Sealed fluid systems don’t react well to foreign materials within their narrow channels. Even human biology provides clear evidence of this truism, for clogged arteries stop oxygen from circulating. Hydraulic systems adhere to the same principle; they don’t tolerate clogs. That’s why the importance of filtration and conditioning is the topic of our study today. Here’s a closer look at filtering solutions for hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
The Basics of Fluid Filtration
As a health metric, a pollutant-free fluid system is a predictable force transmitter. Furthermore, properly conditioned hydraulic and pneumatic systems are less likely to succumb to the kind of breakdown events that are caused by fluid-suspended contamination. Keep these important notions in mind when thinking about filtration and conditioning solutions, for they use passive and active mechanisms to keep this system-damaging element out of oil and air force-transmitting mediums.
Metal and rubber parts cope admirably with strong fluid transmission forces, but those mechanisms aren’t immune to the ravages of time. Small particles break off, metal surfaces oxidize, and rubber components become material fatigued. That sorry story mostly describes oil-based machinery, but pneumatic conduits also experience contamination. In this case, though, it’s compressed air that pollutes the conduits. The air is laced with water and particulate matter from the outside, so a dirty environment is also guilty of creating system impurities. Finally, even the oil-lubricated prime mover that powers the compressor can force oil and grime into formerly clean gaseous pipework.
Filtration and Conditioning
Micron-graded filters use mechanical apertures and special materials to rapidly diffuse fluids. The suspended particulates are stopped in their tracks, but the fluid continues without being hindered in any way. On the other hand, fluid conditioning technology is related to these filters, but it’s more of a full-package solution, which suits both hydraulic and pneumatic systems very well. For example, a filter will remove a near invisible solid from a liquid medium, but a conditioning mechanism is manufactured as a package. This means it’s designed to efficiently dry, filter, and cool both air and water.
The importance of filtration and conditioning cannot be overstated, but it should be properly illustrated. The dual mechanisms prevent hydraulic and pneumatic systems from aging and experiencing damage due to solids and oils. They also keep the pressurized mediums cool, so friction-induced mechanical losses are not transmitted from one end of the machine to the other by the power of fluid flow.
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