Diesel bug is a problem because 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 - a situation the company has not heard of or seen happening before.

Newcastle operations manager for Techenomics Australia Chris Purkiss said the 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 litres, but the problems kept occurring.

Techenomics tested for biologicals and the test strips, which are usually used for diesel tests, confirmed that both bacteria and fungus were 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 the problem. Chris Purkiss said 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 pregnancy-type test strips that give an instantaneous reading but for best results we recommend sending the sample to our laboratory so we can run the tests.

“This involves keeping the sample strips in a controlled environment for 48 hours then analysing anything growing on the strips.”

Chris Purkiss has more than 30 years’ experience in heavy industry, most of this time in the field of condition monitoring. He is available to help with any questions involving oil analysis.

Techenomics has distributed specialty lubricants to the mining industry throughout Australia and Indonesia for more than 20 years with the business steadily growing into other parts of the world. In 1988, Techenomics introduced proactive condition monitoring and fluid management services.

Today, Techenomics focuses on its Total Fluid Management Services (TFMS), operating ISO 9001 accredited laboratories and consulting services. These laboratories all conduct lubricant analysis on used oils and greases, and analysis of wear debris. TFMS is operated by site-based teams who establish and maintain condition monitoring programs, and manage the total lubricant cycle at the clients’ facilities.

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