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In a previous post, we looked at the reasons why a quality hydraulic oil should be used in your hydraulic system. We ascertained that an oil without a good enough base oil can result in all manner of issues. One of them being that oils such as motor oil have too many additives as they won’t easily let go of moisture in the oil.
In this post, we’re going to look at the measurements that you need to take note of when looking for a good base hydraulic oil. First off, take a look at the Oxidation Stability Test results which may state something like ASTM D-943. This is a test procedure which provides some insight into the testing process that the hydraulic oil went through. The results are reported in hours of performance in resisting oxidation at elevated temperatures. For example, this might be 5000 hours.
If it is 5000+ hours then you can rest assured that it has a high quality base oil. Most hydraulic oils will be displaying a report of between 1000 and 3000. If you don’t see oxidation stability on the sheet, then you’ll know that the performance wasn’t good enough to mention. Another report to look for is the hydraulic oil’s pour point. For example you may see -27F listed, which is an outstanding result for just one product.
Those hydraulic oils that of a lesser quality won’t flow at 0 degrees. It’s not common that hydraulic systems that have to operate at temperatures as low as these, but it’s a factor that will provide you with an indication of the quality of your product.
Another number to look for is the measure of the VI. If it’s 100 then it’s most likely a good oil. Synthetic oils may have a Viscosity Index of 120, with lesser oils in the 80 – 90 mark.
At the end of the day, the quality of your hydraulic oil is vital to the good performance of your hydraulic system. Hopefully we have shed some light on what you need to consider when looking for a quality hydraulic oil for your system.
Preserving the quality of hydraulic fluid is something that will make a huge difference to the life span, lack of downtime and condition of your Hydraulic Systems and Machines. If it’s condition is allowed to degrade, you’ll be setting yourself up to have to deal with cavitation, machine damage and eventually the machine could even come to a halt. This is not going to look good in front of your boss nor your next employer.
That being the case, let’s explore what you need to know in order to preserve the quality of hydraulic fluid in your system.
After you’ve completed reading this post, you should understand what hydraulic fluid should be like, whether it needs any additives put into the fluid and how to get maximum life from your fluid.
As we have covered, without your hydraulic fluid being in good condition, there is likely to be a negative effect on the running of your hydraulic machine. We always recommend to our customers that they continue to use the fluid that the manufacturer of their machine has suggested. It’s also wise to use filters in order to prevent the fluid from deterioration through contamination. The pump and reservoir unit should also be considered as these play a critical role in the health of your fluid.
These are the properties that you want your hydraulic fluid to have in order for it to operate at it’s best.
Compressibility – it’s not very easy to squeeze liquids into a lesser volume. This is why precise motion control is one of the strong points of hydraulics. If air enters the system, then it takes it into being compressible and it won’t work as it should. You can test how compressible fluid is by forcing fluid into a rigid vessel with a screwed plunger and measuring the pressure.
Viscosity – this is a measurement of how easily the fluid will flow. Low viscosity fluid (for example water) will flow very easily, whereas high viscosity fluids will flow slowly and with some difficulty. This is what will result in loss of pressure. However, it’s only fluids with high viscosity that will lubricate well, so a balance needs to be sought.
Viscosity index – as a fluid gets hotter, its viscosity will usually decrease. This means that as it heats up it can become less effective at lubricating. Less change can be expected from a fluid with a low viscosity index. It might be possible to improve on this with the addition of chemical additives.
Air absorption – when liquids are under pressure they will absorb gas and then when the pressure is released, they will release it again. This can be seen with fizzy drinks. Air will not be absorbed easily by a good hydraulic fluid without causing foam and froth. It’s possible to add chemicals in order to improve this. Chemicals can be added to prevent foam from building up on the surface of the reservoir.
Oxidation – this can occur when oxygen is in the fluid and combining with elements. It can cause the oil to thicken to produce a varnish. This will stain the surface of the components and will reduce the life of the oil. Although there are additives that can help with this, it’s important to keep out air as much as possible. The main reason for air and fluid mixing is when there is foam and cascading in the reservoir.
