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The high significance of the particle analysis

Effectively preventing malfunctions and downtime

The most expensive part in production is the downtime of the machines. Contamination with solids in hydraulic oils is, with over 80%, the most common cause of failures and malfunctions of hydraulic and lubrication systems. The cleanliness of hydraulic oils in machines should be checked regularly.

  • Why is particle analysis important?

    For damage prevention:

    The particle analysis helps to identify the problems right from the start and to avoid serious damage. Contamination with solids in hydraulic oils is, with over 80%, the most common cause of failures and malfunctions of hydraulic and lubrication systems. Particle analysis is considered an efficient process for condition monitoring and damage prevention of installations. If the user has exact data, he can initiate appropriate countermeasures and prevent damage to the machines.

    For control: 

    Increased cleanliness requirements due to smaller gap sizes and minimum requirements of installations or equipment manufacturers require a permanent and thorough review of the hydraulic oils used.

  • When should a particle analysis be carried out?

    Contamination of the oils used can already be present in the system before installation. It can arise from the system during assembly, form during operation or be introduced from the outside into the system. Even fresh oils often have insufficient cleanliness. They should therefore be analysed before integration into the system to avoid contamination by filling.

    Increased cleanliness requirements and the minimum specifications of the equipment or device manufacturers require a permanent and thorough inspection of the oils used.

    The particle counting should be done:

    • continuously (the trend is important)
    • after the initial commissioning of systems
    • after processing components in the system
    • after repair of components in the system
    • the oil before filling into the system
  • What are the consequences of a solid contamination?

    Solid contamination can have various consequences, for example:

    • Higher wear in the system due to abrasion and erosion
    • System failure or shortened life of system components (e.g. valves, hoses)
    • Shortened service life of the fluid
    • Surface damage due to wear mechanisms such as abrasion, erosion or surface fatigue. Due to this wear, more and more particles are formed and the wear increases.
  • Why should IBR sample bottles "Ultra Clean" according to ISO 5884 be used obligatory in particle analysis?

    A well-defined cleanliness of the sample bottles is absolutely necessary for a precise analysis of the contamination level of oil. The high cleanliness of the IBR sample bottles prevents the liquid samples from being contaminated by the glass and falsifying the analysis.

    Due to the technical development, the gap tolerances are lower, the pressure and the flow speed of the oil are always higher. As a result, the demands on the cleanliness of the hydraulic oil for a trouble-free and low-wear operation of the systems have increased enormously. 

    The particles responsible for abrasive wear and surface fatigue are often smaller than 5 µ.

  • Cleanliness requirements for hydraulic oil according to ISO 4406
    • Laboratory and aircraft technology, servo-valves according to ISO 4406 15/13/10
    • Modern construction machinery, plastic injection machines and proportional valves, gear oils (wind machines) according to ISO 4406 17/15/12
    • Older construction machinery, solenoid valves according to ISO 4406 19/17/14
    • Minimum requirement according to DIN 51524 and ISO 4406 21/19/16
  • Cleanliness requirements for lubricating oils
    • Wind Turbines (Gearbox) according to ISO 4406 14/11
    • AGMA (manual) during operation according to ISO 4006 15/12