|Method||Automated Laser Particle Counter|
A technique, primarily used for hydraulic oil samples, to determine the degree of particulate contamination present in a given oil sample across three specific particle size bandings.
A portion of sample is passed through a flow cell through which laser-light is passed en-route to a CCD sensor.
The number of “shadows” and their size determines the count of particles in the sample.
A “code” is assigned to particle count values derived at three different micron levels: greater than 4 microns, greater than 6 microns and greater than 14 microns.
A code is generated, consisting of three numbers, e.g. 17/15/12. This would indicate that:
|Particle Size||Code||Particles / mL|
|More than 4 micron||17||640-1300|
|More than 6 micron||15||160-320|
|More than 14 micron||12||20-40|
This is of particular importance for hydraulic systems where small particulates can have catastrophic effects.
The technique is also a good indicator of the cleanliness of new lubricants, or the need to filter a new oil prior to use. Trending can also monitor ingress of fine particulates over time (e.g. fine wear and dust).
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