Nearly every machine in today’s industries have hydraulic systems. Pressurized fluid can by one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to generate mechanical energy. Heavy-duty machines rely on this power for construction, manufacturing and other purposes.
Besides the hydraulic pump, high-pressure hose assemblies are critical parts to these systems. In fact, the hoses act as blood vessels to your machine’s body. Connecting these hoses to their proper fittings is actually a complex process. It’s time to take a deeper look at the tightening procedures for these hose assemblies. A prolonged lifespan is the result of these efforts.
When it comes to high-pressure systems, most components have a torque value. Torque is simply the force placed on a bolt, hose or screw so that it’s properly connected to the surrounding parts.
In a perfect situation, you’d have a torque wrench and corresponding value for every hose assembly. However, most systems have a mixture of torque valuesand mysterious connections. It’s the nature of the industry.
Start any hose-tightening procedure by looking for published, torque values. Precise torque prevents these scenarios, such as:
- Leaking fittings
- Warped o-rings
- Damaged threads
Use a calibrated wrench to achieve the required torque on each hose. The system should be up and running in no time.
Going by Feel
You’ve been in your industry long enough to understand that torquing everything to a perfect number isn’t always possible. Many field professionals rely on TFFT or turns from finger tight to achieve a solid connection.
Most hose assemblies respond well to TFFT. Follow these steps when torquing isn’t possible, such as:
- Turn the connection until it’s at a finger-tight position
- Follow the recommended turns after finger tight to achieve the proper connection
Try to remain consistent with your finger-tightening process. The fittings will respond to this tightening process with leak-free connections.
Surveying the Situation
There are many other considerations to think about as you tighten hydraulic hose assemblies. Look around the installation area. Valve boxes, other hoses and mechanical parts might surround you. It’s critical to leave the tightened hose in a good position for safe operations.
Examine the area for these features, such as:
- Metal parts rubbing on the hose body
- Snaking hoses into unusual shapes
- Lack of air flow
Your hose assembly must be free from any kinks or extreme bends. Chafing of the hose body is also a concern. Your tightening process won’t matter if the hose is physically compromised with too much strain.
Keeping it Loose
With your installation free and clear from obstructions, be sure to tighten the hose with these steps in mind, including:
- Beginning with the difficult or far end first
- Loosely attach the far end without tightening it yet
- Connect the opposite end with the same, loose arrangement
- Return to the far end to tighten it as necessary
- Repeat the tightening on the opposite side
When your tightening process follows these guidelines, hydraulic downtimecan be minimized.
Understanding Material Differences
High-pressure hose assemblies come from many different manufacturers. They might use different fittings, such as stainless steel or aluminum. Be aware of any material differences because your tightening process may be specialized at that point. Certain materials are stronger than others.
Brass is a material that’s particularly pliable when it comes to tightening processes. Always verify the proper torque if you have mismatched materials on a job site.
Considering Small Bends
Some installations are more confined than others. Sharp bends in your hose assemblies will be necessary. Your tightening process shouldn’t be any different, but be sure to choose a hose material that’s designed for small bends. You’ll avoid any leaks from hose cracks when you tighten the proper part to the confined space.
If you need help with your hydraulic system or parts, let our team know today. We have the answers to those unusual situations, from hose routing to tightening techniques. With our expertise guiding your way, every workday can be free from any delays.