Common Causes of Hydraulic Failures

Hydraulic lines are used in a variety of industrial and mechanical applications. When these lines fail, they not only interrupt operations, but may also present risks of damage or injuries as well. Identifying the common causes of hydraulic failures is an important step in making necessary improvements to reduce the likelihood of premature failures.

Hydraulic Service LinesMany hydraulic piping failures are due to improper installation, assembly procedure or component selection. Improper routing is one of the most common causes of premature hydraulic line failure. Hoses and lines that are not carefully routed may be subject to abrasion or damage due to movement or vibration. Careful routing includes using protective sleeves and clamps to keep lines in place and protected from vibration and wear, which helps extend the lifespan of lines and reduce failures caused by abrasion.

Hoses or lines that are operated above their designed operating pressure will also tend to fail prematurely. Surges in pressure are common in hydraulic systems, so using a hose that only barely meets the operating pressure requirements may result in failure as pressure surges during use.

Temperature extremes – both high and low – may also shorten the life of a hydraulic line or hose. Hoses that are used outside of the designed temperature range may degrade quickly, both inside and outside. It is important to consider both the ambient and operating temperatures when selecting and installing hydraulic hoses.

Hydraulic line and hose fittings should be carefully selected as well. The manufacturer’s guidelines provide a good starting point when choosing fittings, whether crimped or reusable. The chemical resistance of the hoses, fittings and O-rings should all be considered as well. Components that are exposed to fluids or chemicals that they are not designed for will often degrade at a faster rate, potentially leading to failure.

R.G. Smith Company has helped many businesses throughout Ohio design, install and upgrade hydraulic systems. Our skilled and experienced engineers and project managers are able to help any business with its hydraulic piping needs. Contact us today in Mansfield at 419-524-47778 or our Canton headquarters at 330-456-3415 to learn more or to get a quote for your project.

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