In pressurized lubrication systems, proper maintenance and sizing of your filters are essential to maintaining your lubricant cleanliness. In failure events, the history of that failure is often contained in the filter. Significant or sudden changes in the differential pressure across the filter usually indicate a wear or contamination event. To determine the severity of the event, the filter should be submitted for analysis.
Submitted filters are first dissected and the filter media is examined for degradation. Particulates from the filter are removed through backwashing and/or ultrasonic cleansing and analyzed. The particulates removed are also examined microscopically. Moisture and acid content are also determined. Organic contaminants present in the filter can also be analyzed. With this information in hand, a determination can be made as to what is causing the filter plugging or what the failure mode was. Steps can then be taken to prevent re-occurrence.