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Hydraulic Oil Testing.

The Filter Guys

The testing of hydraulic oil to measure its contamination level can be a beneficial task. A large number of hydraulic circuit failures and breakdowns can be attributed to poor filtration methods and oil contamination. By measuring the level of contamination you can make sure that the level of filtration that you are using is adequate for your needs and if not what needs readjusting to correct your problem.

Sterling Filtration Ltd can offer you a complete service, taking your sample and sending it for laboratory analysis, and compiling a complete report of the cleanliness level of your hydraulic oil. We can also offer you any improved filtration solutions should you require them.

The lead time on this service is usually 4-5 working days following receipt of the sample to you receiving your analysis report.

Air Filter Efficiency

The Filter Guys

Whether your air filter is fitted to a car, a truck, a tractor or a digger air filter efficiency will be measured in the same manner.

Older equipment might have used an oil-bath air cleaner but today it is almost entirely dry-type air filters that are used. They are more efficient and easier to service. They generally use treated cellulose media, pleated to give as much surface area as possible within the filter container. The more media is used the greater the air-flow that the filter can handle and the longer the service life before cleaning or element change.

As little as 100 gm of dirt passing into a diesel or petrol engine can “dust” it to the degree where it needs to be reconditioned. A dry-type air filter, from any of the major reputable manufacturers, will have an efficiency in excess of 99.9%. In other words for every 100 gm of dirt hitting the air cleaner element less than 0.1 gm will pass through and into the engine.

But how is its efficiency measured?

Under laboratory conditions special test dust, typically a carefully defined mix of different particle sizes, often from the Arizona desert, is mixed with the air flow entering the air cleaner assembly. Any dust that passes through will be caught on a massive absolute filter which would first have been weighed. After the test period the absolute filter is weighed again. This weight difference is then compared with the difference in weight of the air filter element itself before and after the test. The efficiency is a simple calculation and is expressed as a percentage.

The most commonly used test dust is defined as coarse and has the following particle size distribution by weight;

Size in microns Percentage
0 –5 12 +/- 2
5 – 10 12 +/- 3
10 – 20 14 +/- 3
20 – 40 23 +/- 3
40 – 80 30 +/- 3
80 – 200 9 +/- 3

Before deciding on which air cleaner to use always check what its efficiency is – for the sake of your repair bills at least!

Bespoke, made for the job filtration.

The Filter Guys

There are fewer things more annoying than trying to start the engine on your machine or vehicle only to find the fuel filter is blocked, but one of those more annoying things is turning up at the trade counter of your spares supplier only for them to tell you that it’s so rarely used they no longer stock the filter or it’s become obsolete altogether. This isn’t just an issue with fuel filters. Air, lube and hydraulic filters all become yesterday’s technology eventually. But with the economic conditions and tight company budgets that are currently restricting business growth you might not want to spend money on buying a completely new machine with filters that are accessible.

Here at Sterling Filtration Ltd we can sympathise with this situation. That is why we offer to the market a bespoke filter manufacture. Turning out small to medium sized, bespoke product runs we can offer you a solution that’s affordable and obtainable. So don’t bang your head against the wall next time someone tells you your filter requirements are impossible to fulfil, call Sterling Filtration and we’ll take care of everything.

Shortcuts lead to clean up downtime.

The Filter Guys

We recently visited a large site of one of the leading scrap metal processing companies in the UK and were surprised to find the hydraulic oil tank of their primary baler “open to the atmosphere”.

From new it had been fitted with a series of three Filler Breathers one on each of the 76mm diameter tank top filler pipes. They had been initially removed because “It makes it quicker to top up the oil level” and never replaced.

We had been called to site to investigate short life on the expensive Pall hydraulic filter elements used in the baler circuit.

The results of an oil analysis showed a high level of 5 to 25 micron dust particles and a lot of free and emulsified water. The dust particles were “blinding” the filter element explaining the short service life. The emulsified hydraulic oil would result in accelerated wear of the pumps and motors in the baler circuit.

The operators had not appreciated the effects of their actions, that what seemed like a short cut would actually cause expense and cost more downtime.

All too often we witness similar cases where people underestimate the importance of quality well maintained filters and subsequently find machines and equipment being forced off line.

