MAINTAINING SAFE USE OF HYDRAULIC HOSES

MAINTAINING SAFE USE OF HYDRAULIC HOSES

Hydraulic hoses are particularly designed to transport hydraulic fluids to or among hydraulic components, valves, actuators, and tools. They are specifically flexible, often reinforced, and usually constructed with several layers of reinforcement, since hydraulic systems frequently operate at high or very high pressures. Hydraulic hoses are used in a variety of industrial hydraulic systems. Dimensions, performance specifications, construction options, and features are important parameters to consider when searching for hydraulic hose. Hydraulic hoses are specially designed pieces of equipment to give their user total control over things like liquid input and output and are usually part of a greater and more complex hydraulics system.

Hydraulic hose is majorly found in a wide range of industrial systems, where liquids or gases need to be moved from one place to another at a given pressure. The most common type of transmissions is either oil or water. Hydraulic hose is a high-pressure hose made from reinforced synthetic rubber. Hydraulic hoses are very important, due to their versatility in terms of their applications as well as the fact that they are vital parts needed for machineries to function.

TYPES OF HYDRAULIC HOSES

Hydraulic hoses exist in a variety of types, which are built with different fluids and purposes in mind, whether for residential or large-scale commercial use. Having the right hydraulic hose for the right application is very important. Many times, critical fluid systems stand dormant because the wrong hydraulic hoses are installed and a breakdown occurs. Below is a list of the different types and uses of hydraulic hoses.

Steel Reinforced Teflon: Most times steel can be too unmanageable. Trying a Teflon with steel reinforcement, it will behave similarly as steel. If rubber’s high resistance to heat isn’t enough, Teflon can step in and deliver even more resistance to heat. In fact, you will find this type of hose next to a boiler or blast furnace in some instances. If it’s important that your systems weigh less.

Reinforced Rubber: These hoses weigh much less than its metal counterparts. This makes a big difference if a hydraulic system ever needs to be moved. Reinforced rubber hydraulic hoses can be made stronger with fiberglass or steel mesh, which helps resist bending, bulging or failure.

Return Lines: There is no specific hose for a return line, therefore this important piece of the puzzle can often be neglected. The return lines bring fluids back to a pump where the pressure is then released. Less expensive hoses can generally do the job, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. If these hoses are not properly maintained or replaced, they can cause a huge breakdown just like any other part of the system.

Coiled: Most cases, the hydraulic hose material matters less than the ability to easily store and maintain it. Coiled hoses fit the need in many auto shops, welding shops and repair shops. Engineers and mechanics love coiled hose because it can be pulled, used and then it will snap back to where it belongs.

Articulated: These types of hoses can be used in much the same way as expansion joints in a hydraulic system. They can accommodate pressure surges or expansion caused by changes in external temperatures. Articulated hoses offer some design flexibility as they can be maneuvered around corners or swivel around other components.

UNDERSTANDING HYDRAULIC HOSE

Hydraulic hoses have a wide variety of uses, so choosing the right type is essential. Especially if one is dealing with a pressurized system, establishing the correct type of hydraulic hose is of the utmost importance. Because of the wide variety of hydraulic hoses, the first thing that has to be determined is what is the purpose of the hydraulic system to begin with. A high-pressure hydraulic system will require hoses that are built to withstand that pressure. The type of liquid is important, as it will determine things like material choice as well as density. Hydraulic hoses have different gauges, and most of them are based around the thickness of interior and exterior hoses, as well as the bend radius of the hose. The sizes of the inside and outside diameter helps determine the actual size of the hydraulic hose.

HOW HYDRAULIC HOSES WORK?

The usage of the hydraulic hose is what determines how it will work. For instance, in high-heat applications, hydraulic tubes may be used in conjunction with hydraulic hoses in areas where the temperature is highest, as tubes are more heat resistant while less flexible than hoses.

Hydraulic hoses are constructed in layers. The first is an inner tube that carries the fluid, and this is usually the one that is the most flexible of the three. Outside the inner tube is a reinforcement layer, which generally has some sort of protective mesh or design to prevent breakage. Finally, there is a protective outer layer, which is usually designed to be weatherproof and heat-resistant.

WHAT ARE HYDRAULIC HOSES MADE UP OF?

Hydraulic hose can be made up of different materials such as elastomers, fluoropolymers and silicone, thermoplastics, metal, and composite or laminated structures. Elastomeric or rubber hydraulic hoses are known for their flexibility. Fluoropolymer hose has superior chemical and corrosion resistance, gives a good flexible life and also handles extreme temperatures. Thermoplastic hydraulic hoses present tight minimum bend radii with great kink resistance. Metal hoses can be either stiff or flexible, they can withstand high temperature and pressure flow materials. Flexible hoses are easier to route and install, they permit movement between parts, dampen vibration and pressure noise and lessen vibration and noise.

THE PARTS OF A HYDRAULIC HOSE

There are three basic parts of a hydraulic hose, which include an inner tube, a reinforced layer and a third protective outer layer. They are seen in layers, and these layers help maintain a consistent and reliable flow of liquid while protecting the overall system from breaking down as a result of wear and tear during use.

