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| By Aberdeen Dynamics

Contamination Basics

Fact: over 75% of all system failures are a direct result of contamination!  The cost due to contamination is astounding, resulting from loss of production, component replacement costs, frequent fluid replacement, costly disposal, increased overall maintenance costs and increased scrap rate.

Contamination interferes with the four functions of hydraulic fluids:

  1. To act as an energy transmission medium.
  2. To lubricate internal moving parts of components.
  3. To act as a heat transfer medium.
  4. To seal clearances between moving parts.

If any one of these functions is impaired, the system will not perform as designed resulting in unplanned downtime.  Types of particulate contamination are hard particles such as silica, carbon or metal and soft particles such as rubber, fibers or microorganisms.  Sources of contamination can include manufacturing and assembly processes, new fluid, ingested from outside of the system during operation or internally generated during operation from abrasion, fatigue or other system wear. 

Contaminant damage can include, but not limited to the following: Orifice blockage, component wear, the formation of rust or other oxidation, chemical compound formation, depletion of additives or biological growth.