; “It is ideal for high flow charge pump supply, a return line or an off-line filtration circuit. The duplex filter range known as the LMD range is designed to allow element changeout in continuous duty machine operations. This makes maintenance more efficient, eliminating downtime when filter element requires replacement or cleaning.

A water removal element is available with 25 micron Absolute Filtration”.

Checking levels ensures lubrication is being delivered

It can be challenging to ensure that the lubricant reliably reaches the lube point.

Hydrasales supplies the Badger meter product range including Headland variable flow meters available with a microswitch to allow for low flow alarm. An alternative could be visual or electrical oil level gauges to suit the requisite application.

Pump protection

MP Filtri’s Elixir range of filters includes the SFEX, Inline Suction Filter including wire mesh filter cartridge for the bowl and housing. This design allows for a mesh element to be easily removed, inspected and cleaned. The more common spin on oil filters cannot be cleaned and need to be replaced. This is not economical compared to a fully reusable cartridge element.

Commonly found suction strainers are generally situated at the bottom of the reservoir and are not easily accessible especially with a full reservoir. The Elixir range is designed to accommodate higher flows, with improved connection system reducing leakage and reducing dirt to the output circuit. The range can accommodate differential clogging indicators and pressures of 16 bar.

Reservoir desiccant breathers for moisture extraction

Studies have shown that around seventy percent of equipment loss efficiency is due to surface degradation. The need for replacement is the direct result of corrosion and mechanical wear accounts for the balance. The most common causes of this corrosion and mechanical wear are dirt and moisture originating outside the machine. Moisture ingress leads to corrosion, which in turn leads to particulate contamination. Moisture can also affect the required oil viscosity, deplete additives and result in sludge formation.

  • Contact Hydrasales at harpo@hydrasale.co.za for filter sizing, free support on lube system filtration and contamination.
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