Cleanliness directly relates to product warranties, reliability, performance and safety issues.
It has long been known that a dirty product gives us poor quality and low life expectancy.
The dirtier the transmission from new, the less time it will last.
It is crucial now to identify particles and their source so that effective elimination can be achieved.
Residual contamination consists of particles that persist on the component’s surface after the final step in manufacturing.
Such contaminants are introduced via parts from suppliers or arise during processing.
After vehicle assembly, the contaminant particles can cause severe damage, loss of function or reduce the lifetime of the product.
Examples of automotive parts that may require filter analysis:
Engine and powertrain components (valves, camshafts, crankshafts, gear, wheels etc.)
Hydraulic components (ABS, ESP, power-steering etc.)
Fuel supply components (valves, hoses, elements of hose pipes)
Methods used for evaluating
cleanliness levels (extracting,
analysing and expressing results) are covered by the standard ISO 16232.
When determing the contamination of components (i.e. after components have undergone their standard cleaning process)
sample parts are selected and cleaned again in a defined and controlled manner.
The method of cleaning (e.g. ultrasonic bath, rinsing), the cleaning fluid (e.g. water, alcohol),
the volume of cleaning fluid and other parameters are part of the production evaluation process and subject to strict specifications.
The cleaning fluid is then passed through a filter membrane which will entrap the residual particles.
In this stage the membrane type (Cellulose, Teflon, Polyester net) will have an influence on the number and size of captured particles.
After this process the filter is dried and one of the following methods is used to determine cleanliness.
Method of Determining Technical Cleanliness:
|Gravimetry (weighing)||Weight per analysis|
|Microscopic counting||Particle distribution, largest particles, metal - non-metal content|
|Raster electronic microscopy (REM EDX)||Material analysis, element distribution|