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What are the important attributes of hydraulic oil?

Hydraulic oils are defined as hydraulic lubricants using an oil base, as opposed to those that use water, which are sometimes referred to as hydraulic fluids. Water was among the earliest hydraulic lubricants, used by the world’s first civilizations in India, China and even Ancient Egypt, but today, leading lubrication manufacturers like Mobil and Fuchs create hydraulic lubricants that are oil based.

To enhance their performance, the power-transferring oils are engineered with a specially formulated selection of additives. This allows the hydraulic oils to cope with the incredible demands required of them, allowing them to handle extreme temperatures and deliver improved protection to the components they seal and serve.

In the next sections, we’ll take a closer look at hydraulic oil and examine some of the key qualities that a high-quality product can offer equipment users.

Defining hydraulic oils

A built-for-purpose hydraulic oil acts as a medium to transfer power within dedicated hydraulic machinery. Commonly, hydraulic oils are created with a base mineral oil that has been selected for its superior quality. The natural oil is then empowered with a carefully formulated additive package.

What kind of machinery and equipment uses hydraulic lubricants?

Hydraulic oils and fluids are used in an extensive range of mechanical equipment, from simple vehicle components to complex systems. Examples of applications for their power-transferring properties includes lifts, excavators, hydraulic brakes, systems for power steering, waste collection vehicles, industrial machinery and flight control systems in aeroplanes.

Key attributes of a high-performing hydraulic oils

High-quality hydraulic oils with advanced capabilities, such as improved thermal stability and anti-wearing properties, have been designed to specifically meet the demands of modern-day hydraulic systems that must operate under intense pressure. High-performance hydraulic oils will usually contain additives that either suppress or boost existing qualities in the base oil or add entirely new properties that it doesn’t possess. Three key attributes of a high-quality hydraulic oil are anti-wearing, thermal stability and viscosity.


Hydraulic oils are often created with enhanced anti-wearing properties. This attribute can effectively decrease the amount of wear experienced by components and parts of hydraulic systems and pumps. By reducing wear, individual elements of equipment are able to last longer, which means the machinery won’t suffer downtime while parts are repaired or replaced.

Thermal stability

Hydraulic oils that have exceptional levels of thermal stability can operate effectively and for longer even in the most extreme working conditions. Improved thermal stability can extend the service life of the hydraulic oil, adding up to significant saving for users over time.


Finally, a high viscosity index is sought-after quality in today’s hydraulic oils. This property ensures they can operate efficiently and deliver peak performance under an extensive range of temperatures. Whether working in extreme cold or intense heat, a hydraulic oil with a high viscosity can still deliver the same level of effectiveness and protection in terms of anti-wearing.

To select the best hydraulic oil for any equipment, you should always heed the manufacturer’s recommendation or consult a specialist oil supplier.

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