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Air filters: What is the purpose of a safety filter?

The Filter Guys

What is the purpose of a safety filter? Safety filter, secondary filter, inner filter; there are many names, we prefer to call it a safety filter.

A safety filter backs up the primary filter, and protects the clean air ducting while the primary is out of the housing during service. The engine should never be run with only a safety filter in place.

The safety filter is NOT a spare filter! Its purpose is to protect the engine if something goes wrong with the primary (main) filter. Until then, all it does is take up space and add a little bit of restriction.

What can go wrong with the primary filter?

It may have hidden damage from shipping that you missed when you inspected it before installation; damage from cleaning (if you carry out such an unrecommended procedure); maybe even a manufacturing glitch; mis-installation by the mechanic (but this never happens, right?); a ‘will-fit’ that doesn’t quite fit; or it’s the wrong part altogether and doesn’t fit at all into the housing (but mechanics would never try this, would they?)

All of these things happen more often than any of us like to think. We determined many years ago that a really good way to provide additional protection for large engines operating in heavy dust conditions was to always offer and for you to always use a safety filter.

There are some characteristics about the safety filter which you should be aware of, so you understand what it does and doesn’t do for your engine:

  • is smaller than the main filter, with less media.
  • is more open and less efficient for lower restriction.
  • has less contaminant-holding capacity so that it will plug rapidly if any engine-damaging dust particles get past a damaged primary filter.

A safety filter offers protection against mistakes when fitting and reduces the need to open the clean air side of the system by 66% (they usually only need changing once every three main filter changes) compared to systems without a safety filter. They are an excellent insurance against contaminants entering your engine and upon a critical failure of the main element can save your engine from serious damage.

Draper Tools are available through us.

The Filter Guys

People often are unaware of the additional goods and services that we can offer. As a filtration company people don’t realise we offer extra services such as Draper Tools.

So with the weather on the up maybe it’s time to look at those garden improvements that you’ve been dreaming about all winter and spring. Shovels, rakes, lawn edgers, hoes, leaf collectors and everything else you may need to get your green fingers working are available through us.

Draper weed matting is an affordable and simple way to keep away unwanted growth so that the plants you want to grow can thrive.

Draper loppers and hand trimmers are a must to help you maintain those out of control overgrown bushes, so go on give your bush a trim this summer.

And for later in the year you’ll need a Draper leaf blower to help you clear away the autumn blues.

And when you’ve finished working hard you’ll need to put your feet up with a burger and a beer; but at the end of the summer don’t forget to get a Draper barbecue cover to keep things in tip top condition so you can do it all again next year.

Where Contamination Comes From.

The Filter Guys

Where Contamination Comes From.

New Hydraulic Fluid

Adding new fluid can be a source; even though it’s fresh from the drum, new hydraulic fluid isn’t clean. (It may look clean, but, remember, the human eye can only see a particle the size of about 40 μm.) Oil out of shipping containers is usually contaminated to a level above what is acceptable for most hydraulic systems: typically, new fluid has a cleanliness level about the same as ISO Code 23/21/19, and water content is typically 200 to 300 ppm. Never assume your oil is clean until it has been filtered. One very effective way of ensuring thorough fluid conditioning is with a dedicated off-line circulation loop, or “kidney” loop filtration.

Built-In

Built-in contamination, also called primary contamination, is caused during the manufacture, assembly and testing of hydraulic components. Metal filings, small burrs, pieces of Teflon tape, sand and other contaminants are routinely found in initial clean up filtration of newly manufactured systems.

Ingressed

Ingressed or external contamination comes from the environment surrounding the system. Dirt can enter the hydraulic fluid supply through leaking seals, reservoir breather caps, and worn cylinder rod seals. Ingressed moisture, particularly, can cause long-term problems. As a hot system cools at night, cool moisture-laden air can be drawn into the reservoir; as the air condenses, water is released into the reservoir. Water in excess of 0.5% by volume in a hydrocarbon-based fluid accelerates the formation of acids, sludge and oxidation that can attack internal components, cause rust, and adversely affect lubrication properties. The severity of ingression and type of contaminant are dictated by the applications and environment.

