Have you ever left a glass of water on your desk for two days and decided to go ahead and drink it?
You know that minuscule particles are most likely floating in that water—even though you can't see them. You also know that those invisible particles could cause you to become ill.
The same is true for lubricants and machinery; the smallest particles can cause the most damage. Saw and cement dust, mold, fly ash, coal and calcium zinc dust, or even milled flour—all smaller than the eye can see. These small particles are harmful because they are clearance sized, making them perfect weathering tools for abrasive wear on your equipment. Additionally, small particles can damage lubricants, which further degrades the health of your equipment.
How Small Is “Small”?
Keeping in mind that the human eye can see down to about 40 micron, take a look at the following list and note that the majority of these items can't be seen by the human eye.
Tiny particles remain unseen until there is an accumulation large enough to show visible dust. This is why, even when the air seems clear, it's important that you keep your machines' internal environments clear from small particles.
What's the Solution?
Using a quality breather can help prevent small particles from entering you storage drums, gearboxes, hydraulics, and more. And if your machines and lubricants are already dirty, don’t panic. There's a solution. Utilizing quality filtration systems can help remove small particles from lubricants and other fluids before they continue to cause harm.
So next time you think “It’s just a little dust,” remember that something little can cause a great deal of damage.