Tips for Controlling Contaminations in Hydraulic Equipment

Today’s hydraulic systems are expected to do more than ever, and fortunately the technological advances have kept up to meet today’s hydraulic needs. However, with greater usage of hydraulic systems and extended replacement intervals comes a greater risk of system contamination. This means anyone operating hydraulic equipment on a regular basis must make controlling system contamination a priority.

Here is some information from a hydraulic service in Minnesota to help you control these contaminations.

Solids

Solid contamination can come in a variety of forms, and may even be the fault of the manufacturer of the equipment. For example, some built-in contamination may result from metal chips from the machining processes, from left-behind welding residue or rubber scraps from the hose assembly process. There are also external solid contaminations that are common in hydraulic systems, including dust and dirt from the environment in which the equipment is used.

You can reduce solid contamination through the use of filters. Once you’ve achieved your target level of cleanliness for the system, you can work with your filter supplier to figure out the filter that is most effective at maintaining that cleanliness level. Of course, you must continue to monitor the cleanliness of the system and address contaminations or contamination risk as you go.

Liquids

Liquid contamination is the second most common form of contamination. It can occur due to a heat exchanger leak, contamination from water-containing fluids (such as metal removal fluids) or could simply be a result of overly humid air creating condensation inside the system. In any case, water inside a hydraulic system can be problematic, as it can reduce lubrication and result in corrosion of the equipment’s components. If it gets into the oil, it will increase oxidation.

Work with a reputable fluid supplier to get an analysis of your system performed and determine if you’ve experienced water contamination or any other type of fluid-related issue. From there you can determine the best path forward for resolving the issue and preventing it from becoming problematic again.

Air and gas

Contamination in the form of air and gases can also be problematic for hydraulic systems. These gases can get into the system from seal leaks on a pump’s suction side, through improperly designed reservoirs or through return lines ported above the fluid level. In some cases, air contamination can result in fluid foaming and damage to the pumps, due to aeration and/or cavitation.

The best way to prevent gas contamination from becoming an issue with your hydraulic equipment is to keep your pump seals in good condition. You should also ensure all reservoirs are configured with a baffle, and that the system’s return line is set below the fluid level.

Interested in learning more about how you can prevent contaminations from occurring in your hydraulic equipment? Contact M & M Hydraulic Company to speak with an experienced hydraulic service in Minnesota and get more information—we will be happy to answer any questions you have for our team about your hydraulic systems.

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