Contamination: The troublemaker of oil analysis

Contamination: The troublemaker of oil analysis

FanPro-Fluid Analysis Program

Contamination in your fluid can be troublesome.


Contaminants are all around us - in the air, water, particulates and, for maintenance personnel, in cleanup and process chemicals. As these elements contaminate your fluid, they can potentially shorten the life of your machinery.


In a study researchers found that when a fluid is maintained 10 times cleaner, hydraulic pump life can extend by as much as 50 years! So how do we protect our lubricants from these unwanted contaminants?


The first step is understanding the symptoms that arise from different methods of contamination. The following are four common diagnoses as well as symptoms of these contaminants.




Spongy operation of hydraulics as air compresses under pressure; excessive wear; premature oxidation (especially in high pressure systems); pump cavitation and vibration; an increasing layer of foam.

Air contamination

Premature failure or excessive wear due to reduced lubricating ability; corrosion of bearings or other machine elements; premature filter plugging; premature oxidation of lubricants.

Water contamination

Increased wear

Particulate contamination

Unexplained contamination

Cleanup and process chemical issues


Performing oil analysis can help you identify exactly what type of contamination your machine is experiencing. From there, you can begin to decipher what could be causing it and how to change your maintenance practices to avoid high levels of contamination in the future.












Source: Polaris

Follow us on LI: