5 Reasons Why Hydraulic Hoses Fail
Hydraulic equipment plays a key role in many industries. However, this can be something of a double-edged sword as hose failure can sometimes lead to hydraulic machines and even entire systems shutting down. The good news is that you can keep your downtime and repair losses to a minimum by keeping an eye on the 5 most common causes of hydraulic hose failure.
Hydraulic hoses are very resistant, being able to contract or stretch to adjust to pressure changes. However, contact with nearby objects— especially with hard metal edges—will wear them down slowly, exposing the reinforcing steel wires and eventually resulting in leaks.
You can reduce abrasion by minimising contact between hoses and other objects. However, when this isn’t an option, you can always try using plastic guards or nylon sleeves to cover any problem areas.
The inner tubes of hydraulic hoses are very sensitive. Using the wrong hydraulic oil could damage your hose’s inner tube, create external leakages, and even contaminate your whole hydraulic system.
When buying hydraulic oil, make sure you’re using one that’s compatible not only with the inner tube, but also the outer cover, fittings, 0-rings, and other elements of your hydraulic system.
Poor air quality
Fluids aren’t the only elements in contact with your hoses. Air might be invisible to the eye, but the tiny cracks and leakages that dry or aged air can create on your hoses are plain to see.
Before setting up a hydraulic system in an environment with dry or aged air, make sure you’re using the right equipment. Hoses with inner tubes made of PKR or EPDM rubber are especially recommended, but even then, you should always strive to improve the area’s ventilation whenever possible.
Failures at the fittings
Sometimes hydraulic failures occur at the fitting between the hose and the crimp seal. If this is your case you might be using a poor routing which is bending the hose too close to the fitting or it might be bending by the hose’s own weight.
Whatever the case may be, the problem can be easily solved by using a bend restrictor, which is a plastic or rubber sleeve of about six inches long which adds extra support to the hose in any problem areas.
Hoses are designed to be flexible to help them deal with the constant pressure changes. However, overheated hose assemblies can become very stiff, which can cause the inner tube to crack and even dry out its cover.
You can prevent overheating your hydraulic hose assemblies by only using hoses that are rated for high temperatures, reducing the ambient temperature when possible, and using heat guards or shields to protect the hose from high-temperature areas.