The HydacLab condition-monitoring sensor simultaneously measures fluid temperature, water content, viscosity, and dielectric constant.

The HydacLab condition-monitoring sensor simultaneously measures fluid temperature, water content, viscosity, and dielectric constant.


The HydacLab is among the most-sophisticated oil-condition-monitoring sensors. It houses four individual sensing elements in a probe which simultaneously measure temperature, water content, viscosity changes, and the dielectric constant. The unit does not measure absolute variations in viscosity and dielectric constant and must reference values against a baseline for contaminant-free oil. Nevertheless, it reliably assesses overall oil conditions.

In general, oil viscosity and polarity increase with age as a result of physical stress, thermal (oxidative) degradation, and hydrolytic breakdown. These processes often lead to acidic by-products, polymerization, and sludge.

Consequently, tracking changes in oil viscosity and dielectric constant helps pinpoint when to replace fluid. In addition to fluid aging, HydacLab also identifies cross-contamination resulting from top-offs with the wrong oil and ingression of process fluids into hydraulic and lubricating systems. This is because such mixing causes wholesale changes in fluid viscosity and dielectric constant.

Proper interpretation and trending of HydacLab data can, therefore, help head off potential fluid-related problems, eliminating unplanned shutdowns, unnecessary fluid replacements, and generating considerable savings in equipment maintenance. The sensor can also activate machine-protection switching outputs.


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