As an experienced and expert repair shop for a wide range of hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, we often get asked about fastener grades for various pieces of equipment. At first glance, this may not seem like such an important question, but hydraulic systems are typically used in extremely rugged and harsh environments and hardware failures can be costly in terms of both time and money.
Operators who experience frequent equipment failures, especially for such critical components as bolted pump flanges may be the victim of hardware that’s simply not meeting their specs. For example, some repair shops may be using SAE Grade 5 hardware when they should be using Grade 8. In some cases, this may be a simple case of “ignorance is bliss” and the repair mechanic may not realize there’s a significant difference between the two grades’ performance. With that in mind, let’s take a look at why it’s important to use Grade 8 hardware to meet your specs.
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Tracking down hard-to-find hydraulic oil filters is a commonplace occurrence for us. Customers often have over-worked hydraulic systems that are old, worn, dirty and faded. This can present a challenge to anyone trying to replace an old hydraulic oil filter that may or may not be in stock at most filter suppliers, or worse, no longer available through normal supply chains.
Are you faced with:
- A unique, hard-to-find hydraulic oil filter?
- An old or obsolete hydraulic system?
- A custom system?
- A filter with the part number worn off or faded?
- A filter you’ve never seen before?
- A system without a filter that needs one?
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How important is clean hydraulic fluid? Very important. Of all the oil-lubricated systems in commercial and industrial facilities, hydraulic systems are, by far, the most sensitive to contamination.
Hydraulic systems are particularly susceptible to dirty fluid problems because of all the moving parts that are often operating in the dirtiest, harshest conditions. Hydraulic systems are typically subjected to hard use and feature very tight tolerances to help keep out the bad stuff. That means when dirt and debris from wear and tear get into the system, they can cause a lot of damage quickly. From pumps to valves, cylinders to motors, hydraulic system depend on clean oil to keep running smoothly and even the smallest particle or drop of water can cause big problems.
While there is an enormous variety of hydraulic systems designed for hundreds of different applications and industries, they all have some common features regarding the hydraulic fluid power system, such as the reservoir. A well-designed hydraulic reservoir enables contaminants to fall to the bottom of the tank or be removed by a filtration system that can be installed. But a poorly-designed reservoir can feature a too-small tank that can’t adequately handle the hydraulic fluid flow or return lines that are too close and have poor baffling, setting the system up for contamination problems and possible failure.
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