Filter Debris Analysis


What the…?

FDA is exactly what it says on the tin, analysis of the debris from within a filter!

FDA can be carried out on and provide beneficial data for any filter from any fluid filled system. The benefits are huge however we will speak specifically today on the wear debris analysis phase of FDA.


Why on earth..?

Filter Debris AnalysisWould you like to know if wear is occurring in your asset? Would you like to also know the type of wear and possible repercussions that may be heading your way? If so carry out FDA… its that simple.

During routine oil analysis we try to take samples before any filters, so that within the sample we capture any insoluble particles that are circulating within the lubricating system. This is good practice so we can try to understand where the contaminants are originating and how to control or stop them.

However, we only sample periodically, maybe monthly, quarterly. There are masses of particles which we do not see in between samples, these particles are then hidden away by the filter media.

There are of course many more reasons for FDA to be carried out, one of which being to reduce the interval between filter changes. Coupled with regular ISO analysis on your lubricant samples we can help you determine the capacity to which the filters are being utilised. This will help industries save thousands of pounds which can then be spent elsewhere.



Ok so we want to find out what is happening within our filtered asset, it sounds clunky oil results have been less than satisfactory…

The debris is extracted from the filter without destruction of the actual filter media. The debris is then run through many instruments such as the ICP to allow us to categorise and quantify the elementals within the debris. For example, the ICP will allow us to see the concentrations of wear metals such as Iron, Copper, Chromium through to the amount of silicon in there which could be indicative of ingested contaminants.

Example data for an FDA report:

FDA Report

The second phase of the analysis is to manually evaluate the physical characteristics of the debris particles, this allows us to diagnose how the particle came to circulate the system. The topography, colour size and shape allow us to identify the type of wear which may be occurring or what the particle is!

This came from this..

FDA Image

Who would benefit from it being done or who needs it?
All filtered assets however large fleet industries can save lots of money by reducing the amount of filter changes carried out while improving reliability at the same time!

When does it need to be done?
On filter change

How will it be done?
A filter is sent to the lab in as sterile a way as possible by the customer then we work our magic

To receive emails full of information articles like this, please subscribe to our newsletter, Reliability with Lubrication.


* indicates required

By clicking “Subscribe” you are confirming that you agree with our privacy policy and agree to us using your information to be added to our mailing list. We will never sell or share your details with third parties.


June 8, 2021 Jade Thompson  Oil Analysis