August 24, 2023
How to Prevent Fluid Contamination Before It’s Too Late
Foreign particles and other substances can damage and even destroy a hydraulic system if they are allowed to contaminate the hydraulic fluid. Dirt and other particles can damage metal surfaces inside the system, causing them to weaken and fail. Water can corrode surfaces, reduce fluid viscosity and damage pumps. By the time these problems become obvious, it may be too late to save the equipment.
That’s why it’s important to minimize hydraulic fluid contamination and quickly deal with any foreign substances that make it into your systems. Explore three best practices that will help keep contaminants out of your hydraulic fluid so your machinery keeps working efficiently.
1. Carefully Choose, Store and Transport Your Hydraulic Fluid
It’s essential to choose the right hydraulic fluid and protect it from contaminants before it enters your system. Avoid reusing hydraulic fluid — previously used fluid may have picked up particles or other contaminants that will damage the next system in which it’s used. It’s also a good idea to avoid mixing two different kinds of hydraulic fluid in order to avoid unexpected reactions and keep the system working efficiently.
Your hydraulic fluid must also be properly stored. Appropriate storage includes:
- Temperature control: Store containers in temperature-controlled areas. Changes in temperature can cause condensation, with water forming inside containers and contaminating the fluid.
- Sideways orientation: Storing containers on their sides will prevent any water that might form inside from accumulating at the top.
- Tight seals: Make sure containers remain closed and sealed tightly when not in use, including when they’re being transported.
2. Keep Contaminants out With Cleanliness and the Right Filters
Hydraulic fluid contaminants can enter a system during maintenance, repairs or fluid replacement. You can reduce the risk by keeping work areas and equipment clean. Effective filters are also essential when adding new fluid to the system.
Avoid contamination when the system is open by:
- Using lint-free rags and keeping work surfaces clean to prevent the transfer of contaminants.
- Making sure the hydraulic hose and any other tools are clean.
- Cleaning the machine itself before opening it to prevent contaminants on the surface from entering the system.
When you’re adding new fluid or new components, you should also make sure to:
- Flush old fluid completely out of the system before adding new fluid. This step will ensure any contaminants already present are removed.
- Rinse new components with fresh fluid to wash away any contaminants on the new parts.
- Filter the hydraulic fluid as you add it to the system — this will remove contaminants that may have entered the fluid either during the manufacturing process or while it was exposed to the work area.
3. Carefully Monitor and Maintain Your Systems
You should check the condition of your hydraulic systems regularly for signs of contamination. This includes inspecting the parts for wear and other damage. While also running oil analysis to detect any contamination in your system.
Be sure to check for and repair leaks to keep contaminants out and ensure fluid doesn’t escape the system. Filters also need regular inspection and replacement to prevent clogging so they can continue to catch any contaminants that might damage the system.
Contact Chase Filters & Components
At Chase Filters & Components, we have decades of experience working with businesses to keep their hydraulic systems free of contamination and their equipment running smoothly. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your organization.