3 Major Signs of Hydraulic System Failure

Friday, November 17, 2017

Part 1 of our 2-part series focused on the most common reasons behind hydraulic system failure, touching on fluid contamination, heat-aging, abrasion, and insertion depth. Now, let’s move past the causes and focus on the signs and symptoms.

Air-Way shares 3 signs of hydraulic system failure

Brendan Casey of Machinery Lubrication describes three easily detectable symptoms that give early warning something’s wrong with your hydraulic system. 

Abnormal Noise

Abnormal noise in hydraulic systems is often caused by aeration or cavitation. Aeration occurs when air contaminates the hydraulic fluid. Air in the hydraulic fluid makes an alarming banging or knocking noise when it compresses and decompresses, as it circulates through the system.

Cavitation occurs when the volume of fluid demanded by any part of a hydraulic circuit exceeds the volume of fluid being supplied. This causes the absolute pressure in that part of the circuit to fall below the vapor pressure of the hydraulic fluid. This results in the formation of vapor cavities within the fluid, which implode when compressed, causing a characteristic knocking noise.

High Fluid Temperature

Fluid temperatures above 180°F (82°C) can damage seals and accelerate degradation of the fluid. This means that the operation of any hydraulic system at temperatures above 180°F is detrimental and should be avoided. In addition to damaging seals and reducing the service life of the hydraulic fluid, high fluid temperature can cause damage to system components through inadequate lubrication as a result of excessive thinning of the oil film (low viscosity).

Slow Operation

A reduction in machine performance is often the first indication that there is something wrong with a hydraulic system. This usually manifests itself in longer cycle times or slow operation.

If you’re seeing these symptoms in your equipment or machinery, it’s time to consider some preventative maintenance before any major damage is done.

Whether it’s a preventative measure or emergency response, Air-Way has the capacity, inventory, and shipping capability to help you repair or replace your hydraulic fittings and hose assemblies quickly and reliably. This reduces the downtime our customers experience when their systems fail and fast component repair or replacement is time critical.

To learn more about our hydraulic offerings you can view our catalog online, or please contact us today!







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