While using the correct lubricant designed for a specific application or original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) requirements is the first step to getting the most from a product, there are several best practices that can enhance performance, increase cost-effectiveness and avoid mechanical breakdowns. Read on as we explore some useful guidance on making the most of the hydraulic fluids you use on site.
Select the correct hydraulic oil to reduce energy loss
By choosing the right oil with the correct properties – particularly viscosity – for your system, you can cut back on unwanted energy loss. Hydraulic oils with low viscosity are easier to move around a system, effectively reducing the amount of energy lost and saving your firm money. Simply choosing high-viscosity hydraulic oils is a habit worth breaking and one that can reward your business with lower running costs and improved lubrication.
Keep hydraulic fluid and systems clean
Keeping hydraulic oil and the system it lubricates free from contamination can greatly reduce the threat of operational disruptions. This is particularly the case with systems that have a higher turnover rate. Just a small quantity of dirt pushed through such a system can cause potential damage and machine downtime.
To combat this, always use the correct oil filter type for your system, and take care when refilling oil so that no dirt or debris enters the system. Keep your hydraulic fluid containers clean and sealed, and use a dedicated oil can that never holds other kinds of lubrication.
Keep water out of hydraulic oil
Just a small amount of water in hydraulic oils can lead to serious problems, so it’s crucial that the two substances are kept separate. For this reason, the water content in any mineral oil used should never exceed 200 parts per million (ppm). Hydraulic systems should always be fitted with a respiratory filter that has a desiccant cartridge included. This will not only prevent the unwanted formation of condensation, but will also help filter out unwanted particles that might contaminate the hydraulic oil in use.
Remember that viscosity is vital in cold starts
When it comes to cold starts, a hydraulic oil that has a high viscosity index can cause serious problems. A thicker oil can wreak havoc with equipment, damaging hydraulic pumps, and in the worst-case scenarios, causing total failure and breakdowns. When you need a reliable start in cold conditions, always select lower viscosity hydraulic oils, as they provide better lubrication and a more dependable performance at low temperatures.
Employ ester-based hydraulic oils for their cleaning benefits
Finally, using an ester-based hydraulic oil can help reduce the threat of hydraulic system disruptions. Along with having enhanced lubricity and a longer lifespan than more traditionally used mineral oils, they also have a cleansing impact and can prevent unwanted build-up of varnish.
By remembering these important points, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re getting the best performance possible out of the hydraulics fluids your machinery requires onsite, avoiding unwanted disruptions and system downtime.