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Particle Size Question #4596705
12/07/17 01:10 AM
12/07/17 01:10 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline OP
Merkava_4  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
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?

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596715
12/07/17 01:37 AM
12/07/17 01:37 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,941
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline
ZeeOSix  Offline
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,941
PNW
It won't go through your engine if you use an efficient oil filter. laugh

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: ZeeOSix] #4596719
12/07/17 01:59 AM
12/07/17 01:59 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline OP
Merkava_4  Offline OP
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
What if the particle is smaller than 20 microns and goes through the filter; is it safe at that size?

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: ZeeOSix] #4596726
12/07/17 02:31 AM
12/07/17 02:31 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,869
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,869
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.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 85k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 230k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596727
12/07/17 02:33 AM
12/07/17 02:33 AM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,869
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,869
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).


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 85k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 230k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596734
12/07/17 03:26 AM
12/07/17 03:26 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,315
NJ
Leo99 Offline
Leo99  Offline
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,315
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?


Without data you're just another person with an opinion. W. E. Deming

2003 Corolla 250,000 miles
2004 Rav4 359,000 miles
2015 Camry 59,000 miles
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Nick1994] #4596735
12/07/17 03:40 AM
12/07/17 03:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,941
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline
ZeeOSix  Offline
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,941
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.

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Leo99] #4596738
12/07/17 03:44 AM
12/07/17 03:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,941
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline
ZeeOSix  Offline
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 18,941
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.

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596741
12/07/17 05:04 AM
12/07/17 05:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25,588
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Garak Offline
Garak  Offline
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25,588
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.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596780
12/07/17 07:25 AM
12/07/17 07:25 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,992
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,992
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.

Last edited by ZZman; 12/07/17 07:33 AM.

2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596784
12/07/17 07:29 AM
12/07/17 07:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,486
Ontario, Canada
StevieC Offline
StevieC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,486
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.


'18 Dodge Grand Caravan GT - Valvoline (Break-in)
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: StevieC] #4596807
12/07/17 08:09 AM
12/07/17 08:09 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,734
Champlain/Hudson Valley
Kira Offline
Kira  Offline
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,734
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.

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596835
12/07/17 08:39 AM
12/07/17 08:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,822
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 20,822
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.


2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596876
12/07/17 09:33 AM
12/07/17 09:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,077
Tennessee
goodtimes Offline
goodtimes  Offline
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,077
Tennessee
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.

Re: Particle Size Question [Re: Merkava_4] #4596888
12/07/17 09:41 AM
12/07/17 09:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,778
Taiwan
Ducked Online content
Ducked  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,778
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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