Derived from the metric system of measurement, the term micron refers to a particle equal to one millionth of a meter. In the standard system of measurement, this translates to .000039 of an inch. A single millimeter actually has a length of one thousand microns. Microns are most certainly not visible to the naked eye, but microns of contaminants such as lube oil, turbine oil, dielectric oil, and other hydraulic fluids just to name a few can prove utterly devastating to your company’s valuable equipment.

We are literally surrounded by micron sized contaminants. The very air we breathe is loaded with microscopic (micron sized) particles of contamination. But since the best of human eyes can only see particles somewhere in the range of 40 microns, these contaminants go virtually unnoticed. Common fog, which we have all seen is defined as water particles (precipitation) too light to succumb to the gravity of earth and therefore appear to us as airborne water vapor. Each particle of fog can range from five to fifty microns. This means that fog in large part is invisible to the naked eye and most fog is actually thicker than it appears.

To give you further idea of just how minute a micron actually is, a single grain of table salt measures about 100 microns. Each hair on your head averages about 70 microns in diameter. Any given grain of sand on the beach can be measured anywhere between one hundred to two thousand microns, while a mold spore is only ten to thirty microns. A solitary white blood cell comes in at about 25 microns, just below our workable eyesight of about 40 microns, while the red blood cells in our bodies measure only about eight microns. One of mankind’s most reviled nemesis, bacteria, has a measurement of only about 2 microns; no wonder we never see them coming!

The micron measurement is used to grade such everyday effects as plastics and wool as well as a sizing distinction for biological cells, bacteria and for wavelengths of infrared radiation. For example, any wool measuring less than 25 microns can be used for clothing while coarser grades of wool are reserved for outerwear, rugs, and carpeting.

Some people use the term micrometer when referring to microns, and both are equally acceptable. It should be noted however, while a micron is technically a unit of measurement, a micrometer is a device used for measuring said unit.

Call Tiocco today at 888-628-2024 to learn more about how poor filtration may be hurting your bottom line.