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How to Extend Hydraulic Cylinder Hose Life: Useful Tips

How to Extend Hydraulic Cylinder Hose Life: Useful Tips

05/22/2023

By Kyle Lewis

Hydraulic hoses are the unsung heroes of cylinder applications in various industries. Designed to endure rugged conditions, they are an essential component of construction, agriculture, and oil and gas machinery, among others. But despite their tough construction, these hoses are susceptible to damage in the form of kinking, bending, abrasion, and tears. 

The impact of this damage can range from hydraulic fluid contamination to permanent damage to critical components, ultimately affecting equipment downtime. It's essential to prioritize proper care and maintenance to prevent these issues and to help your hydraulic cylinder life expectancy. Trust Cylinders, Inc. for your cylinder servicing needs.

Protect the Hydraulic Hose

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Protecting hydraulic hoses from damage is crucial on construction sites and in oil and gas applications. These hoses are exposed to numerous harsh elements and factors, such as sharp concrete and steel, UV rays, corrosive seawater, extreme temperatures, and pressure spikes. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent accelerated wear and damage. Installing clamps to route hoses away from high-heat system components and using hose guards or wraps can create an extra layer of protection from UV exposure, temperature, and abrasion. 

Additionally, placing a pressure release valve near the pump outlet can help reduce strain caused by sudden pressure changes. Taking these precautions can significantly extend the lifespan of hydraulic hoses and save you time and money in the long run as you will have less downtime and more time to run your business’ equipment.

If you don’t protect your hydraulic hose equipment, you are going to be in a world of hurt when you have to spend money to replace it. Not only that, with downtime on the job site, you will certainly regret it if you don’t have a hydraulic hose inspection checklist and thoroughly inspect and protect your hydraulic hoses.

Always Inspect Hoses for Issues

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You should always inspect hoses for issues. By investing a few minutes every day, you can prolong the life of your hoses and prevent failures.

Signs of External Damage

External physical damage is a major culprit behind hydraulic hose failures, with 80% of them caused by issues like crushing, kinking, pulling, or abrasion. Among these, abrasion is most frequently responsible, often occurring when hoses rub against each other or their surrounding surfaces. 

Experts suggest taking a few simple precautions to prevent this type of damage, including keeping all clamps secure, carefully routing hoses when replacements are needed, and investing in low-cost spiral wrap made from durable polyethylene to provide a protective barrier between the hose and its surroundings. 

By taking care of your hydraulic equipment, you can ensure optimal performance and avoid costly downtime due to unnecessary damage.

Multi-Plane Bending

Multi-plane bending may seem like a simple mistake when assembling hydraulic hoses, but it can have devastating effects on the lifespan of the hose. Twisting the hose's wire reinforcement by just five degrees can cut the hose's service life by up to 70%, and if twisted by seven degrees, it can see service life reduced by 90%. 

The primary cause of multi-plane bending is improper assembly selection, routing, or inadequate clamping, which fails to secure the hose in place. When subjected to machine or actuator movement, the hose may bend more than intended, resulting in reduced lifespan and costly replacements.

Operating Conditions

The performance and longevity of a hydraulic hose are greatly affected by the operating conditions it faces. Temperature extremes, such as hot daytime temperatures and cold nights, can prematurely age the hose's tube and cover. Additionally, frequent and extreme pressure fluctuations from heavy-duty machinery can cause fatigue in the hose. 

When working with high dynamic pressure conditions, a spiral-reinforced hydraulic hose may have a higher initial cost but ultimately provides a longer service life than a two-wire braid reinforced hose. Understanding the operating conditions is crucial in selecting the right hydraulic hose for the job to ensure safety and optimal performance.

Perform Preventive Maintenance

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Maintaining your hydraulic equipment is crucial if you want your machines to last longer and keep performing efficiently. One of the most effective ways to keep your hydraulic hoses in top shape is by performing regular preventative maintenance. 

  1. Any time you perform preventative maintenance or any routine checks, wipe down the hydraulic cylinder and hoses. If you have clean equipment, it’ll be easier to see subtle issues arise and troubleshoot.
  2. Perform a thorough inspection for loose fittings. Loose fittings can lead to unwanted oil leaks and air leaks in the system, causing potential damage and downtime. Common culprits for loose fittings include worn or cross threads, incorrect or worn O-rings, or just simply needing to be tightened. 
  3. To prevent costly, and potentially dangerous, leaks, make it a habit to routinely inspect your hose fittings. Check for signs of damage, and be careful not to overtighten fittings, which can also weaken the seal.
  4. If any hoses show any sign of wear and tear, replace them immediately. Check for cracks, leaks, gouges, or if the inner layers of the steel wires are exposed.
  5. Once it’s time to replace hoses, pay attention to the required pressure ratings.

Conclusion

With a thorough plan, you can greatly prevent the likelihood of hydraulic cylinder failures, and by performing regular inspections and having a solid maintenance plan, your equipment will last longer, and you’ll have less downtime when issues do arise. While maintenance and inspection can help you, it’s wise to have a hydraulic cylinder repair company in mind that can help you with hydraulic hose replacement. 

When you work with Cylinders, Inc., you’ll have a team who knows industrial cylinder rebuild and repairs, so contact us and you can feel confident that you’re getting the most out of all of your equipment, saving time and money.

Cylinders inc. team

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