Is Your Oil Clean?

Most users of industrial oils and lubricants use a filter cart in one capacity or another.  Typical uses for filter carts are filling oil reservoirs or transformers or routine processing to remove solid contaminants or water.  How do you know if your oil is actually clean?  Most lubrication and hydraulic components, such as bearings and valves, have a specified ISO cleanliness code.  

Machine Lubrication has an oil cleanliness calculator to help users that do not have OEM recommendations.  Here are some basic guidelines:

Application Target ISO Cleanliness Code Target Dryness
Bearing Lubrication 16/13/11 50 ppm
Blowers 16/13/11 300 ppm
Compressor Lubrication 16/13/11 100 ppm
Diesel Engine 17/14/12 200 ppm
Industrial Gearbox 17/14/12 300 ppm
Industrial Hydraulics 15/12/10 100 ppm
Mobile Hydraulics 16/13/11 200 ppm
Paper Machine Lubrication 15/12/10 100 ppm
Phosphate Ester Hydraulic Fluid 15/12/10 250 ppm
Steam Turbine Bearing Lubrication 14/11/9 50 ppm
Steam Turbine EHC Fluid 14/11/9 250 ppm
Hydraulic Servo Valves 14/11/9  
High Pressure Hydraulic Systems  15/12/11  
Medium Pressure Hydraulic Systems 16/13/11  
Low Pressure Hydraulic Systems 19/16/15  

So you pull out your filter cart and hook it up for routine maintenance.  How do you know when you’ve achieved the desired oil cleanliness?  Additionally, how do you know if the filters selected will remove contamination to the desired level?  

Here are some basic guidelines for selecting filter efficiency based on ISO Cleanliness Code:

Filter Rating = x (ßx(c)=1000) ISO 4406 Cleanliness Code
2.5 12/10/7 – 14/12/10
3 14/12/10 – 16/14/12
6 16/14/12 – 17/16/13
12 17/16/13 – 19/17/14
25 19/17/14 – 21/19/17

Addressing the first question above, we know what we should be filtering to, but how do we know when we get there?  Particle counters have come along way, both in price and performance.  MP Filtri’s ICM 2.0 and 4.0 are best in class inline contamination monitors.  These units can be installed on filter carts and alert the user when contamination levels have been reached.  We offer units with ICM contamination monitors already installed that will shut the system down when the desired reading has been achieved.

Filter Cart ICMICM2

We have a stock list here 

For applications where constant kidney loop filtration is required, we offer a panel mount filtration system with an ICM particle monitor.

Panel Mount Filtration

ICM Particle Monitors are very useful on Oil Flushing Equipment, Vacuum Dehydrators and other types of oil conditioning equipment.  One standard feature is a moisture sensor to alert the user of % of water saturation in the oil.  

Newer versions have wifi capabilites.