When working with hydraulic systems and industrial machines, a sound oil filtration system is key to their efficient function and longevity. Hydraulic fluids and machine oils become easily contaminated by particles such as water, air, dirt, rust, and acids. For this reason, you must decontaminate them before they can wreak havoc on your systems.
Hydraulic fluid filtration is the ultimate solution to help you decontaminate the fluid in use and increase the lifetime of your hydraulic systems components. Contaminant filtration using different hydraulic filters can help you remove particles and impurities from hydraulic oil. Below we mention some important things you should know about hydraulic filters.
What Are Hydraulic Filters?
Hydraulic filters are used in hydraulic systems and machines to purify the fluids and oils from contaminants and protect the system from different particle contents.
Approximately one million particles that are larger than 1 micron enter your hydraulic system every minute. These contaminants usually come from:
- Ingestion through the reservoirs of the components of the system
- Internal generation of the particles from hydraulic system components
These particles can severely damage your system components, thus causing you trouble and machine downtime. Maintaining a good hydraulic filtration system will help you increase your machines' longevity, reliability, and performance and help you avoid unwanted worries and expenses.
Types Of Hydraulic Filters Based On Their Construction
There are different types of hydraulic filters. The three most common types are; Bag, screen, and magnetic filters.
Bag Filters: Bag filters are made of cloth bags through which fluid passes. The contaminants being solid, are unable to pass through them. We usually use bag filters to filter particles such as dust and rust.
Screen Filters: Screen filters are made of small wires woven together like a gauge to create a metallic cloth. They can be made to a precise size, allowing the engineers to choose the right size according to the contaminants.
Magnetic Filters: These filters use magnetically charged plates used to filter out magnetic contaminants.
The type of filter used depends on the alignment and positioning of the filter. It is also selected based on its fluid compatibility, application type, operating pressure, size, design, and more.
- Flow compatibility describes how much fluid flow is permissible through the filter.
- Pressure describes the maximum operating pressures that a filter can withstand.
Types Of Hydraulic Filters Based On Their Alignment
The commonly found hydraulic filters based on their position and alignment in the system are as follow:
Suction Filters: These filters are located right before the pump and protect the pump from large and harmful contamination particles present in the fluid. This filter uses a wire screen to filter the particles.
Pressure Filters: This filter is located between the pump and sensitive system components such as control valves and actuators. The filters used in the system remove a high quantity of small contaminants.
Return Flow Filters: These filters are located at the end of the return flow line, between the fluid reservoir and the control valve. They filter the fluid before it enters the reservoir and removes common sized contaminants generated by the systems components.
Offline Filters: These filters are not part of the main hydraulic system loop. They clean the hydraulic fluid before it enters the system.
In-Tank Breather Filters: A large number of contaminants can enter the hydraulic system via air. These filters are therefore located on the reservoir to prevent moisture and air particles from entering it.
Changing The Hydraulic Filters
Hydraulic filters need to be timely changed and replaced to avoid any damage to the systems components. However, make sure you don't change them too early. Replacing them before all their dirt-holding capacity is used up will cost you a lot of money. Also, ensure that you don't replace them too late, as by then, the filter will become blocked and will not be able to properly remove the impurities from the fluids. Unclean fluids can reduce the service life of every component in the system.