Hydraulic systems play a crucial role in many aspects of our daily lives. They are the lifeblood of various types of transportation, including airplanes and ships, and they power moving parts on machinery such as excavators and backhoes, forklifts, and metal fabrication machines. However, like any complex system, things can go wrong in hydraulic systems, leading to inefficiencies or even complete failure. Learn about four things that can go wrong in hydraulic systems.
One of the most common issues in hydraulic systems is human error. Incorrect installation, inadequate maintenance, or misuse can result in performance issues or premature system failure. Regular training and adherence to manufacturer guidelines can help mitigate the risk of human error.
Contamination and Infiltration
Contamination and infiltration are two significant issues that can plague hydraulic systems, leading to decreased efficiency, component wear, and eventual system failure. Two primary forms of contamination are aeration and cavitation.
Aerationrefers to the introduction of air into the hydraulic fluid. Air bubbles in the fluid can lead to erratic operation, spongy control, and increased heat, which can accelerate system wear and damage seals. Regularly checking and maintaining fluid levels can help prevent aeration.
Cavitation occurs when dissolved air in hydraulic fluid forms bubbles; when these bubbles implode, they create shock waves that can cause severe damage to system components. Ensuring adequate fluid supply at all times can help prevent cavitation.
Fluid Quality or Type
The type and quality of hydraulic fluid used can significantly impact the performance and lifespan of a hydraulic system. Using the incorrect fluid can lead to inadequate lubrication, increased wear, and reduced system efficiency. On the other hand, poor-quality fluid can contain contaminants that can cause damage over time. Therefore, it is crucial to use the correct, high-quality fluid specified for your particular hydraulic system.
Hydraulic systems are designed to operate within a specific temperature range. Operating these systems in extreme temperature can lead to issues such as decreased fluid viscosity, seal failure, and increased component wear. Regular maintenance and monitoring can help ensure your system operates within its optimal temperature range.
While hydraulic systems are both robust and versatile, several things can go wrong. By understanding these four common things that can go wrong in hydraulic systems, you can take proactive steps to properly maintain your hydraulic system, ensuring its efficient operation and longevity.