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Sure it's easy to see the difference between used and new vacuum pump oil, but we decided to take it a step further. After all, the old saying that 'seeing is believing' has usually proven to be true. Below is a look at our simple test comparing the old vacuum pump oil removed from the vacuum pump we've been working on. It's compared to new vacuum pump oil.
Vacuum Pump oil - take a closer look!:
The photo on the right shows old vacuum pump oil (left side in the photo) removed right after our micron vacuum test. For comparison, a sample of new pump oil is shown on the right. Of course the used oil is darker and we've already seen what other contaminants (dirt and debris) that it contained, so we decided to take this simple test one step further.

Is that UV Dye?

Using a UV LED light we quickly saw that the used vacuum pump oil contained other contaminants that we not visible to the naked eye. However, it's not really surprising... being that almost every system out there has some dye in it.
Seeing that a suspected 'good' vacuum pump had a lot of visible contaminants in the old oil, we decided to double check for other contamination. With low lighting we used a UV LED light to see if there was anything else in the oil. We can't say for sure that the used oil is fluorescing because of UV dye, but it certainly is fluorescing! We didn't do any scientific tests, but it's pretty simple to reason that it's probably dye drawn in form a system. So how contaminated is your vacuum pump oil?

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