What Are the Benefits of Clean Oil?
The benefits include lower engine friction and wear, longer engine life, and longer lubrication life. However, it is not correct to assume that fresh oil is clean or that the air is clean unless the fresh oil and the air is microfiltered before entering the engine crankcase.Is Fresh Oil Clean?
No in most cases. As previously discussed, to the naked eye the clear, yellowish-green or golden-brownish oil looks clean. Since the lower limit of human vision is 40-50 microns, the harmful 1 to 10 micron microgrit is not visible. Looking at Fresh Oil cannot determine if the oil is clean:"Contrary to poplar belief that "fresh" oil" is clean, new oil is often very hazardous. It may ship dirty from the supplier, becomes contaminated in storage, or become contaminated during transport to the machine." (Oil Analysis Basics, Drew Troyer and Jim Fitch, Revised 2001, Noria Corporation, page 19.) Is Fresh Air Clean?
No. According to Troyer and Fitch, many small micron particles are in the air. The authors state that silica air particles are harder than the metal parts in the engine ¨C harder than a hacksaw blade, which is harder than engine parts. The first defense from air contaminates entering the lubrication oil is a good quality air filter and good engine seals. However, even with these precautions, some air-borne contaminants will enter the lubricating oil. The second defense is microfiltration to remove the hard particles as they enter the oil.Can Fresh Oil from one Garage be Dirtier than Fresh Oil from Another Garage?
Yes. In general, oil in sealed smaller containers is cleaner than oil stored in fleet storage tanks. The oil in some garage storage tanks can have up to twelve million particles per 100 milliliter at 4 microns (ISO 24). Other garages are filling their equipment from sealed container "fresh oil," which can have as little as one hundred thousand particles per 100 ML at 4 microns (ISO 17). In other words, the oil in the storage tank is 120 times dirtier than the oil in the sealed containers. This is particularly disturbing when the oil reaches a level of ISO 21, approximately 1,500,000 particles per milliliter at ¡Ü 4 microns. At this level of particle contamination many professionals believe that an oil change is required. If filled from a "dirty" storage tank with ISO 22 to ISO 24 oil, the "fresh oil" added to the engine would be two, four or up to ten times dirtier than the recommended oil change level.Does Crankcase Microfiltration Provide a Second Line of Defense?
Yes. If particle contamination enters the crankcase from unfiltered "fresh oil" pumped from a storage tank or "fresh air" which enters the engine through a defective seal or damaged air filter, ECO MicroFilters provides a second line of defense against engine damage by removing the particle contaminates from the lubricating oil.Can the Benefits of Clean Oil Be Objectively Quantified?
Yes. Laboratories measure particle contamination using several different methods. Once the number of particles at a given micron size is determined through laboratory analysis, the number of particles is converted to the ISO 4406 ratings from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO Codes provide easier comparisons of the cleanliness levels as set forth on the table below:Do ECO MicroFilters Provide Benefits When Used with Premium Oils?
Yes. As stated above, no oil can clean itself of physical contamination. When a synthetic oil or other premium oil becomes physically contaminated, the oil should be discarded to protect the engine even if the oils is still chemically viable (viscosity, TBN, etc.)
It has been said that "premium oils beg for better filtration" to achieve the full potential of the premium oil. Premium oils with more aggressive detergent qualities will clean up dirty engines, dissolving the sludge and other deposits, releasing more particles into the oil. Without microfiltration, changing from standard oil to premium oil can produce unintended consequences. The high detergent qualities actually can make the oil dirtier as the built-up sludge and other deposits begin to dissolve and are suspended in the oil. Physically removing clearance level particles through microfiltration will capture the added contamination dislodged by the increased detergents. In time, premium oils and ECO MicroFilters will reduce sludge and other deposits from a dirty engine.Can Microfiltration Reduce EGR Engine Operating Costs?
