Hydraulic hose failures are a main cause of downtime at every job site using heavy-duty equipment. While replacing hydraulic hoses is inescapable, following these five steps to prevent hydraulic hose failure, can help delay those failures and save your customer money and time.
- Construct the Hydraulic Hose Correctly.
- Hydraulic hoses have a three part construction: tube, reinforcement and cover. The tube is rubber and transports the fluid. Reinforcement is the less flexible braided wire that is wrapped around the tube. The cover surrounding both is the final protection from the elements, adding strength to the hydraulic hose as well.
- Most manufacturers will list hose identifying information on the layline of the hose. Always check to be sure the hydraulic hose being considered is the right size (length and diameter) for the application.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the correct construction. Use the proper fittings that are designed to work with the hydraulic hose being used.
- Before the assembly is crimped, be sure the fitting is pushed on the hydraulic hose all the way to prevent the end from blowing off during operation.
- Be sure to use the right crimp specs when crimping the end form to the hose. Over crimping can crush the hydraulic hose, blocking the fluid and weakening the hose. Under crimping can cause the end to blow off during operation. Crimping errors aren’t always visible to the naked eye, so be sure to check the crimp specs with a caliper before approving the finished product.
- Route the Hydraulic Hoses Properly
- After the hose assembled correctly it’s ready to be put back on the equipment. Routing is how the hydraulic hoses are positioned in regard to the equipment design. Incorrect routing can cause abrasion and weakening of the hose. Using clamps and pivot points can keep the hose from rubbing against the machine, furthering the life of the hydraulic hose. Using 45 degree or 90 degree fittings is common to help route the hydraulic hose more efficiently.
- Use an Appropriate Bend Radius
- Manufacturers provide the maximum bend radius information, and it should be followed to improve routing. The bend radius needs of your hydraulic hose needs to be kept as large as possible to avoid flow restrictions and prevent kinking or flattening. Allow for some slack on the length of the hydraulic hose to counterbalance the movement caused by the fluid moving thru the system.
- Be Mindful of Extreme Temperatures
- Extreme temperatures have sometimes critical effects on the life of a hydraulic hose assembly. Outside temperatures, as well as heat sources from the machine being used, or those around it can cause weak spots in the construction of the hose. This is why proper routing techniques are imperative. Hydraulic hose should be kept away from the hot parts of the mechanism as well as any additional places extreme heat is present. If this is impossible, use heat resistant sleeves.
- Maintain Proper Operating Pressure.
- The last step in preventing hydraulic hose failure is to avoid moving fluids at or above the operation pressure of the hose (PSI). Continuously using hydraulic hoses at their maximum pressure can cause blowouts and leaks. Some hydraulic systems are susceptible to dangerous pressure surges, if this is the case us a hydraulic hose with a higher PSI for normal flow. Pressure rating information should be listed on the layline of the hose.
All hydraulic hose assemblies will fail eventually but delaying the process can save money and time. Following these steps can help keep your hydraulic hose assemblies strong for the extent of their service life.