The same applies to organic oil: The biggest enemy of hydraulic systems is contamination. Comprehensive damage statistics from ALLIANZ show that about 80% of all hydraulic failures are caused by contaminants.
Solid contaminants, such as mainly dust from the environment, enter the system through the filler vent and cause abrasive wear. Wear particles and aged oil molecules are also typical representatives of solid contaminants. They can clog filters and block valves.
Liquid contaminants are mainly water and mineral oil. They frequently cause corrosive wear. An increased water content of more than 0.1% can lead to the formation of free acids through hydrolysis (splitting of the ester oil). These attack non-ferrous metals in particular. However, hoses, seals and paint coatings are not safe from them either.
If an excessive amount of mineral oil is contained in the organic oil, this can cause severe foaming or a high proportion of dissolved air in the oil. This dissolved air is often the cause of cavitation. Strong pumping noises are usually a typical sign that a cavitation-related total pump failure is not far off.
But it does not have to get that far. Before it is too late, contamination can be detected at an early stage with lubricant analyses. This is why many machine manufacturers prescribe regular lubricant analyses, especially when using organic oils. They can be carried out quickly and easily, and their low cost pays for itself within a very short time. The principle of these lubricant analyses is easy to understand. Regular analyses, in the case of construction machinery every 500 operating hours, show a trend. Slightly increased running-in wear is normal at the beginning of a component's service life. This wear rate drops immediately after the machine elements have "settled in" and the surface roughness peaks have smoothed out.
From this point on in the service life, the wear curve usually shows a typically uniform course. When the actual service life limit is reached, this course changes again to a sharp increase in the wear rate. The curve rises steeply.
An atypical increase in the wear metals during the normal service life immediately indicates an irregularity and thus imminent damage. Such anomalous values for wear, water, dust and mineral oil content are detected by the trend analyses. They provide early warning of the onset of damage. If the oil care or maintenance measures recommended by OELCHECK are then carried out, cost-intensive repairs can usually be avoided.
The use of trend analyses not only reduces maintenance costs. One of Germany's leading property insurers offers reduced premiums for insuring machinery if regular lubricant analyses are carried out when using organic oils. This is a double bonus for the wallet.