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How Filter Media Collects Particles

The Filter Guys

How Filter Media Collects Particles. There are four basic ways media captures particles.

The first, called inertia, works on large, heavy particles suspended in the flow stream. These particles are heavier than the fluid surrounding them. As the fluid changes direction to enter the fiber space, the particle continues in a straight line and collides with the media fibers where it is trapped and held.

The second way media can capture particles is by diffusion. Diffusion works on the smallest particles. Small particles are not held in place by the viscous fluid and diffuse within the flow stream. As the particles traverse the flow stream, they collide with the fiber and are collected.

The third method of particle entrapment is call interception. Direct interception works on particles in the mid-range size that are not quite large enough to have inertia and not small enough to diffuse within the flow stream. These mid-sized particles follow the flow stream as it bends through the fiber spaces. Particles are intercepted or captured when they touch a fiber.

The fourth method of capture is called sieving and is the most common mechanism in hydraulic filtration. As shown at right, this is when the particle is too large to fit between the fiber spaces.

Maximising the life of a new air/oil separator.

The Filter Guys

Some uses of compressed air are by their very nature taxing on a compressor and its engine such as sand blasting work because of the continuously changing but generally high air demands and because of the aggressive/dusty environment. In order to maximise the life of a new air/oil separator it is sensible to reflect on the following:

  • A compressor oil filter generally uses paper media capable of stopping particles 5 micron and greater in size (whereas a normal diesel engine oil filter, which may be of comparable size and identical fittings, is rated 22 micron and greater). Consequently a compressor oil filter is comparatively more expensive but for the protection it provides is should not be compromised either in specification or in maintenance change period frequency
  • The media used in an air/oil separator will stop dirt particles down to ½ micron and greater and so it can quickly be “blinded” if the compressor oil is dirty or particularly if the wrong grade of compressor oil filter is fitted
  • If dirty oil can quickly “blind” large areas of the media of the air/oil separator the velocity of the air passing through the remaining, still “open” areas has to travel that much faster. This defeats the ability of the media to cause the coalescing of the minute droplets entrained in the compressed air and significant amounts of oil can pass through and into the “work area”
  • To give any new air/oil separator a fair chance to perform satisfactorily and for the maximum effective working life it is essential to;

A. drain, flush and fit new compressor oil

B. replace the compressor oil filter making certain the correct type is used

If you have any more questions about air/oil separators, your compressor oil and replacement filters please call us on 01902 49118 for helpful advice and competitive prices.

Why should you filter your oil?

The Filter Guys

Why should you filter your oil? Often it is easy for engineers or fitters to overlook the importance of filtering the lube oil that is running through their engines or hydraulic systems. Ignoring this simple but critical issue can lead to expensive breakdowns and can even right off engines or rams. Effective application of filter elements is not only sensible but it can save you thousands of pounds over the life time of a machine or engine. Oils have to be maintained at the necessary level of cleanliness to prevent wear and tear and to return harmful particulates to the sump removing them from harms way within the engine. Regular maintenance of your oil filters provides continuous purification of your oil as well as removing the trapped particles from the system completely (upon removal of a clogged filter element).

Strainers in tanks or on scavenge hoses help avoid large debris and sediment being removed from standing tanks of oil and are easily fitted. Systems are easily modified to take advantage of the benefits a simple strainer can offer at the beginning of your lube/hydraulic oil circuit. Filter housings with take apart elements or spin on canisters can also be put into suction (between the tank and the pump) to protect the pump and can also be put into the pressure line (to help protect the engine, if lubricating oil, or protect a hydraulic ram) and are also often used in the return line (to collect any debris that may have collected from the operation of the engine or ram).

Clean oil protects your lubricating and hydraulic system from wear and breakdowns and your oil is only maintained by proper servicing and monitoring of your filtration systems. It is good practise to have a detailed maintenance schedule for all of your engines and machines.

Proper Filter Application

The Filter Guys

When selecting a new filter assembly or replacement filter, it’s important to first answer some basic questions about your application. Where will the filter be used? What is the required cleanliness level (ISO code) of your system? What type of oil are you filtering? Are there specific problems that needed to be addressed? Proper Filter Application is key.

