The vital role of hydraulic hose in machinery is to transmit hydraulic fluid through the circuit. The flow of hydraulic fluid between different components in required pressure will enable the machine to operate smoothly. So, analysing the quality of the hydraulic hose at the regular interval will help to deliver maximum performance. Any unnoticed failures in the hydraulic hose can cause severe damage to the system causing poor performance.
Protecting the hose from damages will prevent worksite accidents. Following proper preventive maintenance as required is necessary to identify and solve the hose damages easily. This article discusses the top reasons for hydraulic hose failure and methods to prevent these failures.
Various reasons cause the hydraulic hose failure, and this includes:
- Tube Erosion: Tube erosion is the process of losing material from the surface due to mechanical interaction between that surface. The inner surface of the hydraulic hose will get damaged because of incorrect hose selection, high-velocity fluid flow, and contamination. Small particles present in the fluid as contaminants are a severe reason for tube erosion and can prevent hydraulic filters. The pressure and fluid volume also need to be appropriately maintained for preventing tube erosion.
- Fluid Compatibility: The hydraulic fluid need to be compatible with the selected hose. If the fluid compatibility parameter is not considered while hose selection, various chemical reactions can cause inner hose damage(deteriorate, swell, and delaminate). Fluid contamination is also a greater risk that can be prevented by changing your machines oil & filters carefully by following the instructions. It is also required to test the sample at regular interval to detect contaminants in hydraulic oil.
- Abrasion: Abrasion is the damage caused to the hose exterior due to rubbing the hose against other surfaces. This issue will damage the outer cover of the hose by exposing the reinforcing steel wires and resulting in leakage. Preventing abrasion is done by properly aligning the hoses and selecting suitable hoses by considering size, temperature, application, media, and pressure.
- Heat aged: Continuously operating the machinery for a more extended period without proper rest can cause severe damage to the hydraulic hose. Excess heat will harden the hose exterior and, in the extreme, results in cracks. Routine checks and preventing overheating are the solutions for avoiding hose failure.
- Lack of Maintenance: Every hydraulic component requires proper maintenance to prevent failure. Hydraulic hoses will also come under this category, and they need to be inspected at regular intervals to identify the need for repair or hose replacement.
- Excessive pressure: Every hydraulic hose is built with varying pressure specifications, and hose selection for any particular application is made by considering these. Pressure over the desired range will be dangerous to the hydraulic hose. So, it is better to replace the hose if increased pressure is required.
- Improper assembly: The hydraulic hose needs to assemble appropriately, and for ensuring safe and clean assembly, best practices need to follow while cutting the hose and assembling. Preventing contaminant entry is the first factor to consider while assembling the hose.
Incorrect depth of insertion, wrong hose length, exceeding minimum bend radius, poor planning & routing, etc., are other critical reasons for hydraulic hose failure.