When a hydraulic or pneumatic hose fails in service, the cause usually can be attributed to improper component selection, incorrect assembly procedure, poor installation practice, or any combination of these. 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. Thankfully, there are also ways to extend hose life before buying a new one, and in this writing, we are going to discuss them.
Causes of Hose Damage
Perhaps the greatest cause of failure is using a hose, fitting, or clamp in an application that it is not designed for. Exposure to extreme temperature, external damage, exceeding the amount of minimum bend radius, defective hose, old age, and incorrect hose length are some of the biggest causes of hose damage.
Some of the most effective tips to extend hose life of hoses before buying a new one include:
Replacing the Crimp
It’s simple to replace a hose-end—but there are two caveats to this. First of all, it shortens the hose’s length, so it’s only helpful in installments where you can afford to have a slightly shorter hose. Secondly, particularly in fixing a hydraulic hose, it’s necessary to have the proper crimp spec. The crimp fitting is designed to meet SAE standards that guarantee the fit between the hose and end so the hose can withstand the high pressure required. Replacing the crimp according to the proper size can be greatly beneficial for the hose.
Making a Break
Often hoses will incur damage from impacts, such as a tractor running over the hose, a falling rock, or other impact types. The easiest way to deal with that kind of damage is by cutting and mending the hose. The first way is to use a mender by putting a physical piece inside the hose and crimping it on both ends. The other way to mend a hose is to put two threaded pieces on either side of the splice and put a coupler in the middle.
Abrasion & Exposed Wires
If you ignore scratches or dents, the hoses can corrode, which may lead to a full replacement. If you see an abrasion or exposed wires and are trying to hold off on a full replacement, you can add plastic spiral guards, metal spiral guards, or abrasion-resistant plastic sleeves to protect the area that is damaged. What’s important is that you protect the reinforcement wires from additional abrasion and corrosion.
When your hose is worn out from long-term, high-pressure use, it’s time to celebrate. You’ve gotten every last drop of use from your investment, and it’s time for a new hose. Wear and distortion can’t be fixed. When you have a hose, especially a hydraulic hose, the pressurizing and de-pressurizing of the tube eventually will reduce its ability to function and maintain high pressure.