MH Hydraulics FZC, a leading hydraulic solutions provider in the Middle East, emphasises the need to use a desiccant breather as a first line of defence in preventing contaminants from ruining equipment

Lubricant contamination is one of the leading causes for machine failure, and this contamination can begin even before the lubricant enters the machine. Gearboxes, pumps, and reservoirs must 'breathe' and each time a unit breathes in, it brings with it all sorts of small debris and moisture, depending on the operating environment.

Studies have shown 50 to 70 per cent of lubricant contamination can come from outside the equipment. Other studies show it costs about 10 times as much to remove contamination as it does to exclude it. There are two primary types of contamination: dirt and water.

Over time, the effects of this contamination can damage the equipment, lubricant, and cause hydraulic pumps and valves to wear prematurely resulting in hydraulic system failures.

As most equipment and machines are designed to 'breathe', protecting the inflow of ambient air is vital for protection and reliable operation. As a first line of defence, we use a desiccant breather. This unique air filter and water vapour removal system combines a drying media with filters to prevent water and microscopic particulates from entering the system, and to remove water from the reservoir to prevent condensation.

Gearboxes require lubrication because they have moving components that transmit power through rotation. They are extremely vulnerable to malfunctions if contaminated or improperly lubricated. This means that contaminants can not only affect the lubricant but the moving surfaces to cause wear, leading to component failure.

Contamination ingress occurs in a few predictable places on a gearbox: The seals and standard OEM breathers. Additionally, contamination can occur during maintenance and operating conditions also impact contamination rates.

Desiccant breathers are commonly installed to enhance contaminant protection; it is wise to install a high-grade breather or exhaust tube in industrial gearboxes to eliminate moisture and airborne debris before they infiltrate your equipment and lead to costly repairs and operational down time.

Dessicant breathers from US-based Des-Case provide simple, yet dependable protection from contamination in lubricants and equipment across multiple industries and applications. These versatile breathers are five times more effective than the leading non-desiccant breathers, providing optimal defence against humidity for your applications.

The technical article in our online edition ( highlights why prevention is always a better choice than shutting down to fix a problem after it occurs.