If you’re an engineer responsible for hydraulic systems, you know how important it is to keep them running an acceptable temperature and to take steps to avoid overheating. Overheating can cause catastrophic systemic failures if left unaddressed. In this article, we discuss some of the most common causes of overheating and provide tips on avoiding or resolving the problems. We’ll also explore some best practices for cooling hydraulic systems effectively.
Low Reservoir Fluid
When the fluid level in the reservoir falls below a certain point, it can cause the pump to work harder and generate more waste heat. This often happens when the system is used heavily or has been running for an extended period. One way to avoid this is to keep an eye on the fluid level and refill the reservoir as needed.
Restricted Fluid Flow
If the flow of fluid through the system is restricted, it can lead to overheating. This may be caused by debris or foreign objects caught in the lines or by a blockage somewhere in the system. To remedy this, you’ll need to clean out any debris blocking the flow of fluid and fix any damage that the blockage may have caused.
Blocked Or Damaged Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is responsible for transferring heat from the fluid to the air, and if it becomes blocked or damaged, the fluid will not be able to cool down properly. This can cause the temperature of the fluid to rise, leading to overheating.
There are several ways to avoid or resolve this issue. First, make sure that the fins on the heat exchanger are clean and clear of any blockages. You can do this by using a brush or vacuum cleaner. Another possible solution is to check that the airflow around the heat exchanger and through the nozzles is adequate.
Aeration in a hydraulic system indicates the presence of tiny air bubbles in the fluid. This can cause two problems. Firstly, the air bubbles can reduce the efficiency of the heat exchanger, leading to overheating. Secondly, the air bubbles can cause cavitation, which is when the bubbles collapse and create tiny shock waves. These shock waves can damage the seals and other components in the hydraulic system, leading to further problems.
To resolve this issue, ensure that the fluid is not over-pressurised, which can cause it to become aerated. You can also use an anti-aeration additive in the fluid or add vortex barriers where the submergence is insufficient.
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