Filters play a critical role in protecting engines. By effectively removing damaging particles and contaminants from engine oil, filters from OEMs and aftermarket suppliers employ effective types and sizes of media and are designed to last for recommended and extended oil drain intervals.
“Media is the heart of a filter,” says David Cline, global product manager, Oil Filtration Systems at Parker Racor, a filter manufacturer that produces elements using engineered cellulose, glass and fully synthetic media. “Recent results in media development show a 50% increase in efficiency at five microns with a 70% increase in capacity. To meet new engine specifications and in preparation for the new PC-11 engine oil change, media is developed and tested at a higher flow rate than present engines use.”
“The secret is balancing the characteristics of filter performance,” says Veli Kalayci, director of engine liquid products at Donaldson. “Selecting the right lube filter is a matter of balancing the trade-offs of efficiency, capacity and restriction, and the secret to balancing all three characteristics is found in the filter design.”
Efficiency, Kalayci explains, refers to a filter’s ability to remove contaminant at a given micron size. Capacity is the amount of contaminant (measured in grams) that a filter will hold before the restriction exceeds recommended limits. Restriction refers to the amount of pressure loss between the upstream and downstream sides of the filter (often characterized as pressure drop).
Manufacturers are currently producing several types of engine oil filters, providing fleets with a range of choices depending on their equipment and maintenance practices.
According to the company, Synteq media, which is a key component of Donaldson Blue lube filters, is designed to remove more than 90% of contaminants that are 10 microns or larger compared to 50% or less for typical cellulose filters. The filters also deliver lower restriction to provide maximum oil flow and are designed with long life seals.
Cummins Filtration has introduced the LF14000NN lube filter with NanoNet media for Cummins ISX15 engines. Originally developed for Fleetguard fuel filter applications, the synthetic media removes and retains 98.7% of all particles as small as 12 microns, according to the manufacturer. Additionally, in the LF14000NN lube filter, NanoNet and StrataPore media structures work together for particle removal, capacity, and cold flow ability, which means less restriction and faster oil lubrication during cold startup.
High Velocity Dual-Flow lube filters from Baldwin Filters include spin-on filters that have one inlet and one outlet so oil flows directly to the engine rather than being returned to the sump. According to Baldwin, the design allows a larger portion of oil to flow through the element to remove smaller contaminants.
The WIX industrial filter line has more than 8,000 product numbers available for hydraulic and fluid power system applications. The WL10047 is the newest filter from WIX for Navistar trucks with MaxxForce 11, 13 or 15 engines. The company notes that the replacement filter uses synthetic media and has an eco-friendly plastic design.
Luber-finer’s line of heavy-duty Time Release Technology (TRT) oil filters provides a controlled release of a concentrated liquid additive to combat harmful acids that build up over time.
The newest bypass oil filtration technology from Puradyn Filter Technologies is its Millennium Technology System (MTS) designed to remove solid contaminants to below one micron. Also part of the MTS product family is the Polydry replacement filter element formulated to remove water contamination that occurs through condensation and during the combustion process.
The Spinner II centrifuge bypass oil cleaner for diesel engines can be used in addition to full-flow oil filters to divert a small stream of oil for cleaning before it is returned to the crankcase. Powered by engine oil pressure, the centrifuge operates at speeds in excess of 6,000 rpm to spin contaminants smaller than one micron out of the oil and pack them into a dense cake on the wall of the cleanable centrifuge bowl. A Spinner II centrifuge flows up to two gallons of oil every minute, allowing it to clean the entire sump capacity of a typical heavy-duty engine 10 to 15 times each hour.
Going forward, design changes required for emissions-controlled, heavy-duty diesel engines will place increased stress on engine oil. This will lead to the ongoing development of oil filters engineered to help increase protection against oil degradation and to protect engine components.