Downfalls of Hydraulic System Overheating

Heat is one of the biggest enemies of hydraulic systems due to its negative effects on a system’s parts and performance. Excessive heat can increase the cost of hydraulic repairs in Minnesota, decrease system performance and cause routine problems that interrupt everyday work.

If your system is overheating, you need to understand why it’s doing so and what the negative consequences are. Allowing your hydraulic system to run hot too often is a bad idea, so call for hydraulic repairs as soon as possible if you can’t identify and resolve the problem on your own.

Consequences of overheating systems

When your hydraulic system runs too hot for too long, system performance will decrease and the likelihood of damage will increase. Overheating is not something to ignore. Here are some of the major problems caused by overheating:

  • Decreased oil life: Heat plays a major role in the degradation of your hydraulic oil. Chemical reactions with air (oxidation) and water (hydrolysis) become increasingly faster the more heat is involved. This is based on Arrhenius’ Law, which states that for every 10°C increase in temperature, the rate of reaction doubles. To keep your oil lasting longer, try to reduce the heat in your system.
  • Incorrect oil viscosity: Excessive heat can also affect the viscosity of your hydraulic oil, which is necessary for adequate lubrication and system performance. It can be extremely difficult to find the correct oil viscosity for a system that begins running at low temperatures but reaches very high operating temperatures. Extreme heat can also burn your oil, requiring more costs to replace it more often.
  • Ruined seal and hoses: The polymers that form the hoses and seals in your hydraulic system are susceptible to much faster degradation due to high temperatures. This means that the lifespan of your seals and hoses will be much shorter, resulting in leaks during operation and more frequent replacement costs.

Causes of overheating

If your hydraulic system is overheating, there may be a few things going wrong. Sometimes, a quick re-adjustment is all that’s needed. Other times, major upgrades or hydraulic repairs in Minnesota will be necessary. Here are some of the most common causes of overheating:

  • Improper adjustments: Setting improper adjustments to your system can result in an excess amount of heat being added to operation. One common issue is that the pump compensator is set above the system relief valve.
  • Incorrect component sizes: Heat might be generated or not radiated off due to having improperly-sized system components. If you upgrade the flow pump but the pipes are too small to handle the pressure increase, additional heat will result. Additionally, your hydraulic tank may be too small, lacking the surface area necessary to radiate excess heat.
  • Worn components: Internal bypasses increase when hydraulic components break or wear down. This bypassing results in a pressure drop but no work is performed, which adds energy in the form of heat to your system. Hydraulic repairs in Minnesota may be necessary to resolve this issue.

If your system is overheating and you require hydraulic repairs in Minnesota, contact M & M Hydraulic Company. We’ve repaired and monitored hydraulic equipment for 40 years and are experts at servicing components such as hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic cylinders, hydraulic jacks and more. Give us a call today!

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