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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Transformer Oil Foreign Contaminants Under the Microscope

Spore, Starch, Tire Wear, Etc. From Transformer Oil

The transformer was an "air-breather". The filtration was not very effective and as a result significant quantities of airborne particles entered into the system. This set of particles contain very few metallic elements other than carbon, with some silicon and calcium in the tire wear particle. The spore is identified by its morphology. The starch by its morphology and the black cross pattern when viewed with crossed or slightly off crossed linear polarized light. These materials are all from outside the transformer.

Transmitted Off Crossed Polarized Light Illumination


Foreign contaminants are those particles that are not manufacturing, assembly, maintenance, wear, or aging generated particles. They are particles inadvertently added to the system from an uncontrolled source.

Significance in the Environment:

The presence of these particles indicates the degree of control exercised over the environment under consideration.

Characteristic Features:

Associated Particles: