Introduction to Hydraulic Oil Contamination
In hydraulic fluid power systems, power is transmitted and controlled through hydraulic oil under pressure within an enclosed circuit. The Hydraulic oil is both a lubricant and a power-transmitting medium.
The presence of solid contaminant particles in the oil interferes with the ability of the hydraulic fluid to lubricate and causes wear to the components. The extent of contamination in the fluid has a direct bearing on the performance and reliability of the system and it is necessary to control solid contaminant particles to levels that are considered appropriate for the system concerned.
A quantitative determination of particulate contamination requires precision in obtaining the sample and in determining the extent of contamination.
Liquid Automatic Particle Counters (APC) work on the light-extinction principle, this has become an accepted means of determining the extent of contamination.
The accuracy of particle count data can be affected by the techniques used to obtain such data.