The most frequent causes of hydraulic hose failure are tube erosion, dry or aged air, incorrect insertion depth, wrong hose length, exceeding the minimum bending radius, poor routing planning, abrasion, and excessive pressure. Tube erosion is characterized by a rupture of the inner surface of the hose and is usually caused by persistent fluid at high velocity or by a fluid contaminated by small particles. Abrasion is a common enemy of hydraulic hoses, especially in intensive work environments where machines perform hundreds of cycles every day. Hoses that come into contact with other machine surfaces will inevitably suffer some type of abrasion.
Contact with moving parts and sharp edges will cause extreme abrasion very quickly, but even the most subtle vibrations can have an abrasive effect. Over time, this can have a significant effect on the integrity of the hose. Eventually, the hose cover will wear out, exposing the reinforcement layers and rendering it unusable. To avoid abrasion, it is important to consider the way in which the hoses are distributed.
If contact is unavoidable, special reinforcement hose protectors can be used to reinforce these areas. If a hose breaks very cleanly and with no signs of abrasion, it is likely that the hose has experienced more pressure than it was designed to withstand. In this case, review the application and reduce the working pressure below the maximum nominal pressure of the hoses or replace the hose with one that has a higher working pressure. Hydraulic hoses are subject to difficult operating conditions that eventually take their toll.
If not inspected regularly, abrasion, heat, aging, hardening, pressure, and other factors can cause a hose assembly to break and leak. However, many hose failure problems can be solved by ensuring that the hoses are compatible with the environment in which they will operate. Problems can be reduced through careful routing and assembly procedures; however, most hydraulic hose faults can be avoided through effective inspection and routine maintenance. When a hydraulic or pneumatic hose stops working, the cause can generally be attributed to an incorrect selection of components, an incorrect assembly procedure, poor installation practice, or a combination of these factors.
Each failure mode provides some visual clues that can be traced back to a possible cause of the problem. And almost all of these failures are avoidable. The following series of photographs shows some of the most common hose faults we see in the hose product division. Each photograph helps to visually identify the symptom and suggests a possible cause and solution.
Preventing Hydraulic Hose FailureTo prevent hydraulic hose failure it is important to check for compatibility between different components and inspect them regularly for signs of wear or damage. It is also important to consider routing and assembly procedures carefully and ensure that there are no sharp turns that exceed the minimum curvature radius prescribed by the manufacturer. Additionally, special reinforcement hose protectors should be used if contact with other objects is unavoidable. Finally, it is important to ensure that the working pressure does not exceed the maximum nominal pressure of the hoses. By following these simple steps you can ensure that your hydraulic hoses remain in good condition for longer periods of time and reduce your risk of costly repairs or replacements due to unexpected failures.
Regular inspections and maintenance will help you identify potential problems before they become serious issues and help you keep your equipment running smoothly for years to come.