What do Magnets Have to Do with Hydraulic Maintenance Schedules? One of the most exciting products that I’ve seen for a while is the FilterMag. In fact, people often ask me what the small transparent bottle is on my desk. It’s filled with vegetable oil and iron shavings. When you put the FilterMag product on the bottle, you’ll see that the shavings will be pulled over to to a magnet. The FilterMag is a rounded magnet that has been especially engineered for keeping hydraulic systems clean. This product can save your hydraulic system from becoming clogged and mechanically damaged by small but potentially very dangerous particles. What’s great about these magnets is that they are reusable. They can be used in conjunction with filters, with the idea that they will catch what the filter has missed. Metal particles that are allowed to go on the rampage in hydraulic systems can very destructive and cause a lot of damage. Even with normal wear in a hydraulic system, metal particles are produced. They then travel through the components of the system causing utter mayhem. One of the major problems with these particles is the fact that they are so small. Filtration systems don’t always pick them up. The oil is used to lubricate the components, but that same oil can be laden with these almost invisible damaging trouble makers. These FilterMags can collect as much as 50% of the particles, which can result in the lifespan of the hydraulic components being reduced by as much as 30%. Magnetic filtration isn’t new, it’s been around for a while now. However, over the last few years there have been some excellent technical advancements such as the embracement of the use of neodymium alloy magnets. These are the most powerful when it comes to extracting metal particles. Although a filter is able to capture particles over the 20 μm size, it’s the smaller particles that can cause the most damage as they can reach more areas. Isn’t it quite paradoxical that it’s the smallest contaminants that can bring the largest vehicles and machinery to its knees?