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#4596705 - 12/07/17 12:10 AM Particle Size Question
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
Let's say a grain of sand is in your engine oil. Which particle size in microns would be safe to go through your engine?

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#4596715 - 12/07/17 12:37 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 17208
Loc: PNW
It won't go through your engine if you use an efficient oil filter. laugh
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#4596719 - 12/07/17 12:59 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: ZeeOSix]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
What if the particle is smaller than 20 microns and goes through the filter; is it safe at that size?

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#4596726 - 12/07/17 01:31 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: ZeeOSix]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9830
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
It won't go through your engine if you use an efficient oil filter. laugh
With Tearolators you could throw a rock in the oil and it'd go through grin2

Ok fine it wouldn't get past the pickup screen.

Maybe that's all we need? Like the air cooled VWs. I vote all the Purolator lovers to volunteer to swap out their oil filters with screens.
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#4596727 - 12/07/17 01:33 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 9830
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
What if the particle is smaller than 20 microns and goes through the filter; is it safe at that size?
I think, say, a Fram Ultra can filter smaller than 20 microns, it's 99.9% efficiency rating is just that, a rating at that micron size. So at 15 microns maybe it's 85% efficient and at 10 microns it's 75% efficient (I totally made up those numbers BTW).
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#4596734 - 12/07/17 02:26 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
Leo99 Offline


Registered: 03/30/14
Posts: 2876
Loc: NJ
I think Merk's question more along the lines of how much damage can 1 grain of sand cause should it get past the oil filter. And at what particle size would you no longer worry about engine damage?
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#4596735 - 12/07/17 02:40 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Nick1994]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 17208
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
What if the particle is smaller than 20 microns and goes through the filter; is it safe at that size?
I think, say, a Fram Ultra can filter smaller than 20 microns, it's 99.9% efficiency rating is just that, a rating at that micron size. So at 15 microns maybe it's 85% efficient and at 10 microns it's 75% efficient (I totally made up those numbers BTW).

Per Motorking, the Ultra is 80% @ 5 microns.
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#4596738 - 12/07/17 02:44 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Leo99]
ZeeOSix Offline


Registered: 07/22/10
Posts: 17208
Loc: PNW
Originally Posted By: Leo99
I think Merk's question more along the lines of how much damage can 1 grain of sand cause should it get past the oil filter. And at what particle size would you no longer worry about engine damage?


All the papers about engine wear vs particle size say that particles 25 microns and smaller do the most damage because they are able to get into the tighter clearances in an engine (journal bearings, etc).

The SAE "bus study" did show that a more efficient oil filter kept the oil cleaner, and cleaner oil resulted in less engine wear. There have been lots of talk about this in various threads in this forum.
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#4596741 - 12/07/17 04:04 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24051
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Which particle size in microns would be safe to go through your engine?

The real question is what do you define as safe? If your desire is to absolutely minimize abrasive wear no matter the cost, you can run Fram Ultras or their equivalent and bypass filtration and spend all kinds. Or, you can run an ordinary filter and still get hundreds of thousands of kilometres out of an engine and be sick of the car long before it's dead.
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#4596780 - 12/07/17 06:25 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5483
Loc: Michigan
A grain of sand is 100-10000 microns. Huge in terms of particle size in oil.

There will be many particles below 20 microns in the oil. It is a balance between flow and filter efficiency. I believe 5-20 micron sizes are the most damaging.


Edited by ZZman (12/07/17 06:33 AM)
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#4596784 - 12/07/17 06:29 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
StevieC Offline


Registered: 08/21/08
Posts: 17116
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Particles larger than 20 micron are the most damaging to an engine. Below 20 micron are less damaging until you get down to 1-2 micron range which it would take a lot of to do damage. This is why bypass filtration is so much better than conventional spin-on filters at 20 micron because it filters down to 1-2 microns. That's how they drastically extend engine oil life.
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#4596807 - 12/07/17 07:09 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: StevieC]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 4893
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
The OP's question was vaguely phrased at best.

When "sub 20 micron" particles go through lubrication systems the ones shaped like sugar cubes do the most damage. The ones which resemble spheres or velvet covered footballs cause the least.

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#4596835 - 12/07/17 07:39 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20244
Loc: Upstate NY
Bypass is cost effective for diesel engines that go many hundreds of thousands of miles and have large oil sumps. So oil changes are several hundred dollars.

A decent filter and reasonable OCI will allow a normal car engine to not be what causes the car to go to the boneyard. Filtering so that the engine is in pristine condition when the car goes to the boneyard makes no economic sense.
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2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
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#4596876 - 12/07/17 08:33 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
goodtimes Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2661
Loc: california
1/4 micron appx., below 1/2 micron, other larger sand particles will scratch but will eventually wear down into smaller particles. Particles imbed in soft metals and then become grinders until they wear down or are torn out of the matrix. They cut diamonds with copper discs, and diamond saws with sintered edges use the same idea, imbed the particle to present it to the surface to be ground or cut.

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#4596888 - 12/07/17 08:41 AM Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4]
Ducked Offline


Registered: 10/25/12
Posts: 4074
Loc: Taiwan
Coincidentally (?) this came up just recently. Shannow posted a good overview paper for diesel engines.

http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/31/30453.pdf

The bulk of the wear is caused by particles below 10 microns. Since there are situations (cam lobes, gears) where the parts are in boundary lubrication with zero clearance, there is no particle size too small to cause wear.

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