To rectify the problem the company had to hire a mobile off-line filter system with a water absorbing hydraulic cartridge and a separate 5 micron hydraulic element to clean up the system.

The elements in the breathers have been renewed and the breathers refitted. This small investment will be repaid many times over through the extended life of the hydraulic oil, the reduced frequency of hydraulic filter changes and the longer service life of the pumps and motors

Improve your fuel system with our fuel additive.

The Filter Guys

PART No. 32943F (235ml bottle)

Stanadyne Performance Formula

Diesel Fuel Additive – helps to keep your engine running through the cold, winter weather.

Will treat 120 litres of diesel fuel

Suggested mix 1ml of additive per 5 litres of diesel fuel

  • Helps prevent fuel gelling, waxing and icing
  • Lowers pour point
  • Increases fuel cetane
  • Improves engine power and economy
  • Helps prevent rust corrosion
  • Cleans an lubricates the entire fuel injection system


In Stock

A big week for Sterling Filtration Ltd.

The Filter Guys

This week has seen some positive steps here at Sterling Filtration Ltd. On Wednesday 27th July we were audited by BSI as part of our continuing assessment of our ISO 9001:2008 accreditation. After an interesting and successful visit we came through the assessment with flying colours. Our quality management systems and effective complaint procedures have now ensured that Sterling Filtration goes into a fourteenth consecutive year of ISO 9001 accreditation. Well done to all of the staff for their hard work, diligence in keeping the system working efficiently.

Also, this week sees the launch of the new Sterling Filtration Ltd website. Having been in the pipeline for several months we have finally updated our previous website which had begun to look aged and tired. The new site is much tidier and industry relevant and utilising WordPress makes editing and updating pages and news a far simpler task.. We also hope it is much more user friendly for visitors and with an ever expanding library of technical downloads, including our hefty Product catalogue we believe it is a further tool to be used in our ongoing drive to satisfy customer need.   Sterling Filtration has also launched on Twitter. You can follow us and keep up to date with latest news here.

Changes to Gas Oil Used in Off-Road Equipment.

The Filter Guys

From the 1st of January 2011 all gas oil (red diesel) for use in off road machinery and boats will contain no more than 10mgs of sulphur per kilo of fuel (current level is 1000mgs/kg). The changes are to reduce burned sulphur from entering the atmosphere. The Department of Transport are advising all gas oil users of the following precautions when storing and using red diesel for off road and recreational boat use:

Increased care when storing: The oxidation stability of this fuel will be poorer than that of current gas oil. This can cause solids to form in the gas oil. This will cause increased contamination that will require filtering from the gas oil. Suitable and regular filtration of the fuel will help prevent wear and tear on transfer pumps or off road engines.

Water removal: Water in fuel encourages bacterial growth which can block fuel systems and damage engines. Increased use of bio fuel as an additive to modern gas oils means that there is an increased risk of bacterial growth where water is present. Ensuring that suitable water separators are fitted can help reduce bacterial growth and reduce down time from breakdowns.

Solvent characteristic of the low sulphur fuel: The new sulphur free gas oil has a more solvent characteristic than current gas oil and will potentially remove any deposits within the storage tank. It is advised that fuel tanks are cleaned and equipment filters be replaced after the initial 2-3 tank fills of sulphur free gas oil and then be maintained and serviced regularly. If ever in doubt, change your fuel tank filters.

The cost of regular filter servicing is much lower and cost effective than the cost of even one single pump or engine fuel system replacement.

Further information and advice can be found on the Department for Transport web site by following the following link:


British Antarctic Survey.

The Filter Guys

Sterling Filtration Ltd has supplied air filters to the British Antarctic Survey. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is the UK’s national Antarctic operation and has an active role in Antarctic Affairs. BAS is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and has over 400 staff. It operates five research stations, two ships and five aircraft in and around Antarctic. It’s involved in joint research projects with over 40 UK universities.

National Oceanography Centre.

The Filter Guys

Sterling Filtration Ltd has been a supplier of various filters to The National Oceanography (NOCS) in Southampton. The National Oceanography Centre, (formerly Southampton Oceanography Centre), is a collaborative Centre owned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the University of Southampton. NOCS is based at a purpose-built waterside campus in Southampton, and is home to some 520 research scientists, lecturing support and seagoing staff as well over 700 undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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