Extend and/or Eliminate
When you purchase your equipment the parts are new and running on a new film of oil. What wears your engine out? (Contamination) If you can run your engine on clean oil 100% of the time and cut your wear rates in half, how much longer will the engine last? The following information will help you understand what Gulf Coast Filters can do to help you get the maximum possible life out of your equipment and eliminate costly oil changes.
Microscopic Photo @ 100X Of Used Oil Within
VRU System Before & After The Use Of The GCF Filter Units
following is an outline of the steps that Gulf Coast Filters, Inc. would
recommend in order to SAFELY Extend and/or Eliminate routine oil
drain intervals on your engines. Within
the following information I will cover what we have established (over a period
of years starting in 1965) as obtainable goals in accomplishing this task.
Let us start by understanding the current situation that you are operating under. Your engines are presently equipped (with few exceptions) with only full-flow oil filters and you are following a routine oil drain interval. The factory full-flow filters on your engines are performing a protecting job, in that they are designed to remove the larger particles that would damage vital parts. The additive package of the oil is then utilized to hold the smaller microscopic contaminants, the full-flow has missed, in suspension, and to combat other problems such as acid formation, oxidation, nitration, moisture intrusion, and etc. The oil is allowed to remain in the engine until it becomes contaminated to the point that it is no longer suitable for use within the engine. When Is This Point Reached? According to American Petroleum Institute (API) Publication #1507, page 13, engine oil should be changed before additive depletion and oil contaminants can begin to affect engine performance and life. Gulf Coast Filters, Inc. fully endorses this recommendation!
In order to eliminate the process of routine oil drains, thereby drastically reducing the amount of waste oil being generated, we must install additional filtration and establish the proper service intervals for these filters to deal with contamination missed by the full-flow filters and other types of contamination.
There are three basic types of contamination that must be dealt with: “Solid”, “Moisture” and “Condition Caused” Contamination. The following pages will fully explain these types of contamination and how adding additional By-Pass filtration will effectively control these areas.
1. Solid Contamination: It is generally recognized, backed by numerous tests and studies over the last 40 years, that contamination generated in an engine that is responsible for the majority of "normal" wear, is within the 1 - 20 micron range. Also this small solid contamination contributes to accelerating Condition Caused Contaminants such as Oxidation, Nitration, Acid Formation and more. Consequently, it is imperative that this contamination be removed from the system as fast as possible. The typical factory full-flow filter cannot control 1 - 20 micron particles due to its porous design to supply the engine with a high flow rate of oil. One must use filtration that is capable of controlling solids in the 1 - 20 micron range and smaller.
2. Moisture Contamination: Moisture contamination within the lube oil will cause viscosity increase, VI polymer decrease, TBN decrease, acid formation, accelerated oxidation and nitration. If left unchecked, it will cause accelerated wear, filter plugging, sludge formation, and corrosion of parts. To safely eliminate routine oil drains, one must use additional filtration that utilizes an adsorbent filter media, which can remove suspended moisture from the lube oil.
3. Condition Caused Contamination: There are three MAJOR types of contamination that are formed within the lube oil during normal use: Oxidation, Nitration, and Acid. These contaminants are formed when solid and moisture contamination are present, and certain operating conditions exist within the engine. These Condition Caused Contaminants can be controlled by the use of additional filtration and with the proper filter service interval.
a. Oxidation: Oxidation occurs when the hydrocarbon constituents (and other products) of lube oil combine chemically with oxygen. Lube oil in engines will combine with available oxygen under certain conditions to form a wide variety of oxidation products. Many of these direct or primary oxidation products combine with other materials such as wear metals, solid contamination, and moisture, to form second and third derivative products. As with most chemical reactions, oil oxidation is accelerated by heat and pressure. Heat in particular will speed up the oxidation process. Various studies have shown that lube oxidation (with many variables such as the type lubricant and additive package in the lubricant) that the oxidation rate can be doubled for every 15 to 20 degrees increase over 180 degrees F. Also, engine load, which will dictate the levels of oxygen and pressure within the engine, will accelerate the oxidation process. Effects of oxidation within the engine can be seen in the form of accelerated acid formation, corrosion, oil thickening, deposit formation, and accelerated wear.Most of all the top quality lube oils have an additive package that contains oxidation inhibitors to slow the oxidation process and alkaline detergents that will neutralize acids formed by oxidation. Normally these additives will only last a certain length of time before they are used up and the oil must be drained. GCF, Inc. has established the correct means by which to control oxidation within engines. As we have seen, oxidation is greatly stimulated by the solid and moisture contamination. Solids tend to hold heat, thereby increasing the lube oil temperature around the solid contamination. This condition acts to accelerate oxidation. Combine this effect with the presence of moisture (H2O) from normal condensation, and the oxidation process accelerates even faster. When moisture is present in the lubrication system, the level of oxygen available to mix with hydrocarbons in the lube oil is raised dramatically. The presence of normal solid and moisture contamination, combined with maximum operating load of the equipment, will produce high oil oxidation rates, even with normal oil temperatures. In order to control the oxidation process, the GCF PM Program offers filtration products that can control the levels of moisture, wear metals and other solid contamination. By removing this contamination, the oil will offer a better seal between the rings and liners and therefore reduce the amount of blow-by during the combustion process. Blow-by contributes to the amount of oxygen and moisture within the engine.
