Hydraulic Oil: A different type of lubricant
One of the most well-known and important lubricants you can buy is hydraulic oil. Found in industrial machinery, construction vehicles, tractors and many other types of machinery, it plays an integral role in their performance capabilities. Hydraulic oil is very different from other lubricants. Like engine oil, hydraulic oil provides protection to moving parts by reducing friction, but its main role is to transfer power throughout the hydraulic system, and this makes it a very lubricant.
Hydraulic Oil is a non-compressible lubricant which means it cannot be compressed. If we take an excavator used in construction sites, external force is applied to the hydraulic oil from a piston (usually found within a cylinder). As the hydraulic oil is non-compressible, the oil is then pushed through the hydraulic system, transferring power and producing force in another system, in this case, allowing the excavator arm to lift or lower.
As demands on the hydraulic system change, they are faced with many forces that mean it is crucial that you pick the right hydraulic oil for the function. Whether it is greater temperatures due to increased speed or extreme pressure due to higher performance, there are several characteristics you need to look at before making that purchase.
Viscosity is a fluid’s resistance to flow and is the most important property of hydraulic oil. It is a fine balancing act between high and low viscosity. A high viscosity hydraulic oil that is too “thick” or viscous cause can several issues for machinery including, slower performance and mechanical efficiency, increased consumption as it takes more energy to perform tasks, high-pressure and pump cavitation.
On the other hand, low viscosity hydraulic oils are very well suited for low drag operations. But they can increase wear, reduces efficiency to compress and can cause leakage as the viscosity is too low or the oil is too “thin” for certain systems. This means identifying the performance parameters of your machinery is vital.
What Colour Should Hydraulic Oil be?
Depending on the base oil that has been used, a hydraulic oil could be clear to a golden honey colour. In some instances, hydraulic oil may also be dyed. With car engine oils the assumption is that once it has changed colour it needs to be changed as it is a clear sign of degradation. Once it enters the hydraulic system, the oil is placed under severe conditions. The hydraulic oil is placed under extreme pressure and thermal stress causing the oil to darken and oxidise. Although oxidisation is a good reason to presume that the hydraulic oil has broken down, colour is not a good indication of the level of oxidation as the colour change may be caused by antioxidant additives. There may also be specific “hot spots” in the system which excessively heats the oil. This may be a sign that repairs are needed.But a darker colour hydraulic oil is a good indicator that oil analysis is required. Oil analysis will perform various tests to check oxidation, viscosity levels, additives quantity and general degradation. If in any doubt, it is always a good idea to change the oil, so you have complete confidence in both the performance of the oil and machine.
Total Azolla and Equivis Range of Hydraulic Oils
Identifying the right hydraulic oil for your application is no easy feat. Understanding its usage and the many factors it will face in its lifetime will make that decision easier and ensure that your machinery operates at an optimum level. Finol Oils provide a broad range of hydraulic oils to ensure that no matter your needs, we will have the hydraulic oil to support your operation. This range includes the market-leading Azolla and Equivis grades.Azolla is a range of very high-performance anti-wear hydraulic oils designed for use in a wide array of hydraulic systems that operate under extremely difficult conditions. Providing protection against wear and ensuring maximum system life, Azolla ZS can help reduce maintenance and operating costs while keeping your machinery operating at an optimal level.
Equivis is a high viscosity hydraulic oil specifically designed for hydraulic systems operating in high pressure and extreme temperature environments. Their very high viscosity index, shear stability and anti-wear properties ensure it is suitable for all hydraulic systems including those in construction, agricultural, marine and industrial applications.
To find out more about these high- performance lubricants, talk to our dedicated technical team today at 01-582 7112 or go to www.finol.ie/contact-us.