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Understanding contamination

Contamination is a primary cause of component wear or failure. You should identify the source and take corrective action to remedy the contamination; doing so will ultimately help extend component and lubricant life while improving equipment reliability. Three general sources of contamination include:

  1. Built-in contamination – Contamination from component manufacturing process or from the installation process.
  2. Self-generated contamination - Contamination from system components worn or damaged by other contamination particles.
  3. External ingression - Contamination from external sources.

The following elements can help identify contamination:

Elements and their potential contamination sources.

Points to consider from contamination.

Use this chart to better understand common contaminants, their effects and remedies.

Contaminants, their effects, and their remedies.

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