It is during the start of the industrial revolution when Joseph Bramah, a British mechanic, applied the Pascal Law in the development of the first hydraulic system in history. Fast forward to the 21st century, the hydraulics system is everywhere helping people develop and create more products and assisting in the daily operations of some of the largest processing plants all over the world. One major component of the hydraulic system is hydraulic fluids. It is important to know more and understand what hydraulic fluid is all about to make sure that you use the right fluid for your hydraulic system.
Major Functions Of Hydraulics Fluid
Nowadays, hydraulic fluids are used for numerous purposes. But, the core function of the hydraulic fluid is to provide the transmission of energy throughout the system that enables motion and work to take place. Additionally, hydraulic fluids are used for heat transfer, lubrication, and for controlling contamination. In addition to understanding the purpose or function of hydraulic fluid, it is also crucial to know the common varieties available in the market today.
Common Hydraulic Fluid Variety
1. Petroleum or Mineral-based
This is the most widely used variety of hydraulic fluid today. This type contains fluid additives such as demulsifiers, antiwear or AW, anticorrosion agents, defoamants, extreme pressure or EP, VI improvers, and rust and oxidation inhibitors or R and O. mineral-based fluids are usually of high-quality and are available in ready to use varieties. They are also available at a much lower cost.
2. Water-based Hydraulic Fluids
This type is typically found in fire-resisting tools because of its high-water content characteristic. Water-based are generally available as water glycol, water in oil emulsions, and oil in water blends. It is capable of providing great lubrication but requires close monitoring to avoid problems. Since they are usually utilized in applications where resistance to fire is required, the atmosphere surrounding the system is extremely hot.
3. Synthetic Fluids
These are man-made lubricants and usually provide excellent lubrication features especially in high- temperature and high-pressure systems. Among its disadvantages includes resistance to fire, thermal stability, and lower friction. But, one major drawback of synthetic fluids is that they are more costly compared to conventional hydraulic fluids. It is also toxic and may entail special disposal. Additionally, they are not often compatible with materials used for sealing.
Fluid Contamination Causes Machine Failures
Dirty oil causes the failure of the machine. Major types of contaminants are contaminated particles and water. Contaminated particles can get into the system through leaks, top of the tank, or because of poor workmanship. Water, on the other hand, does not contain the same lubricating properties of the oil. It can cause rust and can work against the components’ compounds.
Hydraulic Fluids Leakage
Leakages are unavoidable in a hydraulic system over the course of time due to various reasons. This includes burst pipes, incorrect adjustment of relief valves, contamination, damaged seals, and heat. Failures could be prevented by regularly servicing the entire system and sampling the hydraulic fluid. This way, you will have an idea of what is taking place within the system.