As fleets deal with the last of the emissions regulations being instituted, managers are looking at every method possible for keeping engines running cleaner, longer and cheaper.
That leads to the debate between full-flow and bypass lube systems. Some OEMs believe bypass filter systems are best for handling the larger amounts of soot and acid produced by exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology common on 2007 and newer engines. Others, though, prefer caution, figuring the full-flow system is better since it doesn't allow cold start-ups, nor can a filter bypass valve remain open, letting oil through without filtering.
The next point of contention is the media used in the filters. Cellulose, the most common natural material employed in oil filters, is inexpensive (and it absorbs water too), but with high restriction can't provide long-term filtration. Synthetic media is made from glass fibers or various polymers, or a combination thereof.
The Cummins Filtration StrataPore oil filter uses polymers as a base, layering the special material so that each section screens out progressively smaller particles. This process increases the overall filtration efficiency, which is particularly effective in extended service intervals, according to the company. It also increases capacity as well.
“More and more people are looking toward longer oil change intervals,” said Brian Tucker, engine oil filtration product manager at Donaldson. “They're looking to do more with less, as well as going green and being environmentally friendly. With that extended oil change interval … the oil has to be able to maintain its lubrication properties, and the filter must match up with that oil life to provide the filtration needed.”
Donaldson offers its Endurance filters, which can carry double the contaminants of standard filters and are designed to last as long as synthetic or other premium extended drain oils. Its Endurance Plus filters offer a one-step process to extend all API-approved oils, including standard mineral grade oils. A built-in concentrated additive is calibrated to release slowly during the life of the filter to maintain oil health.
Fram Heavy Duty Filters offers three types of filters for fleet environments. The Fram WearGuard oil filter meets specified OEM recommendations for regular oil change intervals. Built from cellulose media, the filter has super-sturdy spiral center tubes to keep media from collapsing during use. The WearGuard HD has highly efficient media, reducing 98% of particles at 20 microns, the company says. The durable filter meets extended oil drain intervals, helping lower costs. The WearGuard TRT combines the best features of previous filters with embedded additives designed to neutralize oil acidity, limit oil oxidation, and maintain or increase oil change intervals. Its formula helps EGR engines meet or beat Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for lower soot and NOx levels.
Luber-finer says its new field-tested Zgard 9750 heavy-duty spin-on bypass filter holds soot below 3% for 300 hrs. With its double stacked design and a blend of cellulose and synthetic media, the filter is said to pull out particles smaller than 1 micron while extending service life.
Wix Filters claims that its filters capture and retain 45% more dirt than competitive brands in SAE testing. The company says that its silicone anti-drainback valve not only keeps oil in the filter so the engine doesn't start dry, but since the silicone stays flexible, it doesn't harden and leak.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THESE WEBSITES:
Fram Heavy Duty, Div. of Honeywell
Racor Div., Parker Hannifin
Spinner II Div., T.F. Hudgins