Bendix oil-coalescing air treatment technology increasingly important to fleets

As commercial vehicle technology advances and expands the use of air for non-braking functions, it is more important than ever to protect vehicles' air systems from contamination to ensure longevity and performance.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC reminds fleets and owner-operators that the use of BendixPuraGuardoil-coalescing air dryers, coupled with regular cartridge maintenance, is a crucial part of keeping air systems, oil-sensitive components, and vehicles functioning safely on the roadways.

More than 40 years ago, Bendix – the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies – revolutionized commercial vehicles by inventing the air dryer to provide clean, dry air to reservoirs, valves, and other components. Installed between the compressor and reservoirs, the air dryer collects and removes solid, liquid, and aerosol contaminants such as water and oil before they enter the air brake system and jeopardize efficient operation. To date, Bendix has produced more than 10 million air dryers, including more than 50,000 PuraGuardoil-coalescing air dryer cartridges, since its launch in 2009.

Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing air dryer cartridges are highly proficient at preventing oil – as well as other contaminants – from entering a vehicle's air system, thereby protecting a variety of downstream parts and systems. Oil can be particularly harmful to an air system, contributing to premature damage in a variety of components such as push-pull dash valves, spring brake modulating valves, and brake chamber diaphragms. And oil-deteriorated seals can cause air system leaks that may be negatively noted during roadside inspection. 

With the impact of CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) on fleets and owner-operators, taking steps to ensure system integrity is even more important today. Oil contamination can lead to the failure of any system that relies on clean air for proper operation, including the air brake, engine, emission, and drivetrain systems. These systems include a variety of advanced technologies required to meet stricter emissions regulations on vehicles built after 2007 and 2010, as well as technologies that fleets are increasingly adopting to improve productivity and fuel economy. BendixPuraGuardoil-coalescing technology protects a variety of expensive vehicle systems, including safety-critical brake components, diesel particulate filters (DPFs), Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems, transmissions, and more. These advanced systems are extremely sensitive to oil contamination, and steps to reduce their exposure, such as using Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing cartridges, can potentially save a fleet thousands in future repair costs.

"Air dryers using Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing air dryer cartridges help fleet owners and operators protect their investments by preserving not just braking systems, but also the costly advanced emissions and powertrain systems on today's trucks and buses," said Mark McCollough, Bendix vice president and general manager for the Charging business group. "We provide fleets with a solution that outperforms the competition in removing oil and other contaminants from the air brake system. As a result, we're helping fleets keep their vehicles on the road, increase their service cycles, and reduce their maintenance costs."

One of the features that sets the Bendix PuraGuard solution above the competition is the placement of the oil-coalescing material. Bendix places the material before the desiccant, ensuring that oil and oil aerosols are removed before they reach the important moisture-removing desiccant. Competitive designs filter oil after it passes through the desiccant, which contaminates the desiccant and diminishes its ability to remove moisture. In competitive designs, oil reaches the desiccant in both the charge cycle and again in the purge cycle, which pushes the oil back through the desiccant, further contaminating it and reducing its useful life. The Bendix design removes more oil, improving performance and potentially prolonging the life of the filter.

Another distinguishing feature of the Bendixspin-on cartridge design for Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing air dryers resides in a patented check valve. Coalescing filters are more efficient when air flows only in one direction through the coalescing media. The Bendixpatented check valve enables this one-way flow and makes Bendix oil-coalescing technology even more efficient than the available competitor's design.

Of course, ensuring effective performance of an air dryer over time means replacing air dryer filters on a regular basis. For better air dryer performance, non-oil-coalescing cartridges can be upgraded to the BendixPuraGuardoil-coalescing cartridge. If the Bendix PuraGuard oil-coalescing cartridge is an OEM standard, it must be replaced with a like unit. When replacing cartridges, fleets need to beware of low-cost and counterfeit cartridges, which are not as effective as original OEM equipment. To ensure fleet owners and operators are using genuine parts, Bendix PuraGuard cartridges feature an embossed silver medallion on the top, as well as the PuraGuard logo on the side.

Preventive Maintenance – As Easy as 1-2-3

Adhering to a strict preventive maintenance schedule is crucial to keeping a vehicle's air system clean and ensuring superior performance. Depending on vocation, Bendix recommends a one-, two-, or three-year air dryer cartridge replacement on vehicles equipped with a Bendix compressor. For severe service applications, such as residential refuse trucks or school buses, the air dryer cartridge should be replaced every year or 100,000 miles; for pick up and delivery operations, or for double- and triple-trailer line haul trucks, every two years or 200,000 miles is recommended. Line haul operations using a single trailer should swap the filter out every three years or 300,000 miles. Recommended intervals for trucks equipped with non-Bendix compressors are six months (50,000 miles), one year (100,000 miles), and two years (200,000 miles), respectively. 

More frequent intervals may be required depending on a vehicle's age, its compressor condition, the operating environment, the vehicle's vocation, and its usage. In conjunction with the guidelines, fleets can determine the functionality of their filters by checking for moisture in the air brake system monthly. If moisture is present, the air dryer cartridge may require replacement.

"In addition to the guidelines for maintenance noted, fleets who acquire used trucks should change the air dryer cartridge as part of their prep work to bring the truck into operation," noted Fred Andersky, director of marketing – Charging. "Changing the cartridge and sticking to a maintenance schedule, like our 1-2-3 approach, helps ensure long life and improved reliability of the air system, critical components, and the truck itself. Bottom line, the right air dryer and cartridge can help a fleet and owner-operator lower their operating costs."

BendixPuraGuardoil-coalescing cartridges are now available for Bendix's AD-9, AD-IS, AD-IP, and AD-SPair dryers, as well as for many competitive air dryers.

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