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Delft Solids Solutions B.V.

Cleanliness Analysis Of Aqueous And Organic Fluids

Friday, 31 August 2012


DELFT (NL) - Delft Solids Solutions, a contract research laboratory for characterization of fine solids and powders, has included cleanliness analysis in her portfolio.

The presence of unknown – and often undesired – solid particles in liquids and fluids can cause major problems in many processes and industrial applications. Over 70% of the failures in e.g. hydraulic systems are caused by the presence of such small, often invisible particles. In these hydraulic systems, strict tolerances are required and the presence of such low quantity of small particles can already generate severe issues. The origin of the small particles can be found in e.g. the use of different or contaminated raw materials, wear and/or work being performed on the process set-up, remainders of the catalyst used in the preparation of oil products, etc. Therefore, many liquids and fluids are encoded with a classification describing the degree of contamination. This classification includes information on the number and size of the particles that are maximally allowed: cleanliness.
This cleanliness is often reported as an ISO cleanliness code (ISO 4406) or a National Aerospace Standard (NAS 1638) specification. Besides the size of the particles, these specifications also include information on the maximum allowable concentration (number) of the respective particle size fractions. 
The laboratory of Delft Solids Solutions now offers the opportunity to perform cleanliness analyses in both aqueous and organic fluids. To this end, the so-called “electrical sensing zone” technique is applied providing information on the number and size of the particle in a known fixed volume of the liquid studied. The high sensitivity of this technique enables measuring particles to a lower limit of 4-5 micrometer with high resolution, which is required in the ISO 4406 en NAS 1638 standard, respectively.
Some examples of recent projects include cleanliness of waste water as well as pure water, cleanliness of methanol, for determination of its quality for sales purposes, analysis of brake fluid for development of filters, and contaminated hydraulic oil that is getting out of specs.
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