Reasons hydraulic hoses fail

Why do hydraulic hoses fail?

Hoses can fail for many reasons, from incorrect installation to general wear-and-tear.

In busy work environments, hoses can become worn down through day-to-day use or be damaged through operator error. Products can also develop faults if they haven’t been correctly installed or maintained, such as insufficient routing or incorrect swaging risking a burst hydraulic hose.

The environment in which hoses are used can also have an impact. Externally, covers can deteriorate or become damaged due to the working environment, causing a hydraulic hose leak. Internally, tubes can degrade if there are spikes in the hydraulic system or incorrect pressures are used, or if fluids become contaminated or too hot.

Careful product selection and proper hydraulic hose assembly are essential – ensuring the best product is being applied and in the correct manner for the machinery or method in use.

Here are some of the key reasons why hydraulic hoses can fail:

  1. Abrasion: Hydraulic hoses are often exposed to abrasive materials, such as rocks or debris, which can cause the outer cover of the hose to wear down over time. This can weaken the hose and eventually cause it to fail.
  2. Age: Hydraulic hoses can degrade over time due to exposure to heat, chemicals, and other environmental factors. As the hose ages, it can become brittle and prone to cracking or breaking.
  3. Over-pressurization: If a hydraulic system is operated at pressures higher than the maximum rated pressure for the hose, it can cause the hose to burst or fail catastrophically.
  4. Improper installation: If a hydraulic hose is not installed correctly, it can be twisted, kinked, or crushed, which can cause it to fail prematurely.
  5. Contamination: If hydraulic fluid becomes contaminated with dirt or other particles, it can cause the inner lining of the hose to wear down, leading to failure.
  6. Flexing: Repeated flexing of the hose can cause fatigue in the material, leading to cracks or fractures.
  7. Mechanical stress: Hoses can experience mechanical stress due to external factors like vibration or impact, or internal factors such as pulsation or pressure spikes. This can cause the hose to crack or weaken over time, leading to failure.
  8. Incorrect clamping: If a hose is not clamped properly, it can lead to excessive movement and stress on the hose, which can cause it to fail prematurely.
  9. Bend radius too tight: If a hose is bent beyond its minimum recommended bend radius, it can cause the hose to kink or crack, leading to failure.
  10. Ozone: Exposure to ozone can cause the outer cover of the hose to crack and degrade, leading to failure.
  11. High temperature: If a hose is exposed to high temperatures beyond its recommended range, it can cause the hose to become brittle and prone to cracking or breaking.
  12. Flow rate too great: If the flow rate through a hose exceeds its maximum recommended rate, it can cause the hose to bulge, leading to failure.
  13. UV: Exposure to UV radiation can cause the outer cover of the hose to degrade and become brittle, leading to failure.
  14. Incorrect couplings: If the wrong type of coupling is used with a hose, it can cause leaks or other failures.

It's important to regularly inspect hydraulic hoses for signs of wear, damage, or aging, and to replace them as needed to prevent failure and maintain the safety and performance of the hydraulic system.

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