What's new in: Oil Filters

Increasing engine heat is pushing oil filter development

Changing engines in today’s vehicles to meet emissions requirements are having a ripple effect on oil filters. Higher temperatures, flow rates, and larger amounts of contaminant are changing the demands of filters and forcing manufacturers to adjust their product lines.

“Baldwin Filters has evolved along with the industry. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish newer technology just from the appearance of the filter,” says Ken Stirn, director-product management at Baldwin Filters. “Continuing research and development allows Baldwin Filters to implement the latest media and design technologies that will not only allow us to meet the engine requirements but exceed them in many cases. This ongoing R&D will allow us to be at the forefront of emerging filtration technologies.”

Baldwin’s high velocity dual-flow model filter line is designed to meet these requirements. The filters provide improved engine protection during extended oil drain intervals, high idle time, and harsh operating conditions, the company says. The filters’ spin-ons have one inlet and one outlet; oil flows through the filter and is sent directly to the engine rather than a portion of it being returned to the sump as with conventional dual-flow filters. The filters can be used on Cummins ISM, ISX and Series 600 engines.

Puradyn Filter Technologies is extremely focused on helping fleets extend drain intervals. According to Kevin G. Kroger, president & COO, the safe extension of the oil drain means maintaining the chemical balance of the oil while removing solid contaminants from the oil that can create friction wear. It is also “important to make sure that the filtration performance of the bypass filter removes solid contaminants to below 1 micron. This is the oil film clearance found in engines, thus reducing engine wear, new oil purchases, waste oil generation, and downtime,” he adds.

Going forward, Puradyn is working with polymer technologies that are “providing ways of improving the filtration efficiency of our system as well as disbursement of the additives and improved liquid contaminant removal,” Kroger says.

“Wix Filters’ new XP oil filter line is engineered for today’s toughest driving conditions,” explains Donald Chilton, North American product development manager for Wix Filters. “Wix XP filters provide the ultimate protection, offering technology for the latest advancements in synthetic oil and extended mileage.”

Introduced in 2011, Wix ecoLast oil filters capture dirt and soot like a traditional filter but use media to “sequester” the acids in the oil. Wix says the ecoLast filtration media has no similar competition on the market and does not rely on slow release technology. In addition, the media is effective with both conventional and synthetic lubes as well as with biodiesel, LPG, gasoline and diesel fuels, the company notes.

Purchasing a filter that just meets extended oil drain requirements, though, is not necessarily a recipe for success for any fleet.

“Selecting the right lube filter is … balancing efficiency, capacity and restriction,” says Rod Radosevich, marketing manager for Donaldson Filtration Solutions. “Donaldson Synteq media technology provides the optimal balance of all three. Our Endurance lube filters remove more than 90% of contaminants 10 microns or larger, compared to 50% or fewer for typical cellulose filters [with] nearly double the contaminant-carrying capacity of standard cellulose filters.”

The company also recommends its Endurance EOA7376 oil analysis test kit. According to Radosevich, oil analysis offers high fuel dilution, which can result in oil thinning, reduced oil pressure, and allow harmful metal-to-metal contact. It can detect when fuel, excessive soot conditions, or water have entered the oil.

“Accurate interpretation of data is critical,” he says. “Combining Donaldson Endurance lube filters and the oil analysis kit [makes it] possible to decrease overall cost of ownership by measuring the health of the engine and extending oil drain intervals.”

“[Filter] requirements change according to the latest engine demands for higher efficiency and greater capacity, with the engine manufacturer looking for it in a smaller package and the coups de grace [being] a lower cost,” says David Cline, product manager for the Racor Div. of Parker Hannifin.

Cline recommends getting an oil service before the suggested manufacturer’s oil drain interval. “If I had an option for a bypass oil filter on my new truck, that would come before anything else,” he says. “An OEM oil filter and bypass oil cleaner like the Racor absolute bypass oil cleaner … reduces the particle count cleanliness level to below standard filtration level [and] removes moisture, soot and wear particles.”

The absolute bypass oil cleaner filters oil down to 3 microns and absorbs moisture, Cline says. Another option is the “LFS1200 lube-driven centrifuge that takes about 10% of the lube oil supply and runs it through a high-speed rotating cartridge [removing particulates and soot],” he adds.

Luber-finer offers the Imperial XL (extended life) filter, a premium-quality, heavy-duty lube filter that it says is for high dust, off- and on-highway applications, and extended drain intervals. A spin-on oil filter, the Imperial XL design features increased capacity and improved performance during low temperature start-ups and full load operations. Luber-finer says the filter is designed to be lighter and easily recycled with as much as 15% increased media capacity. The filter is made of micro-glass synthetic and cellulose media that provide high filtering efficiency and dirt-holding capacity, the company said.

Cummins Filtration recommends a bypass filtration system. Bypass systems are capable of removing smaller micron-sized particles. To deal with this, the company offers the Fleetguard line of filters, including its Venturi Combo Design filters—high-efficiency, patented stacked disc media filters that remove sludge to protect engine components.

According to the company, the Venturi nozzle directs an optimized flow of oil through the stacked disc media section, which offers up to four times the total capacity of a full-flow only filter. The nozzle setup is said to assure cold-start oil flow. Engine lift is also extended, thanks to the company’s patented StrataPore media, which provides contaminant removal and cold flowability.

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