Yes. In an Exhaust Gas Recirculation engine, ("EGR"), the EGR valve re-circulates exhaust gases into the intake stream. These gases displace some of the normal intake charge. This chemically slows and cools the combustion process by several hundred degrees, thus reducing NOx formation. Unfortunately, the EGR process also increases the amount of physical particulates in the lubricating oil, which results in higher lubricating costs. In some cases, without microfiltration, the distance between oil changes is reduced. In other cases, the crankcase capacity is increased to hold more oil for the added particulates, which increases the cost of every oil change. In either case, lubrication service operating costs are increased. ECO MicroFilters will keep the oil cleaner, thus improving the quality and useful life of the oil, which provides better engine protections and extended miles between oil drains.Are ECO MicroFilters Easy to Service?
Yes. One of the benefits of ECO MicroFilters is their maintenance friendly, easy to service devices. ECO MicroFilters are passive, non-mechanical devices, without electrical or vacuum components, and are extremely rugged. They require only a few minutes to change the cartridge.Can Major Fleet Efficiencies Benefits Be Achieved?
Yes. For a fleet of 100 large vehicles (transit buses, cement mixers, freight haulers, etc.), ECO MicroFilters can eliminate one-half of the annual oil services. On the first oil interval after an oil change only the high efficiency cartridge is changed, a process which only takes a few minutes. On the second oil interval, the oil is changed, the full-flow filters are changed, and the ECO MicroFilters cartridge is changed.How Much Time Can Fleets Save?
A 100-vehicle fleet with 1,200 oil changes per year can reduce the oil changes by 50% from 1,200 per year to 600 per year with ECO MicroFilters. With the time saved from eliminating 600 oil changes per year, staff can be reassigned to other maintenance tasks. In addition, more vehicles can be cycled through the garage each year due to the savings of time in the garage. That is 7,200 fewer oil changes over the 12-year transit bus life cycle. In the case of smaller commercial vehicles t of 100, where the drivers take the vehicles to an oil change facility, thereby taking both the vehicle and the driver out of services, the cost of an oil change is dramatically higher.
What is the Difference Between a "Bypass Filter" and a "Microfilter"?
The term "bypass" refers to how the device is attached to the engine. The term "microfilter" refers to the quality of filtration provided by a device. A by-pass filter device is installed in parallel (by-pass) with the output stream from the oil pump. When a filter device is installed in the "bypass" mode, the stream is parallel with the main oil flow. A by-pass filter device is not a true microfilter unless it can provide high micro-cleaning beta ratio efficiency and high particle retention, such as ECO MicroFilters.What is the Beta Ratio?
The "Beta Ratio," also referred to as the "Filtration Ratio," is a measure of the filter¡¯s capture efficiency at a specific micron size. The Beta Ratio is calculated by dividing the number of particles before filtration at a certain micron size (example, 10 microns) in the upstream oil stream, by the number of particles after filtration at that micron size in the downstream oil stream.How does Filtration Efficiency Correlate with Beta Ratios?
The filter efficiency, called the Capture Efficiency Percentage (%), is determined by this formula (Beta -1/Beta) X 100. This produces the filter¡¯s efficiency, called the Capture Efficiency Percentage (%). For example, a Beta Ratio of 14 equals 93% efficiency, a Beta of 50 equals 98%.What does "Absolute" Filtration Mean?
The Filter Manufacturers Council, Technical Service Bulletin 89-5R3, defines "Absolute" filtration as achieving an efficiency of 98.7% at the stated size, and "Nominal" filtration as achieving an efficiency of 50% at the stated size. ECO MicroFilters provide cartridges capable of absolute filtration over almost the entire CLP range of 1 to 10 microns.What does "Filters down to 2 Microns" Indicate?
By itself the phrase, "Filters down to 2 microns" does not provide sufficient information to evaluate the filter's performance. The device could be only 8% efficient at 2 microns or 90% efficient at 2 microns. Filtration claims must include an efficiency rating, such as a Beta Ratio or efficiency percentage; for example, 88% efficient at 2 microns. One of the standard tests to determine the Beta Ratio and filtration efficiency percentage is the SAE J1858 Filter Element Multi-Pass Test.
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