You might be operating a simple or complex hydraulic system. The common problem that you might have faced will be the hydraulic system overheating. If you ignore this heating problem, then it can be a cause for premature system failure or to severe accidents at your worksite. Every hydraulic system is designed in such a way that it can withstand a certain quantity of heat produced while operation. But, an overheated hydraulic system means the system that is operating at 180°F(82°C) or above. If a system operate at such a high temperature, then you can imagine the consequences of it to the components and environment. So, our discussion is on the need for maintaining the temperature of hydraulic systems.
When the temperature of the hydraulic system increases, it will degrade or age the fluids in use. Also, the increased temperature reduces the fluid viscosity and effects the life span of seals and hoses. Internal fluid contamination is another drawback of the overheated hydraulic system. When seals get damaged as a result of temperature, then the rubber particles of seals will contaminate the fluid. Not only create contamination, but it will also result in changing the chemical properties.
The above mentioned are the dangers of overheating on your system. Other than these, the overheated system is a major concern while considering the safety of workers. If the fluid viscosity reduces, this may result in hydraulic fluid leakages because of the wear and tear caused by inappropriate lubrication. If the fluid leaks, there are more chances for workers to contact with this pressurized hydraulic fluid and finally results in dangerous health problems.
Also, Read: Is hydraulic fluid flammable
The majority of the hydraulic fluids are flammable. Here, when the hydraulic fluid temperature increases, there will be greater probability for fire risks. Not only the petroleum-based hydraulic fluid, but the water-based hydraulic fluids are also affected by this fire. In the water-based hydraulic fluid, as the temperature rises, the water content will evaporate and fire-resistance property decreases.
How to reduce hydraulic oil temperature, so that the workers can work in a safe environment? Most of the hydraulic system related issues can be prevented by proper hydraulic system care and maintenance. The best possible way to reduce hydraulic oil overheating is including a fully functional coolant system and heat exchanger.
The reasons for hydraulic system overheating will differ. But, when the temperature increases, then the negative impacts will be visible on every component included in the system. Some of the common causes of hydraulic system overheating are listed below.
- Overloaded system
- Too low/high fluid viscosity
- Internal leakages
- Poor reservoir capacity
- Mistakes in installation
- Continuous operation for a long time
- Faulty operation of the coolant system
- Damaged or wrong selection of system components
How do you prevent the hydraulic system from overheating issues? Decreasing heat load and improving the heat dissipation are the two possible methods for reducing system overheating. Among these, expert's suggestions will be decreasing the heat load. Because, if the heat load is minimized, then the system performance will be improved. Heat load can be minimized by using larger diameter hoses and heat dissipation is improved with including heat exchangers in your system. Some tips to keep your hydraulic system running properly without any overheating problems are discussed below.
- The volume of fluid inside the reservoir should be at least 3 times greater than fluid pumping to the pump.
- Heat exchangers and coolant system should be included in the hydraulic system.
- A larger size reservoir is always recommended.
- Always maintain the desired fluid level.
- Replace or repair damaged system components to prevent leakages
Inspect the system periodically to avoid blocks.