Why You Don’t Want Your Hydraulics Wet And Warm

Contaminated Hydraulic OilI got this question from a Hydraulics Pro Club member:

“We have experienced Micro Biological Contamination (MBC) in marine fuel oil systems for several years but we are starting to see MBC in marine hydraulic systems. This can be very bad news for hydraulic systems. How can we prevent it?”

Micro biological or microbial contamination is basically the growth and colonization of bacteria in the oil. And as is the case with all organisms, these bacteria require certain conditions to survive and grow:

  • Water: emulsified in the oil, 500 ppm (0.5 ml per liter of oil) is sufficient.
  • Food: carbon,
  • continue reading »

Hydraulics Know-How: Just-In-Case versus Just-In-Time

hydraulics manualsOn a recent flight, I listened to an audio recording in which a business coach talked about just in time versus just in case learning. His premise was, when an entrepreneur or manager is starting and/or growing a business, there is much to learn – but the time available to do so is scarce. So this coach’s suggestion was to learn what you need to know – as and when you need to know it – something he referred to as just in time learning, as opposed to spending scarce time learning about something which may be useful to know … continue reading »

A Simple Way To Remove Water From Hydraulic Oil

how to heat hydraulic oil safelyIf you’ve worked with hydraulic equipment for any length of time, it’s likely that you’ve come across a hydraulic system with cloudy oil. Oil becomes cloudy when it’s contaminated with water above its saturation level. The saturation level is the amount of water that can dissolve in the oil’s molecular chemistry and is typically 200 to 300 ppm at 68°F (20°C) for mineral hydraulic oil.

Note that if hydraulic oil is cloudy it indicates that a minimum of 200 – 300 ppm of water is present. I recently audited a hydraulic system with cloudy oil that was found to contain … continue reading »