In a world of 30-minute pizza deliveries, same-day Amazon deliveries, and the ability to order a coffee with your mobile device and bypass waiting in line, we are a society that likes certainty and guarantees. This expectation extends into our professional lives as well. When it comes to hydraulic/industrial hoses, a common question is how long will it last.
Unfortunately, this is an almost impossible question to answer. There are many factors that can lead to the premature failure of a hose assembly such as elemental exposure due to harsh/extreme working environments, the equipment's frequency of use, improper hose routing, and unfortunately, user error.
Hoses that are exposed to high heat or extreme cold tend to break down faster than hoses working at room temperature. There are specific compounds used in the hose manufacturing process that can delay the effects of a harsh environment and specific hose protection covers that can help protect the hose from welding sparks, the effects of ozone, abrasion, and metal splash in steel production facilities. But these only prolong the inevitable.
A leading cause of hydraulic hose failure is improper hose routing, which causes unnecessary stress and abrasion, is a leading cause of hydraulic hose failure. If there is excess stress placed on a hose assembly that is improperly routed, it will lead to a failure, typically at the end of the hose assembly, where the fitting is crimped.
A piece of commercial earth moving equipment 40 hours a week is going to require more frequent hose maintenance than a consumer grade piece of mobile hydraulic equipment would that’s used only a few hours a month. Frequent inspection of hydraulic hoses in high-use equipment can help prevent any downtime caused by a failure.
Kevin Olmstead is a hose specialist with Cross Company. This article originally appeared on Cross Company's Hose & Fittings blog. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media, cvavra(at)cfemedia.com.