Graphic with link to the hydraulic lube filtration catalog

Fluid Contamination Control: What You Need to Know

Typographical image reading: "In hydraulic systems, 70-90% of wear & failure is contamination related."

Over 70% of all system failures are caused by contaminants in the fluid. Even when no immediate failures are apparent, high contamination levels can be present and sharply decrease hydraulic controls in the blink of an eye.

Contamination is defined as any substance foreign to the manufacturing equipment and damaging to its performance. If not controlled, contaminated hydraulic fluid can impact hydraulic system efficiency, reduce the lifespan of machine components, or even cause a catastrophic failure of hydraulic equipment, among other issues. Proper preventative measures, namely filtration, are critical.

There are four primary types of fluid contamination, each of which contribute to machine and component wear in their own ways. Each type of contamination can have a cascading effect which contributes to the other types.

Graphic representing the four types of fluid contamination: solid, liquid, gaseous, and gel-like
Image of solid-type fluid contamination

Solid contamination can lead to worn sealing surfaces and surfaces that cause leaking points for external air and moisture ingression and can also lead to friction-induced localized thermal degradation.

Solid contamination, generally referred to as particulate contamination, comes in all sizes and shapes and is normally abrasive to major components in the hydraulic system.

With this abrasive quality, a high contaminant level accelerates component wear and decreases the hydraulic supply and service life.

Worn components, in turn, contribute to:

  • Inefficient hydraulic machine operation
  • Seizure of hydraulic parts (such as hydraulic pumps, cylinders, and hydraulic motors
  • Higher fluid temperatures
  • Leakage
  • Loss of control
Image of liquid-type fluid contamination

Liquid contamination (i.e. water) can accelerate the fluid aging process and generation of varnish. Water contaminated hydraulic fluid can also cause corrosive pitting of metallic components and therefore generate solid metallic particle contamination.

Image of gaseous-type fluid contamination

Gaseous contamination (i.e. air) can cause cavitation and dieseling effects which may lead to particle contamination and local thermal degradation.

Image of gel-like fluid contamination

Gel-like contamination—such as varnish created by oil degradation—can be a root cause of accelerated aging, increased particle generation via changing and inadequate lubrication properties, as well as the formation of water from chemical reactions.

Contamination can also act as a catalyst to accelerate oxidation of the fluid and spur the chemical breakdown of its constituents.

Watch on YouTube “Fluid Contamination Control: What You Need To Know”.

What is Hydraulic and Lube Filtration?

Hydraulic and Lube Filtration is the perfect candidate for combatting issues with contaminates.

It will provide one of the only value statements you will ever need.

Selection of Schroeder hydraulic and lube filtration products

Schroeder Industries offers a full division of Hydraulic and Lube Filtration. With 75 years of manufacturing experience, there’s a solution for every facet of a hydraulic system, including:

By utilizing filter technology for your operating fluid, it will remove many of the contaminates mentioned above and extend the life of the system components (also mentioned above).

The filtration process helps remove contamination from oil systems and conditions the fluid on a continuous basis. It also ensures the oil viscosity properties remain constant per the desired temperature ranges.

Interested in protecting your equipment with hydraulic filtration products from Schroeder Industries? Our Distributor Locator can help connect you with a member of our expansive distributor network.

Watch on YouTube “The 7 Steps to Choosing the Correct Filtration”.

Schroeder Industries’ offers Hydraulic and Lube filter assembly types up to 6,500 psi (448 bar).

Using fluid technology, our hydraulic filter housings are continuously tested using the latest ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and NFPA (National Fluid Power Association) test procedures in our Fluid Care Center (FCC). Extensive testing is conducted to verify rated fatigue and burst pressures and to ensure compatibility with various mineral-based fluids.

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