Lubricant health is one of the key factors that determine equipment reliability and the life of machinery. The quality of your lubricants largely depends on the quality of your oil storage practices. Proper oil storage is vital when it comes to maintaining a healthy clean fluid. From bulk delivery and dispensing to the application, there are many factors to consider when implementing a lubrication strategy. Understanding and observing strict adherence to good practices for handling and storage of bulk lubricants will help you improve equipment reliability and extend the service life of your machines.

Storage Tanks

If you want to prolong the life of your lubricants in storage and avoid contamination, you need a proper vessel or tank to store the fluids. Storage tanks are made using a variety of materials such as mild steel plate, stainless steel, and plastic or anodized aluminum. Anodized aluminum and stainless steel are expensive, but these materials require less maintenance; thus, their maintenance costs are low.

It is important to select the right storage tank construction material. Some mild steel tank designs require an additional layer of oil-resistant paint, lanolin-based rust preventive, or a coating with epoxy resins. Some materials like galvanized steels shouldn’t be used due to potential additive reactions in the formulated oil. Poly tanks or plastic tanks are ideal when it comes to rust prevention. In addition, you can observe the oil levels through transparent materials. Stackable tanks can help you save some floor space.

Breathers and Ventilators

Beneath the roof and above the tank’s oil level lies the headspace. Based on the environment, every tank produces varying conditions within its headspace. A number of oil contaminants such as moisture that enters the hydraulic fluids and lubricating oils must use the headspace to pass through. Breathers are also an important component of the oil storage processes. They are used to exclude contamination. The capture efficiency and particle size of a breather must be similar to that of the transfer oil filter. For instance, if the oil filter has 90 percent capture efficiency and 10-micron filter, then the breather must have the same specifications.

Oil filtration systems

Needless to say that lubricants must be filtered before they leave or enter the storage tank, you should select oil filtration systems that have the ability to maintain the required cleanliness level. You can use a filter cart to purify the oil before it enters the tank. When it comes to good practices, you should filter oil every time they are transferred. Considering the cost of a gram of contamination removed, a large high-flow rate filter would be a good choice. From visual sight glasses, stiffeners, and heaters to level sensors and drainage points, there are so many techniques and products that you can use to improve oil storage processes at your facility.

If you are not sure what type of oil filtration systems or storage equipment is right for your facility, feel free to contact Micro Lube, we provide technical assistance and a complete range of lubrication products including oil filtration, storage, and dispensing systems.