26 May, 2024

Why do hoses fail?

09 August, 2022

Rebecca Galley, managing director, Hydroscand UK, considers how companies can minimise the risk of hydraulic hose failure and/or prevent a burst hydraulic hose.

Hoses can fail for many reasons, from incorrect installation to general wear-andtear. In busy work environments, hoses can become worn down through day-today use or be damaged through operator error.

Products can also develop faults if they haven’t been correctly installed or maintained, such as insufficient routing or incorrect swaging risking a burst hydraulic hose.

The environment in which hoses are used can also have an impact. Externally, covers can deteriorate or become damaged due to the working environment, causing a hydraulic hose leak. Internally, tubes can degrade if there are spikes in the hydraulic system or incorrect pressures are used, or if fluids become contaminated or too hot.

Careful product selection and proper hydraulic hose assembly are essential – ensuring the best product is being applied and in the correct manner for the machinery or method in use.

How can you minimise the risk of hose failure and/or prevent a burst hydraulic hose?

Risks can develop through incorrect hose installation and usage, stresses in the hose environment, or user error.

Hose installation and usage

Understanding what’s required of a hose and the stresses it will be subject to is central to reducing the risk of faults or failure. Different products have different tolerances for temperature, fluid flow, flexibility, and friction, both internally and externally.

Installing and assembling hose parts correctly is also key. Correct insertion depths must be met, and hoses should be cut or swaged properly, without risk of inner tubes becoming contaminated or worn down.

Hose environment

The environment in which a hydraulic hose is used and the fluids or gases running through it will also impact its longevity. External forces and internal stresses can degrade or damage the hose, causing sudden ruptures or gradual wearing.

Maintaining the environment surrounding a hose is important to reduce risk, preventing ruptures or abrasions Inner tubes can crack, erode or even wash out if subjected to high velocities, contaminated fluids, or dry or aged air. Understanding the impact of internal fluids or gases and their temperatures or usage pressures will minimise risk.

User error

How well a hydraulic hose is installed, used and maintained will hinge on the skill and understanding of operators. Ensuring workers recognise the importance of correct usage as well as the risks involved is key to minimising the likelihood of user error.

What are the risks?

Faulty hoses can cause operational, physical, and environmental hazards. Internal degradation can risk a hydraulic hose leak, where inner tube plastics wash into connecting machinery leading to costly repairs and downtime. A sudden burst hydraulic hose could cause serious injury to workers while a gradual leak risk creating a slip hazard. If hydraulic hose replacement or repair is not prioritised, potentially hazardous fluids could reach waterways, risking environmental harm, significant fines, and reputational damage.

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