Lubrication Reliability satabase

Oil Contamination problems

Oil Contamination Problems - Top 3

While oil contamination takes many forms, the following three classifications cover the majority of industrial problems:

Dirt/Dust and Solid contaminants 

creep in from the surrounding atmosphere. 

Contaminants could include:

  • metal chips from machining, 
  • rust and wear products from seals, bearings and gears, 
  • core sand from castings, 
  • weld spatter from welding, 
  • paint flakes from painted surfaces and 
  • soot from diesel engines.


The most troublesome sources are often:

  • condensation, 
  • cooler leaks, 
  • gland leakage and 
  • seal leakage.


This forms primarily as a result of oxidation of the oil itself, especially at high temperatures. Accumulation of fine particles may also fill clearance spaces by silting, resulting in erratic operation and sticking of hydraulic system valves and variable flow pumps.

Place comment