Oil is a complex mixture, rather than a homogenous substance, and since it’s pulled from the ground instead of being created in a lab it varies in consistency.
One thing that people are unaware of is that even virgin oil can contain particulates which can wreak havoc on machinery from the start.
But where does it come from? What can be done about it? Keep reading and we’ll discuss how you can end up with lubrication oil which is even cleaner than the stuff pulled from the ground and refined.
Oil contaminants from the start
Oil isn’t “just” oil. Instead, it contains a ton of different components. Ideally, oil is made up solely of complex hydrocarbons with few waxes, no moisture, and no foreign contaminants.
In practice, it’s just not feasible to mass produce oil which meets these requirements.
Instead, oil is graded and sorted according to the use it’s best suited for. Afterwards, complex ingredients like detergents and anti-foaming agents are added depending on the exact use of the oil in question.
The ISO cleanliness grade is the golden standard for understanding the levels of particle contamination in a given sample of oil. It’s a relatively rough calculation based on the particle amounts which show up in a given sample.
For the most part, oil which is destined for a given use has to be the same ISO code or lower.
This means that any given sample of oil is likely to have some level of insoluble particle contamination before it’s even put into use. For the most part these will be oxides from exposure to oxygen, light, and other factors which can change the chemical make-up of the oil.
They’re still insoluble, however, and they’re still putting wear on your machines right out of the barrel. If this is the industry standard, then what can really be done?
A brief word about ISO cleanliness codes
ISO codes refer to the rough amount of particles at a given size within an oil sample. The units used are parts per millilitre, but generally a sample is averaged over 100 ml or more of a given oil sample.
However, the code can be deceptive if you’re not looking at the math. While an ISO 17/xx/xx and an ISO 16/xx/xx oil might not seem far apart, the scale doubles for every number. An oil which is at the high end of ISO 17 will have almost four times the particles which are at the bottom range of an ISO 16 oil.
That “small” change in the code matters a lot.
General use machinery is usually rated for ISO 20, while supercritical systems requiring extremely clean oil to avoid complications can require as low as ISO 15.
DST and virgin Oil
Our patented Dual Separation Technology has proven itself time and time again with a 90%+ removal of particulate matter in oils.
Even when used on virgin oils directly from manufacturers we were able to achieve an impressive reduction of particulate matter in the oil. In one example a sample oil designed for lubrication use was reduced from an already clean ISO 17/15/11 to 13/11/9.
That’s a 94% reduction in particulate matter. In oil which was already being sold as “virgin.”
We also found that we could consistently take dirty oil and return it to an ISO 16/xx/xx or 17/xx/xx cleanliness grade. That means the oil isn’t just being recycled for return to the economy instead of ending up as a waste product, but is also significantly cleaner than many of the commercially available lubricants.
Reduction in wear through cleaner lube oils
Cleanliness of oil matters a lot.
Each particle in the oil is a potential meteor in the system, and they “breed” over time as the particles both break down and come into contact with the machinery and remove microscopic amounts of material.
Less wear and tear on machinery over time. For many businesses repair of machinery is a significant expense and using cleaner oil from the start means an overall longer lifespan for the equipment being lubricated.
It also means the oil will last longer before reaching the point it needs to be replaced to achieve the desirable cleanliness standards again. And, since the oil is being recycled with each iteration, there’s also less environmental damage over time.
It’s a win for everyone involved.
Cleaner oil, reduced wear, longer life
Your equipment is the foundation of your business, but even the virgin oils sold for use in your machinery can be improved upon. Recondoil has demonstrated a 94% particle reduction in virgin oil samples.
Those are contaminants that end up in your machinery, causing damage repeatedly in a cascade as the particles continue to break down.
Reducing wear and tear is a big concern for most manufacturers. If you’re looking to improve upon your equipment’s lifespan maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. Why not contact us and see what DST can do for you?