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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Advantages of using synthetic hydrolic oil vs regular oil

In our modern environment we’re surrounded by hydraulic applications.From massive oil-drilling rigs to the robots that assemble our cars. All hydraulic, and each application eking out that last iota of oil life and performance to save money and the planet. The one thing they all have in common is their life-blood; hydrolic oils. But in improving performance, what are the advantages of using synthetic hydrolic oil vs regular oil?

Well for one synthetic hydrolic oil is much more stable under
various operating temperatures and loads, resulting in:
  • reduced heat load on the hydraulic system, leading to better viscosity retention, less varnish build-up and oxidation, reduction in component wear (including hoses); longer seal life and better overall system performance.
  • significant drop in hydraulic oil temperature (If the system becomes too hot, the oil’s viscosity can thin to the point where the pump is damaged or seals are destroyed.)
  • the use of a lower viscosity oils to cope with operating conditions
  • improved efficiency
  • lower energy costs
  • lower maintenance costs.
In other words to meet the same performance as synthetic hydrolic oil, regular hydraulic products have to have a higher viscosity which you’ll pay for at the fuel bowzer or electricity meter. (The cautionary flipside to this though is that if your fluids are too thin, you’ll pay for it at the repair shop.)

To eliminate some of the problems associated with temperature changes, many mobile equipment owners switch viscosities with the seasons. They may run a ISO VG 22 product in the winter and switch to an ISO VG 32 or 46 oil in the summer. Habot synthetic hydrolic oil is a  high-viscosity-index product that eliminates the need for these applications. Habot’s ISO 32 or ISO 46 can operate year round in all but the most extreme cold conditions.

Cold-Weather Performance can also create it’s own set of problems. Synthetic hydrolic oil has much better cold-temperature characteristics than most regular hydraulic oils. This can be seen by comparing the oils viscosity index, Brookfield viscosity and pour point numbers of a conventional product to the corresponding viscosity of synthetic hydrolic oil. With mobile equipment generally sitting out in the elements while on-site, regular hydraulic fluids thicken in the cold which often leads to damage such as excessive pump wear due to cavitation, gear scuffing,blown hoses, and extended warm-up times that waste fuel.

But the cost saving in using synthetic hydrolic oil, is not only in the operating costs: Machine design can also be optimised:

  •     Sump - The volume of the hydraulic system’s sump responsible for holding the oils, providing time for the transferring of heat, can be reduced.
  • Pump - The hydraulic system’s pump produces the fluid flow that creates pressure. In most cases, it is the most expensive part in the system. Using synthetic hydrolic oil the viscosity doesn’t need to be as high as regular hydraulic oil, and therefore a “lighter” pump can be used.
  • Hoses -perhaps the weakest link in any hydraulic system. Cold, thick fluid can cause pressure spikes and extremely hot fluid breaks down hoses and seals over time. Using synthetic hydrolic oil, minimises these problems and results in less downtime and maintenance costs.
  • Valves -Varnish presents a major problem with valves, causing them to stick or not allowing them to seal properly. Synthetic hydrolic oil effectively inhibits oxidation which reduces acid formation and viscosity increase; resists carbon and varnish deposits and inhibits rust and foam (providing smooth hydraulic operation).
  • Pistons/Hydraulic Motors - Pistons and hydraulic gear motors convert the hydraulic flow and pressure into work. Common issues associated with pistons and hydraulic motors are internal or external leakage. External leakage results in loss of fluid and possible contamination issues, while internal leakage results in lost efficiency. Once again superior synthetic hydraulic additive engineering provide improved seal swell and creep.

So to sum up the advantages of using synthetic hydrolic oil vs regular oil:

Synthetic base products resist thermal and oxidative breakdown and work to prevent carbon and varnish deposits. The very high viscosity indices, low pour points and lack of paraffins (wax) make these good all-season lubricants well suited for high and low temperature extremes. At high temperatures and pressures, synthetic hydrolic oil provides a good contact lubricating film and protects components against wear. During cold-temperature operation, equipment starts easier and the need for preheating with sump heaters is reduced.

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