Recently, the manufacturing company Swift Filter Inc. has revealed a new line of filter elements with anti-static properties.
These can either be used to replace existing filters or may be custom-designed. The new devices are specially built to reduce the risk of sparks being produced inside systems that use the latest ash and zinc-free lubricating and hydraulic oils.
Modern, more environmentally-friendly oils such as Mobil DTE 10 Excel 32 are highly refined and, because they do not contain heavy metals such as their predecessors did, they have low electrical conductivity. When they flow through filters inside a lubricating or hydraulic system, an electrostatic charge is produced, which is sometimes referred to as a triboelectric charge. This can create a spark passing from the filter media to the metal of the device’s support tube.
Sparks can have very undesirable consequences, ranging from the degradation of oil and the formation of varnish, to dangerous explosions. As a result, components may become damaged and, if varnish forms and builds up inside a system, filters can become clogged and solenoids may overheat.
The new Swift filter elements, which have been given the name Swift Static Discharge, have been designed for use in systems that generate energy, including traditional power plants as well as the lubrication systems of gas turbines.
They are also said to be suitable for a variety of other applications in which the latest, low-conductivity oils are used, such as pulp and paper manufacturing, mobile hydraulics and machinery used for plastic injection moulding.