Corrosion – corrosion of metals can be caused by hydraulic fluids. This can be helped by using materials that are compatible with it in addition to the addition of chemicals to the fluid.
Wear – when chemicals have been added which encourage the development of surface film where surfaces meet, such as in pumps and motors, it’s possible to slow down wear.
Pour point – this is the name given to the lowest temperature point at which the fluid will flow from a container when tipped up. If you’re working in cold climates, it’s possible to add chemicals to lower this temperature.
Flash point – the name given to the point when the vapour produced by a fluid will ignite when a naked flame makes contact with it. A Pensky Martins apparatus is used to measure this.
If you haven’t done so already, take time to become familiar with these technical engineering terms. They will prove useful for testing, explaining if you need advice from a third party and for keeping records of the condition of both the fluid and your hydraulic system.
Hydraulics has been around for a very long time. But are you aware of how far it has actually come? You wouldn’t be alone if you responded with no. It is a very technical subject that can be quite difficult to understand, but in this article we want to tell you the story of hydraulics! We want to share with you who discovered hydraulics, what it was originally used for and how hydraulic power got to where it is today.
So why don’t we start at the beginning! Where does the word hydraulic come from?
The word hydraulic originates from the Greek word ‘Hydros’ which means water. Why water? Well, this is because water was the first liquid to be used in the hydraulic system. Today, hydraulics includes the physical behaviour of all liquids, not just water.
In this article we want to explain the ins and outs of hydraulic powerpacks. A vital piece of equipment that is used with so many machines we see every day.
In a nutshell, hydraulic powerpacks are self contained units that are used instead of a built in power supply for hydraulic machinery. Hydraulic power uses fluid to transmit power from one location to another in order to run a machine. It really is as simple as that.
So what do they look like?
In order to recognise and better understand hydraulic powerpacks, it is a good idea to get to know the key components. Hydraulic powerpacks come in many different shapes and sizes, some are very large and stationary whereas others are much smaller and more compact. In fact, some hydraulic powerpacks are so compact that they can easily be transported in a small van or even an estate car.
The only real way to identify hydraulic powerpacks is through its main components. No matter the size of the unit, all power packs will have the following; a hydraulic reservoir, regulators, a pump, motor, pressure supply lines and relief lines.
What do these components do?
It may be obvious to some but in this post we wanted to explain every hydraulic power pack component as simply as possible. So here goes.
First up is the hydraulic reservoir which quite simply holds the fluid. Reservoirs will come in different sizes.
Then we have the regulators. Regulators are vital as they control and maintain the amount of pressure that the hydraulic powerpack delivers.
Thirdly we have the pressure supply lines and relief lines. The supply line simply supplies fluid under pressure to the pump and the relief lines relieve pressure between the pump and the valves. The relief lines also control the direction of flow through the system.
Finally we have the pump and a motor. We will begin with the simpler component of the two, the motor. The motor is simply there to power the pump. Easy as that. Now the pump generally performs two actions. Firstly, it operates as a vacuum at the pump inlet and through atmospheric pressure forces fluid from the reservoir into the inlet line and then to the pump. It then delivers the fluid to the pump outlet and pumps it into the hydraulic system. We did warn you that the second part would be slightly more confusing.
So what is the function of hydraulic powerpacks?
Hydraulic powerpacks deliver power through a control valve which in turn runs the machine it is connected to. Hydraulic powerpacks come with a variety of valve connections. This means that you can power a variety of machines by using the appropriate valves.
Hydraulic powerpacks are relied upon by a range of different machines that use hydraulic power to do its work. If a machine is required to carry out heavy or systematic lifting then its likely it would need help from a hydraulic powerpack.
To make it easier for you to understand, we have included a list of trades that regularly rely on our powerpacks. On a building site you will see machines like bulldozers and excavators, which both need hydraulic powerpacks. But, it is not just on building sites that you will find these types of machines. Fishermen and mechanics both need hydraulic powerpacks too. If we did not have them then how would fishermen lift their nets or how would mechanics lift our cars?
