Stopping Bacteria Growth in Hydraulic Oil

By Chris Purkiss, Newcastle Operations Manager, Techenomics Australia

Diesel bug, for those who have encountered it, is a problem.  If a tank of diesel gets water in it then a number of different types of bugs can grow.  When these bugs are stirred up or the tank is nearly empty, bugs block up fuel filters and can affect injector performance.

Techenomics recently came across a Diesel Bug problem, but in a Hydraulic system.  This is very rare as we have not heard of or seen this happening before in Hydraulics.

Our customer had problems with filters continuously blocking up and repeated failures of the hydraulic systems.  They had already changed the oil once before, which involved replacing 400 liters of oil, but the problems kept occurring.

Techenomics tested for biologicals and below is a photo of the test strips used. Normally these test strips are used for diesel but his time they were used to test Hydraulic Oil and as you can see by the results below both bacteria and Fungus are present in the Hydraulic Oil.

Once Techenomics discovered the root cause of the problem, the customer then spoke with their oil supplier who was able to supply a biocide to fix this problem.

The Hydraulic system was in a wet area so the true root cause was in how to prevent the water getting in.

If your company is having similar problems please contact Techenomics and we can expand our standard Hydraulic testing to include the test for biologicals.

If you want to test on site we can supply you with Pregnancy type test strips that give an instantaneous reading but for best results we recommend sending the sample to our laboratory where we could run the tests as shown above.  This involves keeping the sample strips in a controlled environment for 48 hours then analyzing anything growing on the strips.

The author of this paper is Chris Purkiss, Newcastle Operations Manager for Techenomics Australia.  Chris has over 30 years’ experience in Heavy Industry, most of this time in the field of Condition Monitoring.  He is available to help you with any questions involving your Oil Analysis program.

To enquire about Condition Monitoring please contact Chris Purkiss, email: chris.purkiss@techenomics.com or visit www.techenomics.net .

For media enquiries please contact Brooke Tolar, DragonFly Public Relations on T: 0411 553 246 or

E-mail: brooke@dragonflypr.com.au


Please contact Techenomics at info@Techenomics.com or phone (61) 02 6571 2699