In order for pumps to function and perform effectively, the right type of hydraulic fluid must be used. This fluid, often referred to as hydraulic oil, serves several different purposes in a hydraulic system and in all of the individual components associated with it, including the pumps. Some of the purposes include transmitting energy, dissipating heat, lubricating components and preventing corrosion. For these reasons, it is very important to use the right type of fluid and knowing which one is best will depend on a few factors, like the type of pump, its maximum operating temperature, its maximum operating pressure as well as the type of material the seals on the pump are made of. 

A hydraulic pump is the main component of a hydraulic system and the wrong type of fluid will impact its performance and shorten its lifespan. The wrong choice of fluid can result in the formation of sludge and varnish, excessive heat generation, erosion, reduced life expectancy, and poor efficiency. If you notice that your pump is experiencing any of these issues, it’s a sign that you need to use a better hydraulic fluid that is more appropriate for it. 

Key properties of hydraulic fluids you must look out for include viscosity, lubrication, thermal properties, flammability, stability, and foaming. Water-based, petroleum-based and synthetic are the three basic types of hydraulic fluid and each one comes with unique characteristics that make it ideal for specific applications. 

Water-based is the oldest type of hydraulic fluid and it is not used as much as the other types. It is not as effective at lubrication as the other types but is ideal in situations where the possibility of fire is a serious concern. This type of fluid is cheaper than synthetic fluids but more expensive than petroleum-based ones. The most commonly used type of hydraulic fluid is petroleum-based fluids, which are an affordable alternative to synthetic fluids, which are man-made and designed to provide high-performance properties that also work well in flammable environments. Synthetic fluids are the most expensive because they work better than the other types of hydraulic fluids when faced with extreme temperature variations and high pressures. However, synthetic fluid may be incompatible with some seal materials and maybe toxic so you need to keep this in mind.

There are also three common types of pumps, including gear pumps, vane pumps, and piston pumps and each one has slightly different needs. 

Go Hydraulics can provide you with all the information you need to choose the right hydraulic fluid for your systems. Our expertise allows us to ensure that our clients are using the appropriate fluid so that they experience high performance from their hydraulic systems. We offer a number of services, including cylinder and pump repairs, and our goal is to help your business succeed, so give us a call today for all of your hydraulic repair needs!