With the right care, hydraulic hoses can last quite some time. In fact, most of the time, equipment fails because of erosion, not knowing common risks and maintenance. Our expert staff can help you prevent mechanical failure and save you time and money. The following are some of the best ways to prevent hydraulic hose failure.
Stay on Top of Tube Erosion
Tube erosion is one of the most common reasons for hydraulic hose breakdown. This happens when fluid erodes the machinery due to external leakage. To prevent this issue, it is important to make sure you have the right size hose for maximum velocities. This prevents leakage which in turn prevents erosion. Additionally, experts recommend that you check to make sure the hose is not too tight for flow and that it is not too abrasive for the inner tube. Each hydraulic hose comes with engineer specifications. Following the maximum bend radius and proper diameter ensures the right hose is properly attached during assembly.
Make Sure Fluids Are Compatible
Hydraulic hoses often fail because the wrong fluids are used, which causes the inner tube to swell or even partially wash out. It is important that you know what the hose can be used for. The fluids need to work for both the inner and outer cube as well as the fittings and O-ring. The Parker’s chemical resistance chart is a useful tool when determining fit.
Know About Dry or Aged Air
Dry air can cause cracks in a hose, which leads to erosion, breakdown and can affect the machinery. It may be hard to see these tiny cracks and hard to spot because the hose itself is still flexible. It is smart for you to invest in hoses that are highly rated for dry air and have PKR or EPDM rubber. Additionally, experts recommend raising the dew point to prevent dry or aged air issues.
Pay Attention to the Radius Bend Radius
A common reason why hydraulic hoses fail or break down is that the bend radius is exceeded. This literally causes the rube and cover to rip apart. Even in suck applications, the hose may flatten out in the bend area due to such misuse. To avoid buckling, it is important to double-check the engineer specifications. You can also change the fittings, length and hose routing to protect the hose.
Understand Insertion Depth
When assembling the hose, it is important that it is not pushed beyond its insertion depth. This throws off fittings and means the hose will fail. Pay attention to the last grip in the fitting shell, which indicates its holding strength. Additionally, use hose insertion depth blocks to gauge the hose and its fitting. Monitoring this means the hose will be pushed to the correct depth without over-extending it.
Improper Assembly and Contamination
When a hose is assembled, contamination can happen when cutting and inserting it. Metal debris can settle into the hose, which will affect the whole hydraulic system, causing break down and erosion. Additionally, such particles or contamination can cause small cracks on the inner tube, which will cause leakage. Experts suggest cleaning the hose before fitting it. Pay close attention to the inner tube during this cleaning. Once fitted, you should cap the ends to prevent further contamination when the hose is transported. There are also hose cleaning kits and seal caps available by Parker to reduce such risk. There is no reason to risk hose failure just because proper care was not provided during assembly.
Overheating Is Common
Hose failure often happens because of overheating issues, which results in stiffness and cracks. When overheated during assembly, the inner tube will crack because the plasticizers break down in high temperatures. You may see this if the hose outer-cover is dried out. Though the hose may maintain its shape, you can hear cracking if overheating is happening. You can prevent this by double-checking the approved temperatures for application. Additionally, it is useful to use heat guards to protect the hose in high-temperature locations.
Wear and Tear and Abrasion
Everyday use means that abrasion is likely to happen. This is why regular inspections are important. Otherwise, rigorous applications can cause the hose to burst. This means watching out for any repeated rubbing. If there are any marks or damage to the external hose cover, then you can bet abrasion is happening. You can invest in protective sleeves to protect against this. For example, Parker offers ToughCover and SuperTough cover options to protect against abrasion.
It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Proper maintenance and risk management helps you keep your machinery up and running. After all, a breakdown costs a lot of money to fix and can stop productivity. Knowledge and prevention is important. All you have to do is invest in some regular inspection, maintenance and protective items and you can make sure your hose is going to last the test of time. And of course, make sure that the hose is always following engineer specifications regarding STAMP (size, temperature, application, media, and pressure). Proper use and proper care are key to keep your hydraulic hose up and running.