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Dealing With Water In Your Hydraulic Oil

If your hydraulic system is being fed with oil that looks cloudy, then you’ll no doubt have found that the entire system is much less efficient and much quicker to break down. Your hydraulic fluid only becomes cloudy when it has been contaminated with a high level of water. This can be potentially dangerous for your entire system and quickly work to break down your various components. That could mean that anything from your hydraulic pump to your Cetop 7 solenoid valves breaks down much quicker than intended.

Why Does The Hydraulic Fluid Become Cloudy?

A little bit of water in your system might not be so devastating, but it’s only when the amount of water exceeds the oil’s saturation level that it becomes truly noticeable. The saturation level is the amount of water which can be dissolved in the oil before a noticeable effect is made.

For common, mineral hydraulic oil, the saturation level is typically 200-300ppm at around 20OC. That means if the hydraulic oil is cloudy then there is a minimum of 200-300ppm of water present within the fluid.

Why Is Water Contamination Bad For Hydraulic System?

There are many reasons why the contamination of hydraulic oil with water is extremely bad for the entire system and the various individual components. These include:

  • Water within the fluid depletes many of the additives within the oil. However, it also reacts with others to form corrosive by-products, which are well known for attacking metals. This means that it could seriously damage some system crucial components, such as the pump, the tank or some of the valves within the system, such as the Cetop 7 solenoid valves.
  • Water in the system reduces the strength of lubrication within the hydraulic solution. This could leave critical surfaces, such as the interior of Cetop 7 solenoid valves, vulnerable to wear and corrosion during use.
  • Can easily clog up filters, which can cause huge pressure build up within the system.
  • Increase the likelihood of air entering the fluid.
  • Increased the chances of cavitation, and other potentially dangerous events, occurring.

How Can I Remove Water From My Hydraulic System?

There are three common ways of dealing with both unstable and stable suspension water, which are:

  • Polymeric Filters – These might look like conventional filters, but the material itself is treated with a super-absorbent polymer. Water is taken in by the polymer, which swells and traps the water within the filter. These solutions are ideal for removing smaller volumes of water and keeping water contamination below a certain level.
  • Vacuum Distillation – This technique relies on a combination of heat and vacuum treatment. At 25 inches Hg, water boils at 56OC. That means that water can easily be removed without damaging the oil itself or any of its additives.

  • Head Space Dehumidification – This is a fairly complex method which involves the circulation and dehumidification of air from the reservoir head space. Water in the oil migrates to the dry air in the head space and is eventually removed.

Of course, like all other forms of contamination, preventing the water from infecting the system in the first place is cheaper than removing it. By following the best practices, you can keep your hydraulic solution clean of contaminants and ensure that all your hydraulic components, including Cetop 7 solenoid valves are protected.

For Industry-Leading Hydraulic Components, Get In Touch With Flowfit Online Today

Here at Flowfit, we are proud to offer a diverse range of hydraulic components, including Cetop 7 solenoid valves, as well as complete systems. Our team of hydraulic experts can help you to create the perfect solution, or source the very best components to ensure that your solution works as intended.

For more information, or to find the perfect hydraulic component to your specifications today, get in touch with the Flowfit team today on 01584 876 033.

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