Time and money are the mainstays of any commercial operation. Those involved in industrial operations that depend on the strong performance of hydraulic systems know that varnish formation is something that can lead to downtime. Lost productivity ensues and so do further maintenance costs. Being able to minimise varnish deposits and sludge development is vital to keeping costs decreased. Although it’s not every engineer who spends a long time selecting the best hydraulic fluid, it’s important to select a fluid that is resistant to varnish creation. After all, fluid plays a major role when it comes to hydraulic system operation and should therefore get time and attention to ensure that the right candidate is selected. The trouble with sludge is that it slows things down. More frequent cleans and changes of filters are needed to stay on top of its far from pleasing presence. Industrial hydraulic systems are required to perform even in the most challenging of operating conditions. High pressures, high speeds and quite often high temperatures. Making smart decisions on each component, including your fluid, can extend the lifespan of your equipment. Where do Sludge and Varnish Come From? The hydraulic system with a small reservoir has challenges. They can place unreasonable stress on the system and make operating temperatures soar. The small reservoir has a shorter resting period for both heat and air to migrate due to it needing to recirculate fluid faster. A smaller volume of oil also makes it harder for contaminants to disperse. Even with the use of an efficient filtration system, sludge can easily build and then spread to hydraulic components. Dirty filters, increased wear on equipment and damage to the pump in combination to higher oil temperatures can lead to more likely formation of varnish. Varnish begins its cycle as a resinous substance, it then goes onto leaving hard deposits. The harder the equipment is running, the faster lubricant will break down, making total system failure possible. Take care when selecting your hydraulic fluid and you can avoid creating an environment where sludge threatens to control your operation.