When picking a hydraulic powerpack there are a variety of pumps and options to pick from and it is important to pick the right pack to meet your machines needs. It is also important to consider a pack that will help maximise productivity and minimise cost.
Many people will overlook the necessity of hydraulic powerpacks, but they really are vital to ensuring our society runs efficiently.
Do you need to maintain hydraulic powerpacks?
Yes you do and this is hugely important! Hydraulic powerpacks require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly and safely and to help extend their life. Maintaining hydraulic powerpacks is relatively simple and includes checking the tubing, this can be for any noticeable problems such as dents or cracks. It is also vital to regularly change the hydraulic fluid and look at the reservoir to check for any corrosion or rust in hydraulic power packs.
What hydraulic powerpacks do we provide?
Generally we provide four different types of hydraulic powerpacks. You can pick from a standard powerpack, a mini powerpack, a micro powerpack or a bespoke powerpack.
The standard hydraulic powerpack uses a standard range of modular components and is ideal for the most demanding industrial applications. The mini powerpack is ideal for applications requiring up to 5.5kW. The micro hydraulic powerpacks were originally produced for mobility applications, so are great for when space is limited. Finally, if none of these seem to fit your needs then we offer bespoke hydraulic powerpacks ensuring your application gets the hydraulic powerpack it requires.
Finally, who is the genius behind hydraulic powerpacks?
The man behind hydraulics was Laissez Pascal. A French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher who lived in the mid seventeenth century. Pascal made observations about fluid and pressure which led to Pascal’s law. Pascal's law states that when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container. Hydraulic powerpacks have been designed based on Pascal's law of physics, drawing their power from ratios of area and pressure.
So, interested in our Power Packs? Come on over to the main website and see what we can do for your Hydraulic Power Pack Needs .
In our experience, and no doubt in yours, the hydraulic system that runs optimally has a temperature that stays consistent throughout the operation cycle. It would never go beyond 130 degrees and would receive vented air that is dry and clean. It’s these conditions that make it possible to give a long life to your hydraulic oil and put a stop to equipment failure and the costly downtime periods.
Unfortunately, these conditions are not always easily achievable. Hydraulic oil may dish out temperatures between 100 and 500 degrees, sometimes even higher. Unfortunately rapidly changing temperature results in condensation or moisture in your system and can lead to water contaminated hydraulic oil.
Depending on your application, other issues can occur such as reservoir temperatures rising. Once they reach 165 degrees, then the oil can begin to break down and oxidation can occur. From then on there is varnish build up and the oil will deteriorate and the development of sludge begins. Add humid air that is dirty to the mix and you’re not going to have a system that is performing at its ultimate best, it’s going to be struggling and choking.
It’s in these conditions that it becomes far more apparent why it’s essential to perform good filtration and that using a quality hydraulic oil can help to limit some of these issues.
Good hydraulic oil can make a significant difference when it comes to protecting the longevity of your hydraulic system and limit the amount of downtime it might otherwise have.
The first factor to consider is that a good base oil will result in fewer waxes and this can mean a better flow in addition an improved ability to dispel water easily. This base oil should also have a hydrocarbon molecule that is more stable and resistant to thermal breakdown. Thermal breakdown is the major culprit when it comes to the development of sludge which can damage the pump. It’s for this reason that motor oil is not used in a hydraulic system. Motor oils contain additives as they don’t let go of water easily and this can cause issues that lead to damage to your hydraulic system.
For a number of reasons, it’s important to use a quality hydraulic oil. If you don’t, not only will your hydraulic system suffer, but so will your productivity.
The street sweeper is a ubiquitous sight in cities across the country; once the preserve of Trigger et al, the humble broom was replaced by the compact mechanical sweeper which removes debris and dust from the streets using air, water and rotating brushes. Low pressure water jets spray ahead of the brushes to damp down the dust, thereby stopping it from rising into the air too much. The rotating brushes pick up the debris and it is collected into a hopper for emptying later on. Although harder to fix than a broom, which may only require a new head or a new handle, they are much more efficient at quickly cleaning streets and come into their own after events such as the Notting Hill Carnival or London Marathon.
