Frequent asked questions
? – What is micro filtration?
Ultra-high efficiency filtration filters down to a submicron level leading to an overall cleanliness level superior to normal full flow filtration. The filtration system utilizes patented compression technology in combination with depth media to ensure the highest filtration efficiencies.
? – What is the difference between micro filtration and standard filtration?
Every engine and automatic transmission is equipped with a standard or full flow filter, which removes the large particles that could cause immediate damage to vehicle systems. But because an adequate flow of fluid through the filter must be maintained, the element has to be permeable, resulting in a filtering of particles no smaller than 10 to 15 micron. However, the majority of contaminants are much smaller than 10 micron, and they can easily pass through a standard filter. Bypass filtration is necessary to filter out 5-10% of fluid flow, thus avoiding any counter pressures caused by placing additional filtration directly into the oil circuit.
? – What are the benefits of micro filtration?
Micro filtration results in superior fluid cleanliness for any lubrication or power transmission fluid system, including automatic transmission fluid (ATF), engine oils and hydraulic oils. Overall, micro filtration results in fewer malfunctions, reduced downtime, reduction of waste oil and increased equipment life.
? – Why do I need additional filtration (other than factory equipped)?
Factory full flow filters are designed to provide a minimum screening of particulates (15 micron or larger particles of soot and carbon) to keep ongoing bearing protection and still maintain a specified flow rate but in turn it loses a considerable amount of oil cleanliness. Ninety percent of engine wear is from particulates between .5 and 2.0 micron in size.
The NTF filtration system removes contamination particulates down to .5 micron in size. The reason for adding a NTF filter to your existing system is to clean the lube oil, allowing the engine to run on clean oil 100% of the time. By keeping the oil clean you are eliminating over 90% of most engine wear.
? – What about acid build-up within the engine?
Corrosive acid is formed primarily from sulphur blow-by in the combustion process. When sulphur particles combine with moisture in the crankcase, acid is formed, which in turn reduces the TBN or the amount of alkaline base material in the oil. If one of the two products needed to form this acid (sulphur particles and moisture) is removed from the oil, excessive acid formation cannot take place. The NTF bypass filter maintains a high and acceptable TBN level by removing the moisture in the lube oil. To combat the non-sulphuric acids that may form in minute quantities (due to atmospheric oxidation), any small amounts of alkaline base reserve that are used is replenished with the addition of make-up oil at the time of servicing the NTF bypass oil filter.
? – Why have the major manufacturers not installed the NTF filter system as the engine/transmission is manufactured?
There are two classic basic reasons: First, adding aftermarket products as factory equipment drives up the price of the products. Secondly, the manufacturers have planned obsolescence built into the engines to enable them to keep selling replacement parts and engines to you the consumer. Manufacturers are slowly changing their view however. They concentrate more and more on life time extension and low maintenance costs to gain and keep a competitive market position. Due to this trend micro filtration does gain their interest. In fact 2 large car manufacturers apply NTF filter systems on their automatic transmissions.
? – What is your warranty protection?
All of NTF’s filtration systems carry a 3-year warranty on workmanship, materials and equipment breakdown caused by NTF filter systems. Our filters also carry a 100% satisfaction GUARANTEE! I’ve heard that oil „breaks down“ during service and must be replaced at regular intervals to protect engines and hydraulic systems from damage.
Most experts agree that the basic properties of oil do not change during service. Oil can, however, become contaminated by particles and moisture to the point that it cannot protect the lubricating system from wear and corrosion. Contamination can be reduced and maintained at low levels with the use of ultra-fine filtration. NTF ultra-fine filtration can extend the useful life of oil 80-90% in engine crankcase lubrication systems.
I have full flow filters on all my equipment. Aren’t full flow filters adequate for keeping oil clean?
Full flow filters do what they are designed to do, which is to remove solids in the 10-25 micron range. They are not designed to remove particles in the so-called wear range (the 2-10 micron clearances found in bearings, pumps and valves), nor do they remove moisture or varnish compounds which form in oil. Over the life of the equipment (even well maintained equipment) varnishes and sludge can form on parts and clog valves, seals, pumps and fluid passages.
? – How does NTF maintain oil at levels of cleanliness which are superior to new oil?
New oil frequently contains particles in the wear range which exceeds the maximum contamination levels specified by the equipment manufacturer! By removing particles in the wear range, as well as the moisture and varnishes which form in oil during service, NTF actually maintains oil at cleanliness levels which exceed the new oil and equipment manufacturers‘ specifications.
? – If I install an NTF filter on my operating engine, won’t it starve my engine of lubricating oil?
No! The principal behind our 30-year success is that the system is hooked into the oil circuit „IN BYPASS.“ Even you would create a complete blockage on both the inlet and outlet lines of the NTF unit the full flow system would still be doing its job. In reality conventional oil filters can never filter effectively. They are placed in main stream of the oil circuit and need to be relatively coarse to guarantee a sufficient flow rate. The best possible retention values of these full flow filters in use today are approximately 15 micron. You must add oil to the engine to equal the volume contained in the filtration canister and connecting line. But the flow rate through the NTF element is small compared to the oil flow to the engine. No changes in oil pressure or volume will be detectable. We strongly recommend that part of the savings from using NTF be spent on quarterly oil analysis (or analysis at the usual oil change intervals). This will provide better information on engine conditions than oil changes alone, and provide assurance that the additive package and particle count in the oil makes it suitable for continued use.
? – Does reclaiming oil with the use of ultra-fine filtration restore the original color of the oil?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Some industrial lubricating fluids will show dramatic recovery of their original color, possibly to the point at which it cannot be distinguished from new fluid. Nearly every fluid will show some visible improvement in cleanliness with the removal of moisture and particles in the „wear range“ (.5-15 micron) for engines and hydraulic/lubricating systems. The dark color that will remain is the dyeing effect the carbon ash has on the oil molecules. We rely on laboratory analysis to tell us how clean the oil is and that the oil is suitable for continued service.
? – How can I learn more?
NTF is happy to answer any questions you have about micro filtration, or about particular projects in which we’re currently involved. For more information, contact us by phone, fax or e-mail.