Once we have removed the contamination, which acts as a catalyst to
accelerate the oxidation process and have offered a cleaner oil to seal the
engine, then we are left with MINIMAL OXIDATION for the additive package
of the oil to contend with. The
engine will use a certain amount of oil each operating day.
Combine this amount of new oil with the amount added at the time the GCF
Filter is serviced, and the engine will maintain a sufficient amount of active
additives to keep oxidation in check indefinitely.
b. Nitration: The combustion chambers of engines provide one of the few environments where there is sufficient heat and pressure to break the atmospheric nitrogen molecule down to two atoms that can react with oxygen to form nitrous oxides (NOx). This becomes a major problem for some engines, especially natural gas engines. Because natural gas engines run so lean, they have higher combustion temperatures and a lot more NOx are formed than with other types of fuel. When nitrogen oxide products enter the lube oil through normal blow-by, they react with moisture present in the lube and become very acidic and rapidly accelerate the oxidation rate of the oil.
The GCF Filter controls the effects of nitration in the same ways it controls oxidation. By delivering cleaner oil to offer as a seal between the ring and liner, blow-by of NOx is kept to a minimum. Also, the GCF Filter keeps the oil chemically dry and prevents the mixing of NOx and moisture, which controls NOx acid formation and accelerated oxidation of the oil.
c. Acid Formation: Acids are formed within the lube by several sources. We have already covered two of them in the form of acids formed from oxidation and nitration. In most all forms of fuel for internal combustion engines, trace amounts of sulfur are present. In some cases, where sour gas or high sulfur diesel fuel is used to fuel the engines, massive amounts of sulfur are present in the fuel. Sulfuric acid is formed within the lube oil when sulfur molecules react with oxygen in the combustion chamber to form sulfur oxides. These sulfur oxides are then blown past the rings and enter the oil. Here the sulfur oxides mix with moisture to form the highly corrosive sulfuric acid. It is next to impossible to remove trace amounts of sulfur from fuels. However, it takes two components to make the sulfuric acid, sulfur oxides and water. The GCF Filter removes the moisture from the lube and keeps it chemically dry, thus controlling the formation of sulfuric acid. Therefore, by using the GCF Filter, TBN levels can be maintained at an acceptable level.
taking a look at all of the types of contamination and the effects they can have
on an engine if left unchecked, I think that you can now see why the GCF PM
Program is so important. You see,
simply applying our filters to control the different types of contamination is
not what I consider the complete picture. In
order to successfully and safely eliminate routine oil drains, we must also
apply certain tools and preventive maintenance measures to insure that these
levels of contamination are held in check.
The reason that Gulf Coast Filters, Inc. has been so successful in past
years and have so many satisfied customers is the fact that we are not just a
company that manufacturers filters. We
have developed a specialized predictive preventive maintenance program that is
tailored to the concerns of operating on greatly extended oil drain intervals.
So, How Do You Establish Proper Filter Service Intervals and/or Proper Oil Drain Intervals?
Listed on the following page is a brief outline of the type of program that we would recommend for your engines. This is the same type program that has been working for Shell Oil, Scott Paper Co., the U.S. Air Force, North Carolina Department of Transportation, and many other major users of Gulf Coast Filters for many years now.
GCF Recommended P/M Program
Install GCF By-Pass Lube Oil Filters on equipment to keep the lube oil clean
Join the GCF Oil Analysis Program allowing Gulf Coast Filters to monitor your oil analysis and track your engines wear rates and the physical properties of the oil
CLICK HERE for details.
