Condensation due to changes in temperature, leaking oil coolers, inadequate oil drum storage outside, and others, all lead to developing water contamination.

The effects of water on oil oxidation is dramatic, especially in the presence of micron-sized metal particles that are very active catalysts, especially copper (CU) or iron (FE).

Every oil contains anti-oxidation additives, but the higher the level of contamination and the more new fresh metal particles are created within the system, the quicker these anti-oxidation additives will be consumed.

The outcome: the more prolonged oil oxidation continues, the higher the oil acidity level (T.A.N.). When the acidity level reaches 1,0 mg KOH/gr, in case of hydraulic oil, an oil change will be required to prevent damage to the equipment.

Water can reduce the life of hydraulic machinery by more than 50%

Tolerances in modern machinery are usually so small that moving parts alternately produce pressure and vacuum. In a vacuum, moisture will expand considerably (at 70ºC up to 1/5000) and cause explosions against the surface areas of the parts.

A typical consequence is called pump cavitation.

This, in turn, will produce new wear particles, and surface areas will lose their lubricant coating.

Water attacks metal surfaces ( corrosion ) and slowly penetrates microscopic pores, thus causing wear by fatigue.

Moisture in the reservoir tends to form rust inside the tank top. Vibrations during the system’s operation will knock the rust particles into the oil, which are picked up by the pump and distributed throughout the system. New rust particles form where the old ones fall off, and the endless contamination cycle continues.

Furthermore, water is the ideal environment in which bacteria can multiply, and these will, in turn, break down the additives.

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