Hydraulic Hose Specifications
For each use of hydraulics, there is a specific hydraulic hose that is suitable for the job. Selecting the right hydraulic hose specifications for your hydraulic hose is critical for optimal performance and preventing damaging or injurious failures. While all hoses have finite and expected lifespans, there are many factors that contribute to the longevity of your hose. By understanding factors that contribute to hose lifespans and failures, you can make informed decisions regarding the type of hose required for your given situation.
Hydraulic hoses can be constructed out of a variety of different materials. Including composites, elastomers, metals, polymers, silicone, and thermoplastics, just to name a few. The materials that are used for a specific hose will determine the situations in which the hose is meant to be used and even the type of hydraulic fluid that flows through it. Each hose is made of three layers: the inner tubing, wire reinforcement, and exterior shell.
The inner tubing of hydraulic hoses is often constructed of plastic or rubber. This is the part of the hose that comes into contact with the fluid and so it must be made out of the right material for the fluid type. For example, some fluids may break down the rubber material, and so the host must be made out of plastic. Having the right material for your inner tubing helps prevent hose failure and damage throughout the rest of the hydraulic system.
Wire reinforcement layers can be made of metal, plastic, or textile depending on the flexibility and strength required. There may be multiple reinforcing layers between the inner and outer layers of a hydraulic hose depending on its durability rating. There are two styles of wire reinforcement that additionally improve the flexibility or strength. Wire braid will offer more flexibility at the cost of some strength, while wire spiral offers increased strength at the cost of some flexibility.
The wire reinforcement is used to counteract bother the internal and external pressure. The internal pressure is the main force the reinforcement acts against, as the highly pressurized hydraulic fluid presses against the walls of the inner tube. The external pressure is less of an issue but can come into play in some other specific situations.
The exterior shell acts as a protector for the inner tube and wire reinforcement from the environment. Environmental dangers could come in the form of abrasion, wear, temperature, and even sunlight. The exterior shell is typically made from rubber, plastic, metal, or textile. The exact material chosen will depend on where and how your hose will be used. If the hose is going to be somewhere with more extreme environmental dangers, then it should be made of a more robust material.
Diameter and Length
How the fluid within the hose behaves depends on the hose diameter and length. The inner diameter is the diameter within the most inner tubing where the liquid flows. Pressure drops and increased internal temperatures caused by friction with the tube walls is due to the diameter being too small. If it is too large, it can lead to suboptimal system performance due to the flow. Common inner diameter sizes range from 3/16in. to 25.in.
The outer diameter of the hose is composed of the three-layer structure of the hose as well as the inner diameter. By measuring the difference between the inner and outer diameters, you will get the thickness of the hose wall. This diameter is important to remember for the connection points.
For the hydraulic system the hose length is much more important than you may have realized. The longer the hose is, the more potential there is for pressure drops. Just as with the inner diameters that are too small, this is because there is more contact between the fluid and interior walls which will create friction. And for this reason, it is critical that the hose is the correct length for the location where it is being used.
Hydraulic hoses must be able to withstand various conditions within which they are expected to operate. Your hydraulic hoses may be used in environments that require increased water resistance and abrasion, flexibility, temperature resistance and/or pressure resistance.
Abrasion and Wear Resistance
Abrasion and wear are the number one cause of hydraulic hose failure. This damage is caused when hoses rub against each other or other objects within the system. Even if you don’t think the hoses will rub against other objects, the small amount of vibration from the fluid flowing can cause wear over time. For this reason, it’s important to think how abrasion will come into play when routing houses and try to avoid high-abrasion contact.
While external pressure on hoses typically is not an issue outside of specific environments, all hydraulic hoses must be able to withstand their internal pressures. Every hose will have a maximum pressure rating printed on it. This rating should never be exceeded, even with pressure spikes. Exceeding the pressure rating could lead to your hose bursting which may cause injury, damage, and downtime.
Hydraulic hoses have both pressure ratings and temperature rang ratings. If a hose is used in conditions that are too hot for it, it could lead to materials breaking down or even melting. If the temperatures are too cold for the hose, then it could become rigid which will lead to it cracking. You should be considering both the temperature inside and outside of the hose as they both play a major role of the overall temperature.
The temperature of the fluid within the hose can be hundreds of degrees Celsius depending on the hydraulic system and fluids being used. If the internal structure of the hose cannot withstand this, it will fail. These temperatures are generated by friction between the fluid and their interior walls of the hose. The higher the pressure and flow rate, the higher the fluid temperature will be.
Lastly, some specialist hoses come with specific safety qualities that make them idea for potentially dangerous situations. Static-resistant hoses are made of conductive or semi-conductive materials that are able to dissipate build-up static electricity. This helps prevent electrical fires from starting. Flame-resistant hoses are a bit different in that they do not actually prevent fires, but rather prevent fires from getting worse. These hoses are able to remain intact even with flames occurring, which prevents them from bursting and fueling the fire with hot hydraulic fluid
All Phase Hydraulics
Here at All Phase Hydraulics, we understand the importance of preventative maintenance, especially when it comes to your hydraulic hoses. Since hoses are the most vulnerable part of any hydraulic system, they will need to be checked regularly for signs of damage and wear. Contact us today if your hydraulic system needs inspection, maintenance, or repairs. Our expert technicians will keep your hydraulics in peak condition.