Inner tube: The inner tube, often made from thermoplastic or synthetic rubbers that carries the fluid, is designed to be compatible with the liquid it carries, allowing free-flowing elasticity and pressure-resistant stress bearing.

Reinforcement layer: This layer is seen surrounding the inner tube and is made up of a sheath braided, spiral wound wire or a textile-based yarn. This arrangement protects against tears and also supports the tubing.

Outer layer: This layer is made of rigid materials and is designed to protect the innards of the hose from abrasion, chemicals as well as weather.

WHY BEGIN A MAINTENANCE PROGRAM?

Every organization has much to gain from a solid preventive maintenance program. Here are some examples:

Efficient production

Safety hazards are minimized.

Increased life expectancy of equipment.

Fewer capital outlays for premature purchases of new equipment.

Reduced repair costs from fewer breakdowns.

HYDRAULIC HOSE SAFETY AND MAINTENANCE TIPS

Maintenance routine, leaks, contamination, temperature and pressure ratings are all maintenance tips to consider when working with hydraulic hose.

Maintenance routine: Checking hoses on a monthly basis is an easy way to catch issues with your hydraulic hose assemblies that may cause larger issues in the future. Creating and strictly following a maintenance plan takes time and will take some getting used to. If you stick with it, frequently checking hoses will prevent your equipment from lengthy and expensive downtime. Hydraulic equipment that is taken care of will likely last longer.

Maintain the correct temperature: The hydraulic fluid temperature should be within the specified temperature of the hose. The temperature ratings are there for a reason and are different for each hose. Be sure to check the temperature rating of your specific hose, by looking in your hose products division catalog. If the fluid temperature rises above the working temperature of the hose, small cracks will form on the inner tube and the hose will lose its flexibility.

Don’t ignore leakage: External leakage means there is something wrong. There is a substantial safety concern because a machine operator or technician can easily slip and fall on the remnants of a leaking hydraulic system. Pressurized hydraulic fluid also presents a considerable fire risk whenever threaded pipe connectors, valve seals and flexible hoses rupture or vibrate loose. This risk is especially high when the machine operates in an environment where ignition sources are constantly present.

Replace bad or old assemblies: The cover protects the reinforcements from weather and environmental hazards. If the wire or fabric is exposed, water and debris can adversely affect the reinforcement by either rusting the wire or, in the case of fabric, allowing water to wick into the system and get behind the coupling where it can cause damage. Also check to see if the hose is twisted. Look for any seepage in the area of the coupling or on the hose and any bubbling on the cover. In extremely abrasive situations or in areas where you simply can't get away from abrasion points, consider hoses with special coverings. Be aware that if you utilize nylon sleeves for abrasion resistance, you can still see abrasion beneath the cover and, in some cases, the sleeve may actually cause the abrasion.

Prevent Contamination: When replacing a hose assembly, be sure that it has been properly cleaned before putting it on your hydraulic equipment. If the fluid going through your hydraulic hose carries debris, it can wear away the inner tube, eventually leading to another failed hose assembly. To remove contamination, pellet, flush the hose with a hose cleaning kit. Once assembled, cap assemblies with Parker Clean Seal to prevent recontamination during transportation. In the end, the dirt won't harm the hose, but if it reaches the valves, cylinders and pumps, that's when problems occur.

Don’t exceed pressure ratings: The pressure ratings of the hose should not be exceeded. Although hoses are tested to higher pressures, it is for your safety and the hose life to use as recommended. Pressure ratings can be found in the engineering specifications for each hose and the hose overview chart. Using higher pressures than recommended will result in a shorter hose life and potentially dangerous conditions.

Hose Failure Analysis: If a hose fails, have it tested to see why. You won’t be able to prevent the same issues from happening in the future if you don’t know what caused it in the first place. Fixing the root cause will save a tremendous amount of time and money. Hoses supplied by GZ Industrial Supplies can be returned for investigation of the failure by filling out the Technical Problem Checklist Form.



HYDRAULIC HOSE REPAIR

Hydraulic hoses are made for a long-term use than a typical hose. They have a specific heavy-duty purpose, and are not usually as simple to repair as applying a rubber patch. Because of this, it is essential to deal with professionals who know how your hydraulic hose works, what are the principles behind its operation, and how to get it to full operational ability. Sometimes it may need to be replaced. Other times a compound solution can be found that could extend the life of some of the hose. But in the end, the most important thing is that the hydraulic system stays working. For that alone, calling in a professional is worth the time and the expense to ensure that your hydraulic hoses stay in optimal working order.

Hydraulic Hoses are only a small part of hydraulic equipment and machinery, however they can be the cause of some of the largest problems as well as serious injury if not maintained. Finding the right one for your system is an important part of any maintenance check.

For further information on hydraulic hose procurement and maintenance, kindly contact us at GZ Industrial Supplies.

11th Jan 2021 Ernest Orhuebor

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