Why evaluate hydraulic fluid compatibility?


Courtesy of Sterlitech Corporation

When introducing a new control fluid to hydraulic systems, it is important to ensure that the new liquid or mixture is of equal or superior quality to the previous fluid. If the new mixture is incompatible, precipitate may form and result in an overall inferior fluid. This can speed up clogging or damage the system.

When a manufacturer of construction machinery releases a new line of bulldozers or backhoes, they may consider using a lower cost alternative fluid mixture. If the machines take a different fluid than previous versions, it may be beneficial to switch over to a single fluid for the entire fleet. The compatibility of the new fluid with the old can be assessed for quality to decide if the change is warranted.

Similarly, an automotive die-casting company may want to convert from a water glycol hydraulic fluid to a polyol-ester fluid for higher performance and lower environmental impact on their cutting machinery. Examining the new fluid’s compatibility can yield valuable information during this type of transition as well.

TheASTM D7752-11 Standard Practice for Evaluating Compatibility of Mixtures of Hydraulic Fluidsoutlines a filtration process for conducting an ISO 13357 procedure. This procedure is a dependable, standardized way to evaluate fluids and mixtures in a hydraulic system to ensure new mixtures are stable with each other.

Ultimately, validating fluid compatibility does not necessarily promise better performance, but is a step towards ensuring extended system life, saving money, and potentially reducing the environmental footprint.

Sterlitech offers 0.8 micron, 47 mm MCE filters that are suitable for use with theASTM D7752-11method. These versatile filters have a wide variety of applications, including contamination analysis, due to their superior flow rates, precise pores, and durable construction.

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