Assessing Hydraulic Fluid Fire Resistance

There are many different substances in the world that have the potential to cause fires. Today, we’re going to look at hydraulic fluids and how they are often the cause of industrial fires. Let’s find out about fire resistant hydraulic fluid from an expert hydraulic service in Minnesota.

What are hydraulic fluids?

Hydraulic fluid is the energy transfer channel found in all hydraulic systems, but the purpose of hydraulic fluid is more than just the simple transmission of power. Yes, it transmits hydraulic energy, which is its main purpose and function; however, it is also useful in four secondary functions: contamination removal, heat transfer, lubrication and sealing. For the purposes of today’s topic, let’s take a closer look at heat transfer.

Hydraulic machines operating normally produce excess heat, typically caused by inefficient components like motors and pumps. To prevent overheating, as well as damaging seals and internal components, the built-up heat in components must be able to relocate. The good news is that, when oil returns to the reservoir, it likely has to pass through a cooler. A cooler helps the oil to maintain an optimal temperature range so it can pump back out into the system at a more ideal temperature. On the other hand, hydraulic fluid may carry heat into a system during cold starts.

Fire prevention is crucial

Hydraulic fluids and other related fluids are used in a range of industrial work situations and applications where the prevention of fire is of the utmost importance. Tunneling and mining are industries in which this is a particular concern. As an example, there have been many reported instances that can point to mineral oil-based fluids as a major energy contributor to large fires. Between the development of fire-resistant fluids that can mix with other fluid substances and the use of fire suppression equipment, many industries in the danger zone for fires have options.

Causes of hydraulic fluid fires

A fire situation can crop up from any number of causes. For example, a fire may start from fluid coming out from a high-pressure spray device. Unfortunately, although there are spray ignition and burn tests, there is no universal test to determine all the possible hazardous scenarios.

Safety regulations are crucial

From the push for goal-setting safety regulations arose a new approach requiring fluid selection to be based on a risk-based approach. It allows the use of other methods of engineering fire safety standards—such as shielding ignition sources or automatic fire fighting systems—therefore placing new requirements on fire testing.

Safety is crucial, which is why experimental testing programs are important. Also important is the need for risk assessments to determine more causes of industrial fires to avoid problems in certain situations. Through studies of the industries most likely to fall victim to hydraulic fluid fires, experts can conduct tests that lead to better hydraulic fluid fire resistance options.

Assessing hydraulic fluid fire resistance is important for worker safety and the state of your industrial facility. When your equipment is in need of hydraulic service in Minnesota, don’t hesitate to contact M & M Hydraulic Company!

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