The machines we see on the streets are designed specifically for the purpose of street cleaning, but there are also other locations where sweepers are used, such as on construction sites, at mines and even at waste processing and recycling facilities. At these locations, the sweeper normally takes the form of an attachment that can be fixed to a front-end loader or other hydraulic machine. This is done for cost and efficiency reasons, as it removes the need for a separate vehicle and allows an existing one to be used in a different way. These attachments use the auxiliary hydraulics of the machine to which they are fixed to provide power for the brushes, water sprayers and positioning system of the attachment. They too have used low pressure water jets up until now, but the drawback is that the reach of these jets is small, and because the water is concentrated on a relatively small area, it can end up creating a muddy paste which is then smeared on the surface rather than being cleaned up, and the dusty particles that do not get watered are then kicked up into the air to settle elsewhere.
Dynaset Oy have found a solution to this problem by using the hydraulics in sweeping attachments to power a hydraulically operated water intensifier. This addition pressurises the water creating a fine mist that contacts more of the dusty dirt without forming a paste. The system also uses far less water than a conventional sweeper attachment, so is better for the environment in that sense as well. The HPW Dust component can be fitted to any hydraulically powered machine that uses water, so can be used for pressure washing and other purposes that require high pressured water. It uses the power of the hydraulics to create the high pressure and does not need any additional power or electronics to work.
The resulting cleaning is much more effective; the water is still sprayed ahead of the brushes but damps down the dust more effectively, so the brushes can clean properly without sending that dust up into the air. The air quality post sweeping is visibly cleaner and this is important in routinely dusty environment such as mines and construction or demolition sites, especially if these are located in built up areas, where there is already an environmental concern over air quality.
This technology is not being used in city street sweepers yet, but it could make a very real difference to the air quality in urban areas if deployed in these machines. There is some development to do in order to make the water intensifier technology work in modern street sweepers as they are not hydraulically powered, but when designing new models hydraulic power could be an option to operate not only the high-pressure water delivery, but the brushes and collection method as well.
The reduction in the amount of water used, coupled with the superior cleaning could be incredibly useful in developing countries or very hot climates where water is at a premium. The applications of this hydraulically operated water intensifying system are numerous and will become apparent as the technology is deployed in other hydraulic machinery, or integrated into new designs of current machinery. Perhaps the most obvious application for this invention is the automatic car wash, which already uses hydraulic power to move and direct the water spraying components. If the amount of water needed could be reduced significantly by pressurising it with the HPW Dust it could make a huge difference to global water consumption.
Investment in business and design software has been a pivotal part of Hydraproducts growth over the last 10 years.
Upgrading our complete design suite to include Visio HyDraw600 has been our latest investment. Hydraulic circuit design forms an important part of communicating with our customers. HyDraw offers far more than that, Hydraulic manifold design and validation features mean our designers can quickly convert Hydraulic circuits into manufacturing instructions for direct application to CNC machining centres.
Accurate Hydraulic circuits using the latest ISO 1291-1 symbols can be selected from a comprehensive library of symbols, valve model data and manufacturers databases.
Simple drag and drop features allow complex hydraulic systems to be quickly displayed. Symbols have intelligent data linking to Hydraproducts valve and component databases, allowing our engineers to auto generate bill of materials. Symbols can be linked together using the “snapping” functions. Smart jumpers, connectors and snap to connection points make this an easy process. Connections are easily maintained when moving symbols around and kinks are removed to straighten connections.
Engineering features such as pressure capacity, maximum flow rate and pressure drops are displayed during the selection process ensuring all of our designs meet our customer needs.
Seamless integration into our SOLIDWORKS software is an exciting feature allows hydraulic manifolds to be converted into CAD files and 3D models.
HydrawV600 has reduced our hydraulic design time to 50% enabling Hydraproducts to firstly communicate and develop hydraulic power unit designs more effectively with our customers but secondly bring these designs to reality to our workshops in less time.
Thanks to VEST HyDraw 600 we are more clearly communicating the technical features of our hydraulic power packs internally and externally, bringing our business some real benefits.
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