Which is the Best Way to Protect Hydraulic Hoses Against Abrasion?
According to Fluid Power Journal article, "Industry and user experience agree 70% of [hydraulic hose] failures are a direct result of abrasion or external damage—yet many could be prevented."
Hose assemblies that are exposed to regular cycles of heavy friction must be closely monitored for abrasion damage to prevent equipment failure and protect the safety of your workers. Many over-the-sheave applications, such as forklifts, cranes and scissor lifts, need specialized hose shields and covers to protect the hose from abrasion damage. A variety of abrasion resistance solutions are available through Parker to suit specific needs based on the application and work environment. These solutions include abrasion sleeves, protection shields, spiral hose guards and the built-in abrasion resistant hose covers in Parker’s ToughCover, SuperTough and ToughJacket series.
Abrasion sleeves include products such as Parker’s Partek, a lightweight urethane-coated nylon sleeve designed for abrasion resistance and for bundling hose assemblies together. Partek’s unique tubular weave construction allows for the hose to move freely within the sleeve’s exceptionally smooth walls, preventing internal abrasion issues. Partek is available in two versions - Partek “AS”, which is strong enough to withstand over 200,000 abrasion cycles without damage or failure, and Partek “PS”, which can withstand more than 50,000 abrasion cycles. Partek has the advantage of being able to be installed post-assembly, meaning that you can add this product after determining the level of abrasion resistance that your existing hose assembly will need.
For more pinpointed abrasion protection, hose shields provide a low-cost solution for small sections of hose that come into contact with abrasive conditions. The plastic shields are connected with cable ties for easy assembly that does not require disconnecting or removing the hose prior to installation. Hose shields are available in 4, 6 and 8 inch lengths for hose I.D.s of ¼ to 2 inches. Hose shields are not recommended for applications that experience heavy abrasion, particularly if more than just a small segment of the hose assembly is exposed to frequent friction.
Spring Guards & Armor Guards
Parker Spring and Armor Guards can prolong the life of hose assemblies that are exposed to rugged, abrasive conditions. These protective spiral guards are available in a variety of materials and configurations, including clear vinyl, black vinyl, and flat steel. In addition to their abrasion resistant properties, Spring and Armor Guards also prevent hose kinking and provide anti-crush protection.
Parker also offers several polymer spiral wraps that can be added to an existing hose assembly, including the NEXWRAP chafe guard, ParKoil spiral wrap and the PolyGuard heavy-duty hose protector. NEXWRAP can be used to bundle hose, tubing, cables and wiring, protecting the lines from exposure to abrasion. The open spiral design allows for parts of the bundle to be removed without the need to shut down equipment first, preventing downtime. Similarly, the ParKoil polymer spiral wrap can be used to bundle equipment and provides a low-cost solution for abrasion resistance in less-demanding applications. Finally, PolyGuard’s rugged polyethylene cover provides superior abrasion protection and is ideal for bundling high-pressure hose lines.
Abrasion Resistant Hose Covers
For the most demanding applications, built-in abrasion resistant hose covers provide the highest levels of protection. Parker offers multiple hoses in their ToughCover, SuperTough and ToughJacket series – you can find more information on each of these hoses on our new Abrasion Resistant Hose selection page. ToughCover is constructed from synthetic rubber and is 80 times more abrasion resistant when compared to Parker’s Standard rubber cover, SuperTough provides 450 times more resistance, and the ToughJacket series is 650 times more durable and abrasion resistant when compared to standard rubber hose cover.
Which abrasion-resistant hose protection should you choose? The answer depends greatly on your equipment’s specific needs and how much friction the hose assemblies will encounter. For example, in boom and cable track applications, the 563TJ hose is ideal due to its low length change characteristics. The majority of hoses shrink at least 2% in a constricted environment, which can be disastrous in booms and cable tracks as this shrinkage must be prepared for to prevent hoses from pulling out of fittings.
Equipment with over-the-sheave hose assemblies can benefit greatly by selecting a tough cover hose. Forklifts, scissor lifts, bucket lift trucks and reach stackers are just a few industrial applications where hose assemblies encounter numerous cycles of abrasive friction.
Available space can also be a major factor to consider when selecting abrasion protection for your equipment. In tight, constricted spaces or in applications where adding extra weight is a concern, using a hose sleeve or guard may not be practical. Abrasion resistant tough covers can reduce the overall assembly weight and their flexibility allows routing through tight spaces. Alternately, hose guards and wraps may be used if the friction encountered is relatively minor and protection needs to be added to an existing assembly.
Built-In Abrasion Resistance Is Best For:
- Tight spaces where there is not much room for a hose sleeve or guard
- Hose assemblies that need to be as lightweight and compact as possible
- Environments and applications that need the most rugged abrasion protection available
Hose Sleeves/Hose Guards Are Best For:
- Less extreme abrasion where you can save money by using a hose sleeve/guard
- Applications where there are only one or a few points of heavy abrasion that need to be protected
- Hose assemblies where you may need to remove the abrasion resistant hose guard/sleeve, or want to add it to an existing assembly