Optical particle counters work with a so-called “light blocking method”. The medium under investigation is illuminated using LEDs or laser light. The particles to be counted are individually measured optically and the number and size of the particles are evaluated electrically using numerical methods. With particle counters, the hydraulic fluid is analyzed continuously, automatically and almost in real time. This ensures complete documentation of the conditions according to cleanliness class so that changes can be responded to in good time.
It is important to monitor the condition of hydraulic fluids as over 80% of failures are due to particulate contamination. The hydraulic oil must be checked for its actual degree of contamination, as the filter performance requirements vary depending on the ambient conditions. Removing the oil from the system and examining it under a microscope is both imprecise and very time-consuming.
Particle counters permanently monitor the hydraulic oil, so that quick action can be taken if the oil purity deteriorates and, for example, the hydraulic filters can be changed.