Take our advice, operating your machines with fluid temps over 180ºF (82ºC) isn’t a great idea. Beyond that threshold, fluid begins to damage seals and reduce its own longevity. Very hot liquids become less viscous liquids, and hydraulic systems don’t play well with liquids that have a low viscosity. But, what actually causes these liquids to heat up to undesirable temperatures? Well, that’s a funny story actually..
It can be lots of things.
So much so that we can’t possibly cover them all in one blog post. What we can cover are the common causes; we’ll have no problem providing those. So if you’re having a problem with high fluid temperature, check these things out and make sure they aren’t the cause. Chances are they are.
It might be the Reservoir fluid level
In hydraulic systems, heat is dissipated through the reservoir. So, changes in the fluid levels of your reservoir might be causing the abnormal heat. To prevent excess heat caused by a spike or dive in fluid levels, take care to always monitor these levels and act accordingly. In addition, clean out your reservoirs on a regular basis. Dirt and debris can build up and obstruct air flow if you aren’t careful.
Leaks can cause lots of heat
Fluid that drops from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure without preforming some sort of work can instead produce heat. Responding to leaks as promptly as possible just as they occur can cut down on excess heat and keep your system at full working potential. After-all, fluid leaked out onto the group is fluid that isn’t working for you.
You might have too much air
Too much air in your system could also be the result of a leak – but not always. Vapor cavities can form in hydraulic fluid when a change in pressure occurs. These vapor cavities generate heat when compressed, so you’ll want to inspect your system for any signs of cavitation or aeration on a regular basis.
You’ll thank yourself later for taking the time to ensure your hydraulic fluid is kept well below dangerous temperature levels. Remember, below 180ºF (82ºC) is your sweet spot – but that might not always be the case. It’s up to you to figure out what temperature your system is happy resting at. But if you need help, we’re here. Let us know.