What Are The Most Important Safety Considerations In Hydraulic System Design?

A hydraulic system that follows the most important safety considerations.

When designing a fluid power application, engineers shoulder the immense responsibility of not only creating efficient machinery but also ensuring the safety of users and the general public. With hydraulic systems used in a vast array of applications, from aerospace technology to heavy machinery, neglecting safety can lead to catastrophic failures, injuring personnel and damaging valuable assets.

This article will explore the main safety principles inherent in hydraulic technology, helping to keep hydraulic systems safe and reliable, and providing a blueprint for robust design.


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Pressure Ratings And Limits

The most fundamental safety aspect concerns the forces at play within a fluid power system when under load. For safety to be maintained, the pressure ratings and limits of the various hydraulic components used must be fully understood. Each component in a fluid power system, from your hoses to valves, pumps, and actuators, is designed to operate within specific pressure parameters – these limits need to be accurately calculated and never exceeded to avoid the risk of system breaches, spills, and severe injuries.

Fluid Selection And Compatibility

Selecting the right hydraulic fluids and lubricants is as crucial as choosing the right components. Fluids vary widely in flammability, viscosity and chemical makeup, and so your chosen fluid must be compatible with all your system’s materials, including seals – which are particularly susceptible to degradation if the wrong fluid is used.

Quality Components And Maintenance

The safety and longevity of your application largely hinges on the quality of its components. This is why we always recommend investing in high quality and industry approved parts with a track record of reliability, and not trying to cut corners with generic or lower quality parts. High quality parts are often less susceptible to common faults and may deliver a longer service life, and a greater ROI than substandard parts, as well as a better safety record.

Emergency Shutdown Procedures

No matter how advanced the system and how reliable its control systems, all fluid power applications must include effective emergency shutdown protocols. These safeguards are critical for quickly and effectively de-pressurising the system and ceasing operation during any anomaly. The reliability of these components, such as your emergency shut-off valves and sensors, should be tested regularly and their operation thoroughly understood by all system operators.

Compliance With ISO standards

Compliance with International (ISO) engineering standards will help build health and safety into the very fabric of your hydraulic application. Standards such as ISO 4413 (Hydraulic Fluid Power) and ISO 4414 (Pneumatic Fluid Power) are the bedrock of design and system best practices that, when followed, will significantly enhance safety throughout the application’s life cycle.

Find Out More

At Hydrastar, we stock a wide range of high-quality components suited to any hydraulic fluid power application. To find out more or to request a quote, please get in touch with one of our experienced team today by clicking here.

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