Have you ever heard of “varnish contamination”? If not, you may be missing one of the biggest problems you can encounter in industrial machines. Correcting lube oil varnish problems right away can increase the life and productivity of your machines.

What is Varnish?

Varnish is a byproduct created in machine oil over time. Most oil stays very soluble as long as it stays warm. When machine oil cools, however, varnish is created as the oil becomes less soluble. This is what creates the cloudy look in old machine oil.

How is Varnish Harmful?

Varnish degrades the ability of the oil to properly lubricate machine and engine parts. Simply put, too much varnish will eventually lead to an engine or mechanical failure. To increase productivity and limit downtime, it is critical to ensure all your lube oil varnish is kept under control.

How Do I Deal with Lube Oil Varnish?

Choosing the proper oil is a great start. Different machine types and manufacturers have different oil requirements. Work with your machine’s manufacturer to choose the proper oil to make your machine work at its most efficient and to minimize varnish. Always stick to manufacturer recommendations, even if these seem more expensive than using other oils. Many of today’s machine oils contain ingredients that prevent varnish and other types of fluid contamination. In addition, your manufacturer may recommend additives that reduce varnish creation. If recommended, it is important to use these according to guidelines.

Machine down time is one of the most expensive problems any manufacturing company can have. Varnish can cause everything from the need for minor repairs to overall machine failure. The extra money you spend on more expensive oil or the proper additive is well worth preventing the machine downtime varnish can cause.

Clean Oil Versus Dirty Oil

Though dirty oil and oil with varnish are not exactly the same thing, these often occur at the same time. Ensuring clean oil will help to minimize varnish. Of course, manufacturing machines don’t have a simple “oil change option” like you find in a car. This is another good reason to use the right kind of oil and work with your machine’s manufacturer to understand the products and processes that will help prevent lube oil varnish in your machines.

Varnish can cause major problems in many different types of machines. Working with the right experts can save you time and money by ensuring you use the right oils to minimize lube oil varnish.

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