Breathers critical to reservoir life

Maintaining clean oil is one of the best investments a company can make, yet contamination often remains an overlooked factor behind premature machinery failure and diminished lubricant life. With increases in the cost of oil, increased desire to minimize usage and waste, and the need to prolong the life of equipment , the economic case for protection — from the time oi l enter s a facility until it leaves — is stronger than ever.

In general, breathers, such as Des- Case’s disposable and steel breathers, help reduce maintenance costs and improve uptime by extending lubricant and machine life.

Disposable breathers
As wet, dirty air is drawn through disposable breathers, multiple 3-μm polyester filter elements remove solid particulate and colorindicating silica gel extracts moisture. When air is expelled from the container, the top foam pad prevents oil mist from contacting silica gel or entering the atmosphere.

Breather s are essential to the health of hydraulic systems. A properly fitted and maintained breather is a critical step toward improved reliability. Combining breather use with other contamination control tools, such as mechanical seals, proper sampling techniques, downstream filters and appropriate lubricant storage and dispensing systems, will increase the overall level of maintainability and increase the chances of meeting or even exceeding life expectancies.

All this is done simply by keeping contamination out. Water and dirt are two of the most common and damaging cont aminant s — water can deplete fluid additives and form rust, while dirt can change oil chemistry and cause abrasive wear.

Most reservoir breathers supplied with equipment do little to keep out moisture and keep 40-μm particles and larger out. Breathers also help the environment because they help reduce oil use and sometimes, depending on the design, reduce oil mist.

Des-Case’s disposable breathers are designed for simple fluid protection, and its rebuildable steel breathers are suited to harsh, corrosive environments.

Disposable breathers feature a clear polycarbonate body that offers bi-directional, controlled airflow. A multi-tiered filtration process includes water vapor adsorbent, 3-μm absolute particulate filter elements, and color indicator for easy system monitoring.

Although they are similar to their disposable counterparts in some ways, steel breathers have the added protection of an integrated standpipe for durability and mist drainage. A replaceable polyethylene microglass filter prevents particles to 1-μm absolute from entering the system.

For more informat ion, e-mai l Michael Powers at [email protected], call Des-Case Corp. at (615) 672-8800 or visit