We live and work in a society that expects certain guarantees, especially when it comes to products that are costly and vital to the daily running of our business. A common concern for companies with hydraulic systems is how long the various parts are going to last, particularly the hoses. This is unfortunately impossible to answer, especially when you consider that hoses are the most vulnerable parts of a hydraulic system.
There are countless reasons and influencing factors that can lead to premature failure of a hose assembly, but often, the most common of these can be avoided with proper precautions. The first step is understanding what the most likely causes of failure are and how to avoid them. Here, we break down three of the more common reasons and what you can do to ensure you get the maximum life out of your hydraulic hoses.
Extremely high temperatures can cause problems with the hose's mechanical properties, such as softening, discolouration, hardening and cracking. Another issue that can arise from extreme heat is a 'frozen' assembly, where the material softens and then hardens as it cools into a brittle, solid state. Similarly, when a hose is cooled to extremely low temperatures, it loses its flexibility, becoming stiff and brittle. Either scenario causes the hose to break down faster than it would at room temperature. While there are manufacturing processes that can help protect the hose from extreme temperatures, the best way to prevent inevitable damage and failure is to simply avoid extreme environmental exposure.
Improperly assembled hose components and routing are quite possibly the leading cause of the premature hydraulic hose failure. If the hose has been improperly routed, it can result in excess stress, abrasion and crimping, which will ultimately lead to a dangerous failure. To avoid this problem, make sure that your hoses are properly assembled and installed. This will ensure that your assemblies last longer, decreasing downtime and preventing costly maintenance.
The more hours that your hydraulic hose is in use, the more maintenance it will require. Neglecting to frequently inspect and maintain your hoses will increase the risk of sudden failure and result in serious consequences such as injury, oil spills, collateral damage and costly downtime. Implementing a preventative maintenance programme with detailed instructions and tasks is imperative for discovering issues before critical failure. Also, making sure your workforce is properly trained on the assembly procedures and techniques will assist your operators to be alert to possible problems that, if not corrected, could lead to failure.
If you need any more information about extending the life of your hose assembly or if you need help selecting the correct assembly for your operation, contact our capable team today!