Varnish in Oil and How It Can Sneak Up on Equipment
Varnish is an inevitable enemy of hydraulic and lubricating systems. However, removing harmful varnish from equipment can be resolved with our help at RelaDyne.
What is the Root Cause of Varnish? Along with tar and sludge, varnish is one of the results of oxidation, a chemical process created from the friction and heat of operating a lubricating oil or hydraulic machine. This friction and heat cause the quality of a machine's lubricating oil to deteriorate over time.
Once this degradation occurs, byproducts from the oil will start to settle throughout the system. Over time, these byproducts will attach to the surfaces of the equipment, creating a sticky coating called varnish. The presence of varnish also attracts other contaminants, forming an abrasive surface on piping, valves, filters and other components that are vital to the performance of your equipment.
Equipment Problems Caused by Varnish
Varnish can be formed after oxidation and the development of free radicals. These sticky deposits attach to the metal surfaces of strainers, piping, valves, filters, and other equipment. As a result, these sticky deposits and other small particulates continue to build up around and can form a rough and dangerous surface.
Here are a few other equipment problems caused by varnish:
- Sticking movable parts such as directional valves
- Increased wear due to varnish attracting dirt and solid contaminants
- A reduction in filter efficiency and filter plugging
- Increased maintenance costs due to cleanup and removal of oil
Preventing and Resolving Varnish Problems
Recent advances in hydraulic control and lubricating oil systems have helped to reduce many varnish problems. Cleaning methods such as mechanical filters and detergents show mixed results. Oil analysis tests have been proven unreliable or limited at best in determining a machine's potential varnish levels.
At RelaDyne, we have developed a patent-pending oil processing technology to remove harmful varnish from lubrication systems. This technology removes varnish from circulating oil and strips it away from valves and the interiors of your equipment. If you are looking for long-term solutions for varnish that sneaks up on your equipment, contact us today.