How Important is Fluid Filtration in a Hydraulic System?

September 23, 2019

A hydraulic system is a complicated network of components, hoses, valves, and piping which are commonly found in any heavy-duty machinery. These systems may be diverse in terms of how they operate, but their basic operating principle remains the same – generating force through non-compressible fluids. Hydraulic systems are commonly found in the steering wheels of a vehicle or applications used for heavy lifting of weights. A hydraulic system is a mechanical process, therefore, it’s vulnerable to regular wear and tear. Some of its components like springs and seals become loose due to leakages and poor fluid filtration. Fluid contamination is considered to be one of the main reasons for the failure of hydraulic systems according to industry experts. Selecting the right kind of hydraulic oil filter cart is very important. There are lots of variants available in the market right now. It’s advised to consult your original equipment manufacturer OEM before buying a certain fluid as it depends on the kind of device you have. For most of the applications, petroleum-based oil fluids are generally recommended by the experts. Water-oil emulsions, water-glycol, and synthetic hydraulic fluids are also utilized for fire-resistant fluids.

Fluid performs the following four fundamental functions in a hydraulic system:

  1. It generates force and motion because the flow is changed to pressure.
  2. It resides in a space between different metal surfaces. Subsequently, it creates a seal that helps in eliminating pollutants by providing a pressure barrier.
  3. It acts as a lubricant for different metal surfaces.
  4. It cools down system components.
Hydraulic systems will not be able to perform at their best if any of the above four functions get disturbed. Plants can lose thousands of dollars per hour as a result of downtime. The failure of a system can occur due to human error as well. As mentioned earlier, fluid contamination accounts for one of the major causes of system failure – about 70 to 90 percent to be precise. Contamination can be produced by air, water, solid particles, and some reactive chemicals damaging the functionality of fluid in many ways.

These pollutants can enter hydraulic systems in various kinds of ways:

  • During the manufacturing process, some of the contaminants remain in the system like dirt, metal, and rubber particles from seals and hoses, welding slag, debris and rust from machine components, and sand from castings, etc.
  • While adding the fluid, some of the pollutants enter the framework one way or another. This occurs because oil is not clean and is not filtered well before putting it inside the hydraulic system.
  • During normal hours of operation, systems can receive internal pollution as a result of standard wear and tear in some parts. The continuous pump rotation may be taken as an example.
  • Pollutants also enter the system externally during normal working hours. They may enter through loose seals, breather caps, and other kinds of openings.
  • Without regular maintenance, fluid conditioning, and preventive measures, component failure persisting for a long time can result in costly downtime. To remove these contaminants, conduct a comprehensive fluid analysis to learn more about the kinds of pollutants present. Make sure to collect samples from every equipment as contaminants may vary from one part of a machine to another. You may also come to learn about a specific component failure as a result of this pilot study.

Take the following steps to maintain a functional hydraulic system:

  1. The area around the reservoir must be neat and clean.
  2. Conduct proper flushing of all systems before preliminary starting.
  3. When the new equipment achieves its break-in period, change fluids and hydraulic filters.
  4. The reservoir must have a quality breather attached to it.
  5. Make sure that the fluid being added must reach the exact specifications during addition.
  6. Filter all the fluid down the reservoir periodically with the help of an A-Grade hydraulic filter cart in the form of a kidney loop.
  7. Perform fluid analysis tests regularly especially after suspecting contamination.
  8. Ensure that your team utilizes standard Beta 1000 elements in every filter housing, and replace them when required.
  9. Make sure that the hydraulic hoses are plugged in well while repairing the system.
  10. Always repair leakages as early as possible.
A properly functioning hydraulic oil filter cart is required to clean a system of all impurities. It helps in longer service delivery and optimum operating capacity of the system. It’s imperative to change the filters after a specific number of hours or miles of running according to the instructions of your OEM. Some quality filters also come with preinstalled pressure switches that indicate the right time to service the hydraulic filters of your system. Harvard Filtration provides its industrial customers with world-class filtration systems and filter carts for delivering continuous contamination control solutions. Our range of oil filtration systems is broad enough to meet all your industrial filtration needs. Contact us now if you want to purchase any of our quality filtration system or filter carts.

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