Page 52 - MetalForming March 2016
P. 52

Change the Hydraulic Fluid
   A synthetic, water-free alternative to mineral oil does not explode. A fire involving the alternative fluid does not spread as easily.
could breathe easier knowing that it was creating a safer work environment.” Shortly after the hydraulic equip- ment began running with the HFD-U fluid, a hose ruptured on one of the lines. Thanks to the fluid’s fire-resistant properties, the incident caused no major damage nor loss of production,
Table 1—Fire-Reduction Solutions
according to Quaker Chemical officials. As a result, the press- hardening com- pany decided that all future units installed would be filled with the HFD- U fluid.
Steps to a Smooth Conversion
Converting to an HFD-U is not com-
plicated. Even so, press-hardening operators should work with a fluid sup- plier that has the expertise to help eval- uate situations, and that can offer real- istic solutions to solve problems ranging from production efficiency to worker safety. Conversion steps should include:
• Collecting written approvals from component suppliers;
• Conducting extensive, long-term tests to ensure the recommended seals, paints and components are compatible with the fluid;
• Defining a specific procedure for a conversion from mineral oil to a syn- thetic water-free HFD-U fluid (less than 3-percent mineral oil is expected to remain in the system); and
• Running a 6-month trial, including regular fluid analysis.
The reward is long-term safety for a facility and its employees, and the knowledge that mineral-oil-related hazards have been minimized. MF
Article provided by Quaker Chemical Corp., Conshohocken, PA; 610/832-4000;
Learn More About This Topic attending a free 1-hr. webinar presented by Ronald Knecht, global business development and OEM man- ager–fluid power, Quaker Chemical Corp., scheduled for Thursday,
March 3, beginning at 2:00 EST. Visit
to register.
 Change press design to avoid mineral-oil leakages close to the hot blank
• Company can keep the same oil technology
• No investment in changing hydraulic system
• Comparable properties to mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid—no impact on seal and hose life
• Offers a safer solution
• Reduced risk
• Potential for fire
and explosions remains as the oil is still close to the blank
 Install sprinkler system equipment
• Company can keep the same oil technology
• Expensive to install
• Does not prevent
• Fire can spread to
regions of the plant where sprinkler system is not installed
• Reduced risk of fire
• Potential for explosions remains
Change hydraulic fluid to a water-glycol HFC-type
• Offers a safer solution
• Expensive to make construction changes
• Reduction in lubrication performance and in component life
• Corrosion of metal parts, negatively impacts seal life, and can break down under heavy loads
• Low risk of fire due to the presence of water in the fluid
Change hydraulic fluid to a water-free, ester-based HFD-U type
• No investment in changing hydraulic system
• Comparable properties to mineral oil-based hydraulic fluid—no impact on seal and hose life
• Offers a safer solution
• Initial fluid costs increase over mineral- oil-based hydraulic fluids
• Low risk of fire • Situation under
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