Lubricating oil is a fundamental element for the engine of any machine. Responsible for lubricating the parts and reducing the friction between them, the oil also cools, seals and cleans the engine. In this way, the oil not only reduces the wear of the parts, but also prolongs their useful life. Over time, it is natural for the oil in use to suffer degradation and be contaminated by particles resulting from burning. However, it is important to be aware of the oil’s impurity levels, especially if there is water in the oil.
Contamination of oil by water can occur in different ways. Among the main causes are: leaks in the cooling systems; water or moisture entering the engine or the breather system; condensation in reservoirs and lubrication systems; and contact with water during poorly executed oil changes.
The consequences of water contamination
Once in contact with water, the lubricating oil is subjected to several processes that put the conditions of the engine in check. Check out some of them:
- Wear of the parts: The contamination of the oil by the water causes it to lose its lubricating properties and, therefore, has its performance impaired. Without the protection previously offered by the oil, the friction between the parts and the resulting wear increases.
- Oxidation and corrosion: When in contact with air, water vapor or water, metal components can undergo an oxidation process. One of the possible results of this is the corrosion of the surfaces, which has a direct effect on the service life of the parts.
- Foaming: The presence of water in the lubricating oil can lead to foam formation. Because it is a thermal insulator, the foam makes it difficult to control oil temperature and can even leak through vents and dipsticks. In addition to contributing to the wear and oxidation of the parts, the foam can cause cavitation.
- Cavitation:If there is a pressure drop inside the engine, the lubricating oil is subject to the formation of vapor bubbles in your body. Known as cavitation, this phenomenon also interferes with the lubricating properties of the oil, which triggers complications such as wear and corrosion, already discussed in this post.
How to remove the water from the lubricating oil?
In order to return lubricating oil to its ideal conditions, the oil filtration process works to clean and reduce the water content, solid particles, gases and sludge present in the fluid body.
After being installed in machinery and equipment, the filters in the Austech line eliminate large amounts of contaminants from the lubricating oil – both moisture and solid contaminants (up to 2 microns). In addition to being very effective, this method has an excellent cost-benefit ratio.
Oil filtration shows several advantages for the performance of machines and equipment. Keeping the lubricating oil in good condition reduces wear on the parts; extends the life of the parts; increases the availability of hydraulic and lubrication systems; and decreases equipment downtime.
To learn more about oil filtration,contact one of our experts.