If you’re responsible for a hydraulic machine, or the owner of one, it’s crucial that you know what can put you into an unpleasant position when it comes to your maintenance budget spend. Running a hydraulic machine too hot can cause all manner of issues including internal damage to components. If you cannot keep the operating temperature down, preferably below 85 degrees centigrade, then you’re going to be spending a lot on: · Oil · Components · Seals and hoses The biggest enemy of hydraulic systems are heat and contamination. Applying Arrhenius’s Law, we know that a rise in temperature of 10°C can result in reactions occurring significantly faster. You may remember one of our favourite analogies about how if you put oil in a jam-jar you’ll slowly see it turn colour. Whereas oil that is heated to a hot temperature in a frying pan will turn colour so much faster. This is down to there being a rise in temperature that affects oxidisation. Consider raising the temperature of any oil to 110°C and it’s going to get black fast and it’s also going to start smelling. Of course, this isn’t going to help your hydraulics system run well. The viscosity of the oil will suffer and that’s going to spoil the ease of lubrication and therefore power. In fact, finding an oil that can operate at any temperature between the cold start of 5°C and the running temperature of 110°C is going to be very challenging – read this as almost impossible! As for seals and hoses, they need the running temperature to be in the 82°C so as not to degrade. Taking the temperature up just 10 degrees more will have a significant impact on the lifespan. Overall, if you’re looking to spend out a lot of money, keep your hydraulic system running hot. It will provide you with plenty of scope for maintenance invoices and other bills.