Hydraulic systems use fluid to move energy and perform work. When the fluid becomes contaminated, the system fails. Approximately 80% of hydraulic system failures are caused by contamination. Some estimate that number to actually be much higher. Since contamination is so detrimental to fluid systems, it needs to be constantly monitored and addressed.
The first weapon against contamination is cleanliness. Keeping the system clean not only reduces contaminates but also improves efficiency. The fluid in a hydraulic system touches every other part of the machine, so it is imperative to keep the machine clean. Components of the system are constantly moving and often have small orifices. The small holes are necessary for the machine to work properly, but they allow small particles inside the system. Natural wear also creates contaminants. There is no way to completely close off the system, so it needs to be regularly cleaned. This can be done by flushing the system or by using the Ultra Clean System.
Having the proper filtration, and keeping those filters clean, is the most important way to keep your hydraulic system working. Effective filters will extend component and fluid life and reduce the amount of costly downtime. Filters, like Air Sentry breathers North Carolina, eliminate water from the air before entering the system. They also trap solid particles as small as 2 microns. What type of filter to use, and where to place it, depends on the purpose of that specific filter. Keep in mind that the filter should be visible so blockage indicators can be monitored.
Once the system is clean and filters are installed, the work is not over. Hydraulic systems should constantly be evaluated. Filters get old or clogged and need to be replaced. The average operating pressure should be clearly defined so that inconsistencies can quickly be investigated. Finally, keep an eye on the normal operating temperature. Just like a human body, a little change in temperature may be a red flag that something isn’t working properly.