Varnish is widely accepted as a lubricant failure mode in many applications such as turbine, hydraulic and compressors. Non-detergent R&O oils are among the most susceptible to develop deposits. The image at the top of this post, shows the presence of varnish deposits in the bearing, shaft and gear surfaces of a compressor. These types of deposits result in shut downs and equipment damage and come at a high cost of operations. These varnish caused failures has prompted the development of many new filtration technologies designed to remove these degradation products. The original focus of varnish mitigation technologies was to remove the degradation products that are in suspension either by electrostatic separation or filtration. However, it has been found that most degradation products in an operating system are in solution rather than in suspension. Electrophysical Separation Process (ESP) is a patent-pending media that was developed to selectively remove these degradation products regardless of whether they are in suspension or in solution.
As lubricating oils undergo thermal and mechanical stress, they react (oxidation and thermal degradation) and form degradation products, often called soft contaminants. The first components of the lubricant to undergo this chemical transformation are the most reactive additive components…[Request the full Whitepaper on Increasing Varnish Mitigation Performance.]