2 000 ℓ static hydraulic oil tank containing 34 percent water contamination has been purified to zero percent contamination within three days through the revolutionary Vacuum Dehydrator designed and manufactured by wear control specialist Filter Focus.
Due to a cooler system failure in early 2014, severe water contamination was experienced on an oil tank located at the Pietermaritzburg branch of Hulamin - a leading manufacturer of high quality rolled and extruded aluminium products for the local and international market.
Engen FluidLink is the appointed onsite lubrication management provider at the Hulamin Pietermaritzburg facility, and site manager Gustav Groenewald reveals that water contamination promotes oxidation and can lead to failures in components such as bearings and shaft journals, as well as the jamming of mechanisms such as pilot valves, trip cylinders and hydraulic pistons.
He states that the Vacuum Dehydrator achieved outstanding results in unrivalled time. "Maintaining the highest standards of oil purity is one of the most critical priorities when maintaining a hydraulic system. The Vacuum Dehydrator system was highly effective, having cleaned the hydraulic oils to an ISO 4406 standard in three days - well ahead of any competitor products.Desiccant breathers proved to be cost effective and performed well in keeping all the unwanted floating particles out."
The internationally recognised ISO 4406 cleanliness code quantifies particulate contamination levels per ml of fluid at three sizes, namely; 4 micron (µ), 6 µ, and 14 µ. The code is also expressed in three numbers; 19, 17 and 14. Each number represents a contaminant level code for the correlating particle size, and includes all particles of the specified size.
Filter Focus wear control specialists note that the Vacuum Dehydrator has been proven to perform well beyond any competitor products. They explain: "Wet or emulsified oil is drawn into the system under a vacuum. The first chamber is a quiet zone that leads to thermostat controlled heaters. The oil is then drawn into the vacuum separator under negative pressure and low humidity conditions."
The specialists say that this provides the ideal environment to quickly and effectively evaporate dissolved or emulsified water and gases. "Vapours and gases enter the chiller/condensation unit and are released into the water receiver. Cleaner, drier oil is then passed back to the oil tank. Depending on the volume of water contamination, multiple passes are required to achieve target dehydration and cleanliness levels."
Groenewald believes that the Vacuum Dehydrator will provide Hulamin and FluidLinkwith cleaner oil in the future. "There is no doubt that Filter Focus will be able to assist us with keeping oils to an ISO 4406 standard in all our hydraulic applications. What's more, the service from Filter Focus is cost effective, swift, precise andfriendly, which is another major value-add," he concludes.