Maintenance Tips for Extending Your Hydraulic System Components
Your hydraulic system requires regular maintenance to keep it performing its best. Failures to do so can lead to more costly repairs or even replacement of the entire system.
Aside from degradation and transient failures, a number of component issues can also affect the overall performance of your hydraulics. Monitoring these issues and keeping track of when they happen can help prevent catastrophic equipment failures.
1. Inspect Hoses and Fittings
Hydraulic hoses and fittings are a critical part of hydraulic system, so it’s essential to inspect them for wear and tear on a regular basis. This prevents you from experiencing sudden breakdowns or injuries that could stop production.
The majority of hoses will require inspection once a month, but some may need it more often. Check the hoses and fittings for signs of abrasion, kinking or damage that could cause them to break.
If you notice abrasion or damage on a hose, it is best to replace it as soon as possible. This will protect your employees from the risks of high-pressure leaks and ensure that they can continue working safely.
Another important component of your maintenance checklist is to check the fluid levels. Low fluid levels can indicate that your equipment is not getting enough lubrication, so it’s important to refill and maintain your fluids accordingly.
You should also check the hoses and fittings for any cracks, dents or holes. These can cause the hoses to break when you connect them to other parts of your hydraulic system.
Inspecting hoses and fittings is an easy maintenance task that can help you keep your equipment running smoothly for years to come. It can also be an excellent tool for catching problems before they become too severe.
Aside from the obvious safety benefits, a well-maintained hydraulic system will produce more output at less cost. This is because less downtime means that your hydraulic system can work at a higher rate of efficiency, which helps to reduce fuel and energy costs.
2. Check Pressure
Hydraulic systems are a vital part of many machines in many industries. They save time, keep workers safe and allow faster completion of tasks.
The simplest way to extend hydraulic system life is to ensure proper fluid cleanliness. This will help prevent contamination from entering the system, which is the primary cause of component failure and machine downtime.
In addition, a high fluid cleanliness level will prevent cavitation. This is a serious problem that can lead to catastrophic failure of your equipment.
Performing a simple pressure check will also enable you to locate potential leaks that may be causing air to enter the hydraulic system and disrupting its performance. If this is the case, you will need to seal the leak and replace any faulty parts before running your machine again.
It is essential to perform regular inspections of the hard lines and tubing as well as cylinders and actuators. These should be checked for cracks, kinking and leaks.
Once you have inspected the entire system, you should drain and change the fluid and filter as recommended in your technical manual. This should be done every 50 hours of use to prevent contaminants from entering the system.
This will ensure that your hydraulics are operating at full capacity and are able to do the job you need them to do. It will also help to reduce the likelihood of premature breakdowns and save you money on repairs and downtime.
3. Clean Filters
Filters are an essential part of your hydraulic system. They help remove particles from the hydraulic fluid and prevent them from entering vulnerable components. Dirt, sand, and other particles that are too small to be seen can be introduced into the fluid as part of normal operation.
Particle contamination can result in serious issues with your hydraulic equipment, including shortened lifespans and damage to the fluid itself. Using a hydraulic filtration system can eliminate these contaminants before they damage your machinery and cause significant downtime.
Keeping clean fluids in your hydraulic system can increase productivity, decrease downtime and reduce waste. In addition, clean hydraulic fluid can improve the performance of your equipment and reduce costly maintenance and repair costs.
As contaminants can build up over time in a hydraulic system, it is crucial to check filters regularly. In addition, contaminated fluid can deplete additives and negatively affect your machine’s performance and durability.
It is also important to ensure that the filter has a dirt holding capacity that will allow it to hold up to the maximum pressure your system puts out. Adding additional pressure to a filter that is clogged can create a weakened pressure environment, which can lead to pump damage and increased downtime.
There are many different types of filters for hydraulic applications. Some of the most popular include pressure, return line, and off-line filtration. These types of filters offer flexibility in placement and a wide variety of media options, which means you can find the right filter for your needs. Choosing the best hydraulic filter is vital to the efficiency and longevity of your equipment. Request a quote today to see how a high-quality hydraulic filter can improve your operation.
4. Inspect the Rod
The rod is a vital component of any hydraulic cylinder. It provides the direct force needed to turn the pistons and crankshaft, directing the downward pressure of the pistons into rotational torque. The rod is designed to handle the highest combustion loads without bending or buckling. However, severe overloading can cause a rod to fail.
The best way to ensure the rod is performing correctly is to inspect it before installation and regularly during use. This inspection should include checking the rod for roundness, sizing, and condition.
A connecting rod’s big-end bore and pin bore should be perfectly round, with a low surface finish to allow heat to transfer efficiently to the bearing inserts. This is important for avoiding premature rod bearing failure and unwanted or uneven forces applied at the wrist pin.
Another important component is the rod’s housing bore, which can become out-of-round after many hours of operation.
Finally, make sure the rod’s rod bolts are properly tightened to provide the recommended clamping force. If they are not, rod bolts will stretch, reducing their tensile strength and increasing the risk of breaking or stretching.
For performance applications, rod bolts should be upgraded to stronger aftermarket rod bolts. They can offer more than double the tensile strength of the original stock rod bolts.
5. Apply Grease
Using the proper grease is a crucial component of hydraulic breaker maintenance, as it helps to reduce friction and wear that can occur from constant cycling up and down. This can lead to shortened tool life, bushing damage, and internal piston fracture.
It is important to apply grease regularly during use and before and after prolonged storage, as it keeps the system lubricated and operating smoothly. The thickener helps to create a film layer on the surface of metal components, which can help prevent damaging contact between the metal and the hydraulic fluid.
There are also several different types of lubricants for specific applications. For example, hydraulic breaker grease is different than chassis grease because it needs to function under pressure and load in a dirty environment.
Choosing the right lubricant can be a complex process and requires an understanding of how each product works. This can help to avoid unnecessary energy loss and expensive changeouts. It is also essential to understand how the oil will react to certain factors in the hydraulic system, such as temperature and contaminants.
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