Use the GCF recommended service interval for your engine and application. Gulf Coast Filters has spent over 20 years establishing the proper filter change intervals for many different engines and will be able to let you know what is the right one for you.
Extended and/or Total Elimination of "Routine" Oil Drains Can And Should Be Accomplished On Your Engines.
dramatic savings in new oil purchases, labor costs, overhaul costs, and disposal
costs of the waste oil, can easily be obtainable with a time-proven "System
Selecting The Proper Filtration To Achieve Your
Now that I have explained what types of contamination that need to be controlled in order to extend or eliminate oil drains, I would like to comment on what type of filtration is needed to deal with this contamination. There are many different types and brands of after market filters and centrifugal equipment on the market today that boast claims of greatly extending or eliminating routine oil drains. Many of these claims are true, however, in many cases the truth has been stretched by methods of marketing, claims based on "in-house testing" and testimony from isolated customer bases. Also, many of these filters and centrifuges fall short of dealing with and controlling the amounts and types of contamination that need to be removed in order to achieve our goal of extending and/or eliminating routine oil drains. In order to select the "Right" filter for the job, your choice should meet the following criteria and offer the following benefits:
1. Choose filtration that has the ability to control 1 - 5 micron sized particles and control them within the quantity that the engine or equipment is generating.Be sure to ask to see several particle counts taken on engines or equipment similar to yours showing ISO cleanness levels. These ISO levels show particle counts within the 5- 50 micron range for engine oil and 2 - 50 micron range for hydraulic applications. Don't be taken by what is said in the brochure, statements like "Capable of removing down to 1 micron particles" or "Can remove particles as small as 1/10th micron in size". This type of marketing is common. In other words, for these companies to legally be able to advertise with such statements, all they have to do is to show that their filter or centrifuge has removed a few of this size particle. Sure these filters or centrifuges can remove "down to" and "as small as", but can they control them in quantity? Get the particle counts! There are several depth-type by-pass filters on the market that have the capability of controlling these 1 - 5 micron sized particles and the GCF Filter is one of them. There are at least two brands of inexpensive centrifuges on the market that claim to be able to remove extremely small solids, however, centrifuges do not have the ability to control moisture.
Choose filtration that has the ability to remove
from the lube and keep the lubricant chemically dry at all times.
This is most critical. If
you will remember, in order to control oxidation, nitration, acid formation,
viscosity increases, and the other problems linked to moisture contamination,
one must choose a filter that has the capability of removing moisture.
Most of all depth-type by-pass filters with an absorbent filter media
such as cellulose (paper) or cotton fibers have this capability and the GCF
Filter is one of these. However,
the low cost centrifuges that I had mentioned above do not have this capability.
Only more expensive ($12,000.00 & up) centrifuges that are motor
driven, equipped with water ejection ports and separator plates have this
capability. These types are mainly
used on extremely large engines such as found on ships.
3. Choose filtration that has been proven within your field and that can be confirmed by several legitimate users in field test results. If at all possible, choose filtration that has been documented on your type of equipment and your type of operating conditions. Ask for field test results on equipment similar to your own. The Gulf Coast Filter is one of the most documented filters on the market today. We have numerous test results from the field on equipment ranging from over-the-road trucks to massive engines on oil field equipment. Also, the U.S. Air Force has successfully tested our filters and programs and this information is available to government entities. Any company can claim results on a Test stand, but we have real world test results on real world engines.
4. Choose filtration that is backed by a company that can offer a proven P/M Program to coexist with their product and your existing P/M Program. There are a lot of companies out there that specialize in selling filters, however, there are few filter companies that sell filters and specialize in Predictive Preventive Maintenance. Find the company that offers proven suggestions that will make their product work with your P/M Program and to help move your program up to a higher level of equipment monitoring. Gulf Coast Filters, Inc. personnel are specialists in the field of predictive preventive maintenance, within the areas of lubrication, filtration, and equipment monitoring. We work directly with the maintenance personnel to come up with a lube oil maintenance and equipment-monitoring program that will coexist with your present P/M Program.
5. Choose filtration that is the most cost effective. Last but not least and should be the most important, choose the filtration that is the most cost effective. There are filter manufacturers that guarantee to double your oil change or to greatly extend your oil change interval. Look for a filter that will offer to eliminate routine oil changes all together and run the maximum of hours between filter changes. Gulf Coast Filters utilizes a massive element for holding huge amounts of contamination allowing you Longer filter change intervals.