All hydraulic and lube systems have a critical contamination tolerance level that is often defined by, but not limited to, the most sensitive system component such as servo valves or high speed journal bearings. Defining the ISO fluid cleanliness code upper limit is a function of component sensitivity, safety, system criticality and ultimately getting the most out of hydraulic and lube assets.
Filters remove the particulate contamination that enters a system or is generated by the system as it operates. All filters are subjected to some form of system dynamics: hydraulic filters encounter frequent and rapid changes in flow rate when valves shift, cylinders unload and pump output changes; lube filters experience dynamic conditions during start up and shut down. Filters validated only to current ISO testing standards don’t perform as expected when subjected to the demands of real world dynamic operating systems.
A filter is not a black hole. Two key characteristics of filter performance are capture
efficiency and retention efficiency. Capture efficiency can be thought of simply as how effectively a filter captures particles while retention efficiency is a measure of how effectively that filter retains the particles it has captured. A filter is not a black hole, and its performance must not be based solely on how efficiently it captures particles. If not properly designed and applied, a filter can become one of the most damaging sources of contamination in a system if it releases previously captured particles when challenged with dynamic conditions.
The Dynamic Filter Efficiency Test (DFE) is the evolution of standard hydraulic and lube filter performance testing. DFE goes further than current industry standards to quantify capture and retention efficiency in real time by inducing dynamic duty cycles, measuring real- time performance during dynamic changes and the filters ability to retain particles. DFE testing is the method for predicting worst case fluid cleanliness along with average fluid cleanliness. The DFE test method was pioneered in 1998 during a joint effort between Scientific Services Inc (SSI) and Hy-Pro Filtration.