Anyone responsible for the uptime of Industrial turbines, compressors or hydraulic systems knows that even the
possibility of varnish can cause alarm.
The downtime, repair and replacement costs associated with varnish can be staggering. Suffice it to say that varnish-related downtime is not a situation that anyone wants to face. This means that understanding, quantifying and responding to varnish with remedial solutions is critical.
Varnish and How it Forms
In affected industries, varnish is a familiar term that encompasses a variety of deposits in lube oil systems. It is generally agreed that varnish is an insoluble film composed primarily of organic residue that coats the internal components of rotating equipment.
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Varnish can manifest as hard coatings, sticky substances and even sludge-like material. Often comprised of degradation products associated with oxidation or thermal degradation, these soft contaminants are less than 1 micrometer in size. As a result, the deadly contaminants often go undetected with routine oil analysis testing.