OIL AERATION HURTS EFFICIENCY

Volvo construction equipment

In the pursuit of greater efficiency, many OEMs are making design decisions that may amplify the effects of oil aeration. Air bubbles may seem benign, but they can detrimentally affect the performance and durability of engines, drivelines and hydraulic equipment.  

What you may be noticing… 

  • Unexpected reduction in hydraulic efficiency

  • Unusual or intermittent NVH, violating new government regulations and potentially leading to warranty claims

  • Premature component wear, especially with prolonged drain intervals

  • Increased temperatures in unexpected areas

  • False readings from other fluid diagnostic sensors

oil aeration within the powertrain. 8% engine aeration

Why it may be aeration…

  • Reduced Hydraulic Efficiency: Hydraulic systems in off-highway equipment depend on incompressible fluid to perform. As air is compressible, oil aeration can adversely effect the efficiency of these systems.

  • Increased NVH: Pumping aerated oil may create significant noise and vibration. This is due to the gaseous cavitation and rapid dissolution of air occurring within the pump as it compresses and discharges oil.

  • Increased Contamination: Aeration significantly reduces the lubricity and load carrying capability of the oil. Metal-to-metal contact may occur more frequently, increasing metal particle contamination and potentially leading to premature component failure.

CAT vehicles - Caterpillar dump truck for off-highway construction
  • Increased Temperatures: The presence of air may create localized hot-spots within a hydraulic/lubrication system. The temperatures of components or subsystems may be higher than expected, negatively impacting efficiency.

  • Diagnostic Sensors: Fluid diagnostic tools measuring particles may detect air bubbles as false positives. Electric devices may also be impacted by the presence of air.

Why it will only get worse…

avitated pump impeller

avitated pump impeller

Industry trends such as smaller sump sizes (decreased oil residence time), higher combustion temperatures, lower viscosity oil and extended oil drain intervals all negatively impact oil aeration levels.

Our Solution, ATA Aerify™

Aerify™ Measure provides a continuous, real-time measurement of oil aeration rates in engine or drivetrain dynamometers, in-vehicle or test bench applications.

Aerify™ Sensor

  • A turn-key system to accurately and repeatably measure oil aeration, in real-time.

Aerify™ Service

  • On-site aeration test service. ATA engineers install and measure the aeration for your engine, driveline or hydraulic application.

measure aeration in oil