March 5, 2018

Desiccant Breathers for Optimal Lubricant Filtration

Desiccant Breathers

Desiccant Breathers

What Are Desiccant Breathers

You’re most likely familiar with the small packets of plastic pearls that come inside a box of new shoes – desiccants – hygroscopic substances used as drying agents, removing humidity and reducing particulate and moisture contamination. Desiccant breathers are used in a similar capacity for lubricant filtration in multiple applications and across many different industries. Desiccant breathers improve an engine’s efficiency and extend its lifespan. Moisture and particulate contamination in valuable equipment can cause serious problems, lowering an engine’s efficiency and potentially causing costly downtime for repairs or even worse, replacement.

How They Work

Silica, also known as silica dioxide is the primary element found within desiccant breathers. According to Wikipedia, it is a “hard, unreactive, colorless compound that occurs largely as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks.” It is one of the most abundant families of materials in the world, found as a compound of several different minerals and produced as a synthetic product in the form of fuzed quartz, fumed silica, silica gel and aerogels. Desiccant breathers are layered silica filters where particulate material is removed and moisture is absorbed by desiccant beads. Whether your equipment is running or turned off, a desiccant breather is actively drying your equipment by stripping moisture from within fluid reservoirs.

Essential Moisture Protection

According to SCL account manager Troy Hudson, “Desiccant breathers passively absorb extra moisture from your oil or fuel tanks. There’s moisture everywhere… in the air we breathe, and in particular around coastal areas. Moisture and humidity can cause rust to corrode or algae to bloom in your gas tank, which causes serious problems. In diesel fuel especially, this can happen very quickly, creating a lot of damage. When algae begins to grow inside of your tank, replacing fuel tanks can be a huge expense. If you have fuel or oil tanks, you should have desiccant breathers to ensure product integrity. SCL had a customer with algae blooms in their tank that required a $20k replacement, plus the cost of tank disposal and the replacement of lost and ruined product. You can bet that they now have a desiccant breather.”

Desiccant Breather Investment

Depending on the size of the breather based on the size of your equipment and the amount of air it can intake at once, a desiccant breather will vary in price between $25-$200. Different engines have different requirements, from an ambulance up to an 18-wheeler, it all depends on the size. When an injection system is outfitted correctly with a desiccant breather that is optimal for its size and application, contamination ingression – the going in or entering of contaminants at vulnerable ingression points is greatly reduced. Protecting critical fluids is essential, and desiccant breathers are an affordable method for preventing the unwanted introduction of moisture and particulate contaminants from entering fluid reservoirs. There are multiple desiccant breather options available on the market, from Des-Case to Air Sentry, among many others. At SCL, our subject matter experts on optimal lubricant filtration will support you in choosing the desiccant breather that will best suit your specific application.

Contact an SCL Consultant Today

In a wide range of industrial sectors, we’re here to protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving, and we pride ourselves on providing superior logistics and solutions, extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. No matter where the future of the automotive industry is headed, we will be there to deliver what you need to keep you in motion.  For information on how we can assist you in choosing the optimal products for your vehicle at a competitive price, contact an SCL consultant today.