What is a breather?

When industrial machinery goes through a heating and cooling cycle, components will often expand and contract, building up internal pressure. While vent caps can help to expel air, they open the chamber up to aggregators and moisture.

Even the tiniest particles can be corrosive. Dirt can also contribute to the oxidation of oil, increasing humidity and the accumulation of condensation. When water mixes with lubrication it becomes far less effective, posing a friction risk to solid moving parts. This can lead to failure of components such as bearings and gears, resulting in the need for costly maintenance.

So how can machinery prevent contamination while also expelling pressurised air?

Standard dust caps can be replaced by a breather – this component offers better filtration and protection against contaminants coming in from the ambient environment. The Pulsarlube AIR® Desiccant Breathers from Alemlube offer a highly effective and proactive measure to ensure a clean fluid system, requiring fewer filter changes. When considering which breather to install on a hydraulic or oil system, efficiency and cost for service life are amongst key factors.

This design works by combining several co-active elements to get the best results. An activated carbon filter removes moisture, fumes and odour, while an electret filter serves to remove smaller particles with an electrostatic charge. The desiccant silica gel absorbs moisture from incoming air, turning from orange to green to visually indicate to operators when a changeover is required. A baffle plate protects the silica gel from oil mist contamination, and oil absorbent foam helps to keep mist out of the reservoir.

For industrial businesses, the investment in such a crucial component will mitigate the risk of breakdown and the potential ramifications. According to Alemlube, 80% of all failure and damage to hydraulic systems, gears and bearings can be attributed to contamination and moisture. Rebuilding a gearbox can cost thousands of dollars on top of downtime and additional labour, potentially halting production altogether. By fitting hydraulic systems with a desiccant breather, OEMs can ensure fewer issues down the track, and significant cost savings.

These caps are simple to install and replace, and are suitable for a range of applications including hydraulic reservoirs, industrial gearboxes, transformers, IBC and fluid tanks, and mobile equipment.

As an Australian-owned company that prides itself of progressive and innovative customer care, Alemlube is mindful of the day-to-day challenges of equipment maintenance. Their full range of solution-base products is backed by many years of expertise in technical design, and can be sourced through Motion Australia’s national supply network.  

Eddie the Engineer recommends the Pulsarlube AIR® Desiccant Breathers

Longer shelf life
This product is sold in a non-permeable, triple layer film packaging to guarantee longer shelf life compared to similar products. 

Eco-friendly silica gel
This gel turns dark green from orange to signal when moisture is being absorbed.

Extended service life
Higher absorption rates due to the greater volume of silica gel.

Effective removal of contaminants
Superior contamination control with a combined system of carbon and electret filter, with a secure baffle plate.

Key features

• Maximum absorption capacity of 538ml for 1320g size ADB

• Maximum airflow of 20cfm

• Maximum reservoir fluid flow of 150gpm

• Mounting connection 1” slip felt with 1”, 1/2” & 3/8” BSP Adaptors available

• Available in 1,320g, 660g & 440g sizes of 100% silica desiccant gel