WHAT ARE BYPASS FILTERS?
A bypass filter, also known as a pressure relief valve, is a very important part of an oil filter. When oil is too thick or the filter is clogged, the valve opens. If the valve doesn’t open then the filter may eventually burst.
Bypass filters are designed to remove fine organic and inorganic particles. It also increases the total volume of oil used. Thus, if you have contamination issues and want to extend operating equipment life, extend lube oil & service intervals, and consider adding bypass filters. We can say that Bypass filtration can be considered another aspect to save money and downtime.
Most of the existing manufacturers use ‘full-flow’ oil filters which are designed to protect the component from large particles but they cannot remove soot, water, or silt. Full-flow filters alone cannot keep oil clean for a long-term period. The fine particles which account for most of the contamination can be removed by the bypass filters.
It is advised to do the homework before buying a bypass filter. Some important factors to consider are:
1) Capture efficiency - The higher the beta ratio, the better will be the capture efficiency. A good beta ratio selection can control the escape of particles through the element. It is just like a good shepherd keeping the flock of sheep in a controlled and organized manner in the field.
2) Pressure/flow - Suitably designed filter element has calculated flow and velocity of oil through its microvoids. It is as important as keeping the water stream in a controlled way for gardening purposes. Else, it may spoil the sole purpose of watering.
3) Dirt Holding Capacity - It is not only necessary to have high capture efficiency but also a good filter element capacity is a must-have to retain the collected contamination. A well-engineered element has dedicated space to imprison the unwanted contaminants.
4) Heating element (to eliminate solid and liquid contaminants) - An elevated temperature helps to dislodge the solid contaminants and accelerates the rate of removal of volatile impurities.
5) Type of filtration media - Filter media varies with grade and type of oil widely. This may be a fine filter paper to absolute and depth filter media.
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6) Compatibility of fluid - Not every filter element can be used with any grade of oil. A small mistake in element selection can destroy the element as well as may cause a collapse of the entire system.
7) Surface area for the filtration – The higher surface area will give a lower pressure drop across the filter and also helps to achieve higher flow rates.
8) Compact in size - Reduction of size in regards to the filter elements and housing gives us multiple benefits like space and cost-saving, aesthetic look, better maintainability, low recurring expenditure, etc.
9) Inexpensive to use and install - At the end of every engineering and calculation, economics comes into the picture. It is always suggested to go with optimized design and correct sizing to overcome financial constraints.
We don’t need any additional setup to establish a Bypass filtration system; it can be done within the existing skilled limits. Please note that a bypass filtration system can be of great benefit if installed and maintained appropriately and it helps to prevent post-filtration fugitive contamination ingress into the system.