The most common micro-organisms in oils are harmful bacteria and fungi. Hydrocarbon deteriorating micro-organisms can only survive in hydraulic and lubricating systems if there are access to water and oxygen. Generally, micro-organisms start producing surfactants and bio-polymers (slime) when they come into contact with oils which they can break down. During the break-down of oil, its properties change.
Microbial growth can block your system and bypass filters and leads to sticky deposits on close-clearance mechanical components, resulting in servo valve hanging problems and associated turbine trips.
Taking this into consideration it is important to remove bacteria before it becomes too large a problem.
Previously, additives in the oil could inhibit micro organic growth. Today, however, such additives have been replaced by more environmentally friendly compounds so as to limit the damage in case of an oil spill.
Micro organic growth is therefore now more likely to occur in hydraulic and lubricating oil systems than before.
For this reason, IKM Ocean Team recommends increased focus on follow-up and maintenance of oil quality. Shorter intervals between preventive oil-care maintenance is required and can provide considerable savings in the long run. IKM Ocean Team has vast experience in bacterial clean-up and to remove micro organic growth, not only from hydraulic and lubricating oil systems but also from diesel fuel systems and process systems on marine vessels and offshore applications.