It’s also important to think about the viscosity of the fluid in your system. In some machinery lubrication applications, for example, the oil is very thick and has a tougher time passing through the layer of media fibres. Heating techniques and the addition of polymers can make the liquid less viscous and therefore easier to filter. Another option is to install a filter with larger media surface area, such as the Donaldson W041 or HRK10 low pressure filters, that can accommodate more viscous fluids.

Next, think about duty cycle and flow issues. Working components such as cylinders often create wide variations in flow — also called pulsating flow — that can be problematic for filters with higher efficiency ratings. On the other hand, dedicated off-line filtration (also called “kidney loop”) produces a very consistent flow, so it makes sense to use a more efficient filter.

Filters used in applications with steady, continuous operation at lower pressures will last longer than filters that must endure cycles of high pressure pulsating flow. Generally, the lower the micron rating of a filter, the more often it needs to be changed since it is trapping more particles.

Finally, it’s wise to ask yourself, “How much is my equipment worth?” Calculate how much it would cost to replace the equipment in your system, in case of component failure, and make sure those areas are well protected with proper filtration. (For example, high performance servo valves are very sensitive, costly components that need to be protected with finer filtration media.)

Minimizing maintenance costs through good contamination control practices requires proper filter application based on the specific contamination problems. Good contamination control means cost effective filtration. When looking for a filter, first assess the needs of your system and any problem areas.

At Sterling Filtration Ltd we can help you to spec up the filter elements and complete units you require to achieve the level of filtration you need to protect your equipment from damaging wear and tear. Call us today on 01902 491118 and one of our experts can service your needs.

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.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

The Filter Guys

2011 has again been a tough year for many with no real end yet in sight to the tough economic conditions that have blighted the country. But we’re still here, soldiering on as we all have to do and we’ve made it to another Christmas time. The trees are up, the presents are wrapped and the mince pies are eaten! It’s a time for family and friends not business, let’s forget about work, let the hair down and relax because in January we’ve all got plenty of hard work to be getting on with.

So from everyone at Sterling Filtration Ltd, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of our customers and suppliers.”

Let’s make 2012 a good year.

Don’t get into a spin over your element life; get into Top-Spin pre-cleaners.

The Filter Guys

Similar to the pre-cleaners in our previous article, the Donaldson Top-Spin pre-cleaner will extend your main element life, boost system efficiency and extend engine life. It separates up to 85% of incoming contaminant as per ISO 5011/SAEJ726, it extends air filter life therefore reducing operating costs and removes 99% of particles of 20 micron or larger before they can reach your engines air intake system.

A full range of Donaldson Top-Spin pre-cleaners are available from Sterling Filtration Ltd.

Ever considered using a pre-cleaner on your air intake system?

The Filter Guys

Have you ever considered a pre-cleaner on your air intake system? Easily installed and maintained, these products can increase the life of your main air element significantly, which over time can help to reduce your maintenance costs.

A full view pre-cleaner separates up to 75% of incoming dust before it enters the engine air intake system. It has a durable, lightweight, non-corrosive construction and comes with mounting clamp to fit. The clear full-view plastic bowl lets the operator easily see when servicing is required.

A full range of Donaldson pre-cleaners are available from Sterling Filtration Ltd.

The Importance of Diesel Filtration.

The Filter Guys

Diesel is the most commonly used fuel in heavy duty applications and requires filtering to ensure that any contaminants have been removed before they can cause stoppages, or serious damage resulting in complete failure, to the diesel system components.

In-line fuel elements can stop the larger, damaging contaminants such as rust and sediment from the fuel tank entering the fuel system. Diesel filters are important as they have to protect the fuel pump and injectors not only from abrasive particles but also from minute droplets of water often found in diesel fuel.

Injectors and diesel pumps are precision machined components and are very costly to repair or replace. It is much more cost effective to change the filters at their regular service intervals rather than have to pay the cost of even one breakdown repair bill.

Sterling Filtration Ltd stocks a wide range of diesel fuel filter canisters and elements for all types of application, as well as water separating filters and fuel additives, that will keep your fuel clean and your engine running and maintain your diesel filtration.

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.

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