Induced

Maintenance procedures can introduce contamination into the system. Opening the system allows airborne particles to enter. Leaving the system open during operation provides continuous ambient particle ingression. Keep your system closed as much as possible.

In-Operation

The major source of contamination are the pump and actuators, the hydraulic cylinder, or the hydraulic motor. Wear-generated contaminants are a hazard during normal hydraulic system operation. The circuit actually generates additional particles as the fluid comes into contact with the precision machined surfaces of valves, motors and pumps. Contaminant levels can keep doubling with every new particle generated. The result can be catastrophic if these contaminants are not properly filtered out of the system.

Rubber & Elastomers

Due to temperature, time, and high-velocity fluid streams, rubber compounds and elastomers degrade—thus releasing particulates into the fluid. This may be from hoses, accumulator bladders, seals, or other elastomer products.

High Water Based Fluids

The water in HWBF tends to support biological growth and generate organic contamination and microbes.

Replacement of Failed Components

Failure to thoroughly clean fluid conductor lines after replacing a failed hydraulic pump will cause premature catastrophic failure. Donaldson recommends frequent oil sampling to ensure proper contamination control. Sample test points should be close to hydraulic pumps and at other key locations that provide safe, reliable access to the fluid while under full system pressure.

Donaldson Lube Filters and Hydraulic Filtration.

The Filter Guys

Spin-on Filters

Donaldson durable lube filters keep your equipment running at its best to let you focus on what’s most important, getting your job done.

Donaldson Endurance Plus Additive Replenishment Technology Filters

These filters are designed for today’s emissions compliant EGR engines, use a controlled chemical release process to replenish the additives in the engine oil and deliver extended drain intervals, often double that of standard filters. These filters are a direct replacement and require no system modifications or special maintenance.

Cartridge-style Filters

Donaldson offers a complete line of cartridge-style lube filters for all makes of equipment.

Continous Product Development

Donaldson has applied its patented radial sealing technology to spin-on style lube filters. The radial seal design provides a consistent, reliable seal, enhanced structural performance and optimum protection.

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:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/environment/fuel-quality-directive/

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.

Damaged or Missing Vac Valve.

The Filter Guys

The Vacuator™ Valve, a standard item on most Donaldson air cleaners, is an important part of the functionality of the air cleaner during the pre-cleaning stage.

If your Vac Valve is cracked, torn, missing or remains open, dust particles that are normally expelled can deposit themselves onto the filter and will significantly shorten the filter service life. It will need replacing.

For proper operation, the valve should be located at the lowest point on the air cleaner or with the dust cup pointing down. Normal engine pulsing and operation causes the Vacuator™ Valve to open and close. This action automatically expels any collected dust and water. The valve also releases its load when the engine is stopped.

Call Sterling Filtration for more information about this product.

Ever considered…. T.R.A.P. Breathers?

The Filter Guys

T.R.A.P. BREATHERS

(Thermally Reactive Advanced Protection)

Part No. P56 4669

 

The T.R.A.P. breather begins absorbing moisture at 15% relative humidity compared to 40% humidity for silica gel. This is particularly advantageous for use on short cycles of hydraulic circuits.

Increased prevention of condensation at an earlier stage helps prevent corrosion, maintain fluid quality and extends fluid life.

Its lightweight robust structure makes it is suitable for stationary and mobile applications and it’s also effective to -40F.

The reversible flow through the media allows moisture to exit the tank or reservoir.

It stops particles down to 3 micron.

1” NPT

A visual indicator, activated by pressure differential, flashes red to indicate change is needed.

Replacement and installation is easy. Simply hand tightens.

Call Sterling Filtration for more details.

The Importance of Lube Oil Filtration

The Filter Guys

Lube Oil Filtration. While oil is primarily used to lubricate and cool moving parts of an engine it also carries out another very important function: that of transferring any harmful abrasive particles to the sump. These particles must be removed before the oil can circulate around the lubrication system again. An efficient way of removing these particles, preventing unnecessary wear or damage, is to pass the oil through a filter before it reaches any of the critical moving parts.

Sterling Filtration Ltd offers a range of stocked oil filter cartridges and cannisters from a number of leading suppliers including Donaldson, Fleetguard, Mann & Hummel, Hi Fi, Mahle, Coopers and Crosland, which cover a huge range of off and on highway applications.