3 types of contaminants that affect industrial equipment and how to avoid them

3 types of contaminants that affect industrial equipment and how to avoid them

Loss caused by defects of industrial equipment are often a direct result of certain types of contaminants, no matter if it’s about particles of dirt, water, choosing an improper lubricant or a combination of the above.

By analyzing the oil, you can identify what type of contaminant affects the performance of your equipment, an extremely important aspect in order to take the necessary preventive actions.

Please find below the most frequent 3 types of contaminants, how each affects the industrial equipment that you own and most importantly, how you can correct the problems they cause.

1. Particles of dust and dirt

This type of contaminants can cause pretty significant damages. The most frequent ones are the particles of dust and dirt, but they are also accompanied by particles of metal that come especially from the production process.

The negative effect of this type of contamination is visible especially in what concerns equipment wearing, but at the same time there is the possibility that the industrial lubricant suffers advanced degrading.

For equipment that implies rolling actions like, bearings, corrosion is favored by contamination with metal particles or dirt.

While the degradation of lubricant can also be caused by other elements, it is possible that this type of abrasive contamination affects the lubricant lifespan. In this respect, identifying this type of wear is generally done through special oil analyses like the Signum Analysis. Thus, you will see that contamination was caused by particles of dirt or metal and you will manage to take the particular recommended action to remedy the situation.

2. Water

Another problem that can cause industrial equipment failure is water. Water, as a contaminant can be present in 3 forms: diluted, emulsified and pure water.

  • Diluted water is usually present in the form of moisture and does not cause big problems, except for the cases when equipment requires a very low level of moist to function at its maximum capacity.
  • Emulsified water is the most damaging form of water. This is produced when the quantity of water exceeds the saturation point and has entered the lubrication flow. The best sign of this type of contamination is the puddled aspect of the lubricant that comes from the presence of small drops of water in the lubricant.
  • Pure water is less damaging than the emulsified water, but can cause damages of her own, leading to oil degradation, as well as safety issues if water reaches the oil tank.

Water contamination can have negative effects on the equipment especially when it comes to rust, this being the main reason that can lead to defects. Also, water contamination will lead to premature aging of the lubricant.

In most cases, water contamination can be observed with a visual inspection, but for a more exact measurement or to detect a very low level of contamination, a specialized test is required. This is recommended before taking any action, especially for some applications where water needs to be constantly removed and its reaching into the equipment cannot be prevented.

3. Wrong lubricant

Choosing the improper lubricant can cause a lot of problems. The most frequent include the negative effects of choosing a lubricant with the wrong viscosity.

For instance, a lubricant with a higher viscosity can lead to filter clogging and the forming of acid as a secondary product of degradation that can have irrecoverable effects on the lubricated surfaces.

In order to avoid such issues, always respect the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations concerning the characteristics of the industrial lubricant you choose. In order to find the Mobil Industrial lubricant that is suited to your needs, click here for the Looble application, available in Romania through Star Lubricants.

Contaminant control is a very important part in any strategy to proactively maintain your industrial equipment. In order to make sure that your equipment works at its maximum capacity, keep in mind a very important thing: always choose the right lubricant according to the needs of your equipment.

Click the image below and request a customized offer for industrial lubricants. A Star Lubricants representative will help you make the best choice.