Hydraulic hoses are critical in almost all hydraulic systems, so imagine the hassle if it suddenly breaks down. Also, the hose’s flexibility allows the components of the system to be placed in the most convenient or efficient positions because it can get around corners, limited spaces, and go across any lengths.
But these days, selecting the right type of hose can be very challenging because of the vast number of choices. How can you differentiate a kind from the other? Is there a more straightforward way to choose the right type?
So, we have made a guide that contains everything that you need to know to find the right hydraulic hose for your needs. What are you waiting for? Read more to find out!
What Are Hydraulic Hoses Made Of?
Today, hydraulic hoses are composed of three parts: an inner tube (which transports the fluid), a reinforcement layer, and a protective covering/outer layer. The inner tube is usually designed to be flexible, and it needs to be compatible with the specific type of fluid that will pass through it. This part of hydraulic hoses is usually made from synthetic rubber, PTFE (or Teflon), and thermoplastics. On the other hand, the reinforcement layer is made from single or multiple sheaths of braided wire, textile yarn or spiral-wound wire. Lastly, the protective covering is made to be resistant to oil, abrasion, and the elements. So, you will need to choose the specific type of protection that you need depending on the environment that the hose will be used.
How Can I Choose the Right Hydraulic Hose?
If you want to design a hydraulic system, there are seven factors that you should consider when selecting the right hose and couplings. So, to make your life easier while determining the proper tube for a new application, remember the acronym STAMPED. It stands for Size, Temperature, Application, Materials, Pressure, Ends, and Delivery. Here’s why these things are essential:
- Size – To choose the right hose, you should measure the interior and exterior diameters of the hose by using high precision tools like a calliper. Aside from that, you should also measure the length of the hydraulic hose. Determining the external diameter of the tube is crucial, especially when you are planning to use hose-support clamps or when the hose is guided through bulkheads. So, you should always check the manual for the individual specification table of each tube to determine their external diameter.
- Temperature – All hydraulic hoses are designed to meet a maximum working temperature, and it ranges from 90oC to 150oC (which is based on the temperature of the liquid). So, when a hose is continually exposed to temperatures that exceed the standard, it can hasten their deterioration and can reduce their flexibility. Also, you need to ensure that you use the right hydraulic oil with the required viscosity to protect the hose from high temperatures. As I’ve said earlier, you should always follow the instructions set by the manufacturer.
- Application – Will your choice of hydraulic hose meet the required bend radius? You need to ask this because when you go over the bend radius (using a much smaller one), it will damage the hose reinforcement and will warrant repairs or replacement. Also, you need to place hydraulic lines with high-pressure parallel to the contours of the machine if it is possible. By doing so, you will save money because the length of the line is shorter, and the number of hard angles is reduced (it can restrict the flow of the fluid). Aside from that, you can also protect the hoses from damage, and it will be easier to repair in the future.
- Materials – It is necessary to check a compatibility chart to see if the hose assembly is suitable for the fluid that will be used in the system. Due to the elevated temperature, fluid contamination, and liquid concentration will all play a role in the chemical compatibility of the hose and the fluid. Also, almost all hydraulic hoses are made out of petroleum-based oils, and newer, biodegradable or “green” fluids may pose a risk for a limited number of hoses.
- Pressure – The working pressure of the hydraulic hose must always be maintained so that it reaches or exceeds the maximum pressure that the system can handle including pressure spikes. If a pressure spike is above the standard operating pressure, it will likely damage the hydraulic hose and shorten its life.
- Ends – The hose of your choice must have a coupling-to-hose mechanical interface that should be compatible with it. Besides, the right mating thread end must be used for the mating components to be leak-free when sealed. Permanent type couplings are usually used for industrial equipment, large-scale rebuilders, and repair shops while field-attachable couplings allow for more flexibility.
- Delivery – Is the product widely available or is it hard to find? How soon can you have it if you order from the distributor? So, it may be a better idea to consider a lot of options first to select one that offers flexibility and lessen the delays that can stem from choosing parts that are discontinued or in short supply.
What Are the Types of Hydraulic Hoses?
This type of hydraulic hose is lighter than most metal type counterparts, and it will make it easier to move the hydraulic system. It can also be made more durable by adding a fiberglass or steel mesh which helps minimise bending, bulging, and scratching. Also, it can withstand high temperatures, and it can also be used to link with several hose fittings.
1. Reinforced Rubber
Recommended: The FLUIDKRAFT Hydraulics H6000D Diehard can be used for power units or power applications like winches, windlasses, and furlers. Also, the inner tube is made of synthetic rubber that is reinforced with two braids of steel wire which makes it abrasion-resistant. The hose is also available in cadmium-plated steel, but stainless steel is available if you ask for it.
2. Steel Reinforced Teflon
There are times that hydraulic hoses made of steel are too cumbersome to use. So, you should try a Teflon (also known as PTFE) hydraulic hose with steel reinforcement because it has all of the benefits of steel hoses. Also, this type has an even higher heat resistance than rubber. If your system involves a boiler or a blast furnace, this type is the one that you should choose. Aside from that, it is very light, which is essential if you’re at the field.
Recommended: The Fluidkraft RTH1 Series Hose Lining is made from Teflon (PTFE) and is reinforced with one braid of Grade 304 stainless steel wire with high tensile strength. It is recommended for dealing with high-pressure hydraulic oil lines. Also, the hose is chemically pure, nonreactive, and has no leachable additives. Aside from that, it is also highly resistant to high temperatures and open flame because it has a high melting point, thermal damage threshold, and auto-ignition temperature. However, you should avoid using this for fluids and gases because it can generate static electricity which may hasten the hose’s degradation.
3. Return Lines
Although there is no specific hose that is designed to be a return line, it is still a vital piece in a system. Return lines are responsible for bringing fluids back to the pump where the pressure decreases. So, less expensive hoses can usually get the job done. But don’t be too confident! If return lines are not maintained properly, they can cause quite a hassle when they breakdown.
Recommended: The Fluidkraft SRX Extreme has a tube that is made from synthetic rubber and is oil resistant, and it is reinforced with either one fibre or spiral braid. Also, it is covered with black synthetic rubber that is oil and abrasion-resistant. Aside from that, it meets the 30RS performance requirements that are needed for both Type 1 and Type 2 for transporting fuel. It is also rated to withstand temperatures ranging from -40oC to 100oC.
If you want a hose that can be easily stored and maintained, this is the type for you. Coiled tubes are ideal for auto repair shops, welding shops, and other businesses that value space and efficiency. Aside from that, professionals like mechanics and engineers prefer this type of hose because they can be pulled, used, and snap back in place to where it was placed.
Recommended: The Fluidkraft H12D DIEHARD is made with a bonded twin-line construction and has a self-retracting coil design. The hose is made out of nylon, reinforced with 528N-Aramid fibre, and is covered in polyurethane. Besides, the hose is rated to work at temperatures ranging from -40oC to 100oC, and it has a non-perforated cover.
Corrugated and Articulated
Corrugated hydraulic hoses function much like expansions joints, but they are meant for use in a hydraulic system. It can accommodate sudden pressure surges or expansion due to fluctuations in the external temperature. On the other hand, articulated hoses similar to corrugated type hoses but they can be maneuvered freely around corners or twist to fit around other components.
Recommended: The Fluidkraft TMH is perfect for transporting gases and fluids in wide-ranging temperatures (from -200oC to 500oC). Although it can handle extreme temperatures, the hose’s capability to handle pressure reduces as it gets hotter.