How to Protect Hydraulic Hoses for Longer Service Life

How to Protect Hydraulic Hoses for Longer Service Life

You may not realize it, but your hydraulic systems can make or break your operation.  

Normal wear and tear from day-to-day use can cause unexpected hose failure, resulting in expensive production downtime and delays. That’s unavoidable. But what about those ruptures and leaks that can be avoided? How can you prevent failure due to:  

  • Abrasion 
  • Contamination 
  • Chemical Exposure 
  • Corrosion 
  • Environmental Factors 
  • Extreme Cold and Heat 
  • Fluid Incompatibility 
  • Hydraulic Shock  
  • Moisture 
  • Pressure 
  • Repeated Strain 
  • Vibration 

Many of these hose killers can be avoided through proper planning and maintenance. Most hydraulic hose failure is actually due to assembly contamination, incorrect installation, material fatigue, abrasion and external damage.  

Pros Depend on these Protective Solutions for Superior Hose Life 

Whether on your manufacturing floor or remote worksite, proper care and maintenance can extend the life and reliability of your hydraulic hose assemblies. Here are some simple solutions to protect your hydraulic hose lines:  

Abrasion Sleeves: Abrasion-resistant covers protect hoses from degradation from friction that occurs over time. Usually made from lightweight urethane, abrasion sleeves allow hoses to move freely and protect against damage resulting from rubbing against themselves and other system components.  

Clamps: For general work-holding needs, clamps are available in endless variations to minimize stress, movement and damage. Whether you need reusable clamping devices or economical one-and-done versions, there is a clamp to help you ensure an effective and secure connection and reduce unwanted movement.  

Learn more: Guide to Choosing the Best Industrial Clamp: 11 Clamp Types and Their Uses 

End Connections: If your hydraulic systems are exposed to high temperatures, high pressure or high levels of abrasion, there are end connection fittings made specifically for those applications. 

Learn more: Superior’s Simple Guide to Understanding Hydraulic Hose and Fitting Assembly 

Fire Sleeves: Fire sleeves are ideal for protecting hoses, cables and wires where high heat, flame and molten metal may be present such as steel plants, welding shops or other extreme environments.  

Spring and Spiral Guards: Protects hoses against abrasion and keeps hoses free of kinks that may occur as the hose flexes. Spring and spiral guards are available in metal (used in high-pressure or steel-reinforced hoses) or plastic options to protect hoses and wiring from harsh environments.  

Protective Sleeves and Covers: The outermost cover of your hose protects the inner layers of your hose. Choose protective sleeves and covers that can withstand the conditions of your worksite or plant and meets manufacturer recommendations for pressure, chemical compatibility and other ratings.   

Reinforcement Layers: Choose hoses with reinforcement layers that improve pressure containment and flexibility. But also consider hose bend radius and “force-to-bend” requirements. Thicker layers may improve pressure containment but can result in stiffer and less pliable hoses (leading to hydraulic shock). 

Hose Shields: Hose shields offer abrasion protection for smaller sections of hoses that come into contact with light abrasive elements. Can be easily added or removed without disassembling the hose.  

Hose Protection Wrap: Use hose protection wrap to detect fluid leaks from failed hoses quickly for rapid repair response, less cleanup and downtime and improved worker safety.  

Did you know? In addition to our extensive hose offerings, we can place an onsite hose crimping machine complete with bulk hose and hose ends. We also provide expert training on repairing hydraulic hose assemblies to minimize downtime.  

Benefits of Protective Hose Solutions  

It’s easy to overlook your hose assembly needs. After all, it’s not the most exciting part of your operation. But when hydraulic hose assemblies are neglected, they let you know pretty fast. Leaks, pressure surges and system failures are all expensive side effects of hose neglect. However, with a few simple, yet cost-effective strategies, you can experience:  

  • Higher production output 
  • Improved labor costs 
  • Improved safety 
  • Less downtime 
  • Lower medical insurance and worker’s compensation costs 
  • Lower operating costs 
  • Predictable maintenance and repair costs 
  • Reduced environmental impact 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

9 Hose Assembly Best Practices to Keep Workers Safe 

It’s not just operational failure and loss of production time you should be concerned with. Your workers are at risk of serious injury or death from sudden bursts or even pinhole leaks. 

When a hose assembly fails, not only can it lead to unplanned downtime, expensive repair costs and time-consuming cleanup procedures, it can become a serious safety risk. Potential disasters include: 

  • Bursting under pressure 
  • Fluid burns 
  • Slip and fall hazards 
  • Potential fire or explosions 

So, how can you protect your hydraulic hose from avoidable failure and keep your workers safe? We recommend regularly inspecting hose assemblies and performing routine maintenance to keep your workers and jobsite safe.  

Here’s some advice from our experts and tips from Power & Motion magazine:  

  1. Don’t mix and match. Choose the hose components designed to work together. 
  2. Store unused hose components properly to prevent degradation of parts.  
  3. Inspect equipment daily before starting equipment. (Wear points, flex areas, nozzle bodies, etc.). 
  4. Inspect couplings, clamps and fittings for signs of rust, damage or abrasion.  
  5. Inspect equipment during the off-season for signs of damage or wear.  
  6. Never exceed the manufacturer’s maximum hose pressure recommendations. 
  7. Never repair hydraulic hoses used in high-pressure applications or industrial hoses that convey steam, chemicals or flammable materials (Always replace). 
  8. Use proper protective clamps, covers, guards, and sleeves to extend hose life and improve safety.  
  9. Use the right PPE for the job (options: safety goggles, hand protection and protective clothing) 

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list of service and maintenance recommendations. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper hose handling procedures and contact Superior Industrial Supply for all your hose needs and hose-related questions.  

Have questions about choosing the right solutions to protect your hoses?  

Give us a call at 314-638-6500 OPTION 4. 

Superior Industrial Supply understands your hydraulic hose needs and how efficient repair and replacement are critical to your business’s success. We carry everything you need for your hydraulic hose assemblies from top-rated brands like Danfoss. If you have questions on how Superior can help you improve operations and extend the life of your hydraulic hose assemblies, stop into our St. Louis location, or call 314-638-6500 OPTION 4