The two biggest enemies of hydraulic fluid are water and high temperature. Water not only prevents hydraulic fluid from lubricating components, but it can alter chemical additive mixtures in a fluid, rendering them less effective and dramatically shortening fluid life. Excessive heat causes oxidation of the oil — again, rendering it less effective and shortening its life.

A new tool in the battle against water and heat is the Testmate Water Sensor (TWS-C), which continuously monitors water content and temperature of hydraulic and lubricating oils. Introduced by Schroeder Industries, Leetsdale, Pa., the TWS-C measures water content relative to the percent saturation of the fluid. Measurements range from zero (indicating no water) to 100 (indicating 100% water).

How it works
A capacitance sensor absorbs water molecules from the fluid and changes the capacity value that is directly related to the saturation level of the fluid. An integrated thermoelement on the sensor measures the temperature of the fluid from –13° to 212° F (–25° to 100° C). Temperature and the degree of saturation are reported as 4- to 20-mA signals.

The TWS-C can be directly installed into a hydraulic system via its threaded connection. Schroeder recommends the sensor be mounted vertically in a known turbulent area with the mechanical connection pointing upwards. In addition, the sensor should be fully submerged, with fluid flowing freely around the sensor.

For additional information, call (724) 318-1100 or visit www.schroederindustries.com