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Oil Cooler Maintenance

45 Heales Road, Lara VIC, Australia 3212
Phone +61 3 5275 6644 Facsimile +61 3 5275 3333

Oil Coolers are designed to give maximum life with minimum maintenance, thus providing efficient
reliable service to the end operators. There are environmental conditions however, which reduce the
efficiency of the oil cooler both internally and externally, thus reducing the performance.

The following information gives a brief description of the various procedures and methods involved in
internal and external cleaning.

CLEANING & TESTING one of many other equivalent detergents.

A low pressure (175 kPa) steam jet is
also effective in removal of external
A) External Cleaning of Oil Cooler
stubborn dirt.
It is essential that the air passages through the
oil cooler core be kept reasonably free from B) Internal Cleaning of Oil Cooler
obstruction. Excessively fouled oil cooler cores
could cause a significant drop in cooling air If quality oil is used, within the temperature
quantity, with a resultant increase in oil range specified by the oil and equipment
temperatures. Regular inspection will manufacturers, little or no internal cleaning
determine the regularity of external cleaning should be necessary. However, if due to
necessary. neglect or equipment failure, scale or foreign
material has entered the inside of the oil cooler
core it generally follows that the whole system
Cleaning Methods: will need cleaning internally.

1. When dust accumulation is not severe, Cleaning Method:

brushing down of the approach air side
of the core faces in recommended. A Remove system from oil cooler panel and drain
soft type of brush is recommended so as remaining oil. Connect a pump/filter system to
not to damage or deform the core fins. reverse flush the oil cooler panel with a flow
If necessary, this could be followed by rate up to 11.36 l/s (150 GPM) filtered to 10
blowing compressed air at no greater microns.
than 700 kPa through the air side of the
oil cooler panels in the opposite direction Procedure:
to the normal air flow until loose material 1. Flush the unit with approved cleaning
is blown free. agent filtered to 10 microns.
2. Forward and reverse flush.
2. If the fin and tube exterior surfaces 3. Purge excess cleaning agent.
become caked with dirt, through neglect, 4. Oil fog all interior surfaces.
washing and hosing down with detergent
5. Seal unit for storage, shipment or re-
and hot water may clean stubborn areas.
install oil cooler panel.
Shell Teepol or Turco Sokleen (diluted in
water) are suitable for this purpose, or

Air Radiators TECHNICAL INFORMATION BULLETIN No. 50 31st May, 2001 Page 1 of 2
Oil Cooler Maintenance

It is strongly recommended that unless suitable 5. Operating outside oil and equipment
cleaning equipment is available, the oil cooler manufacturer's specification.
is sent to a recognised oil cooler repair 6. Poor maintenance of oil cooler.
company, suitably equipped to handle 7. Operating environment.
industrial oil cooler equipment.
Oil coolers correctly installed, mounted and
Throughout the design and production phases, maintained will offer long life without major
oil coolers are subjected to rigorous testing cost to the operator.
procedures. Therefore, failures are
investigated with great interest to identify the Oil coolers by themselves will not fail - most
cause. failures are the result of lack of maintenance of
the system, causing erosion and corrosion of
Most failures can be attributed to: the oil cooler panel.
1. Poor or incorrect installation, and/or
mounting. Therefore, regular checks are essential to
2. Operating unit above pressure rating of minimise both the cost of repair and down
oil cooler. time.
3. High and sudden pressure spikes.
4. Using incorrect oil.

For further information, contact Air Radiators.

Ph: +61 3 5275 6644 Fax: +61 3 5275 3333 Email: mail@airrads.com.au

Issue: 1 Date: 31/05/01

ECN: Approval:

Uncontrolled Document - This copy will not be automatically updated.

Air Radiators TECHNICAL INFORMATION BULLETIN No. 49 31st May, 2001 Page 2 of 2