Oils have the potential to create varnish – an insoluble film that forms inside the lubrication and hydraulic systems. If left unchecked, varnish contamination leads to valve sticking and the formation of deposits on metal surfaces throughout these systems. If these deposits occur on heat exchangers or reservoir walls, the varnish reduces the equipment’s ability to transfer heat from the system.
Power generation equipment and hydraulic systems have seen an increase in varnish-related issues due to higher operating temperatures, smaller reservoirs and the creation of electrostatic discharge. Successful removal and elimination of varnish in the turbine lube oil is essential to the operation of efficient, cost-effective systems.