When you buy a new appliance, the instructions tell you to wash thoroughly before use to get rid of debris. The same should apply to a new hydraulic hose, as even the smallest particles of dust and grime can contaminate oil. Dirt and contaminants in the hydraulic system can lead to scoring of the valves, and even clogging and seizing of the pump itself, which can prove costly in terms of time and money.
Yet it’s still tempting to start using a hydraulic hose off the peg, without bothering to clean it first. Anyone working with a hydraulic system knows the importance of keeping oil clean to ensure the optimum performance of the system, but passing that clean oil through dirty lines can have a devastating effect.
‘It’s already clean’
It’s easy to assume that a new hose will be clean and ready for immediate use, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there are any number of places where hoses can become contaminated throughout the manufacture and shipping process. ‘New’ definitely doesn’t equal clean.
Mandrel lubricant is your enemy
Mandrel lubricant is central to the process of hose manufacture, allowing the hose to vulcanise and cure, without becoming attached to the mandrel. However, it’s also crucial that all traces of lubricant are removed from your lines before use, because silicone hose manufacturers like Goodflex Rubber Co. (https://www.goodflexrubber.com/pages/silicone-hose-manufacturer) do not remove this essential lubricant during the manufacturing process. However, mandrel lubricant is designed to be durable and can have a big impact on the cleanliness of your oil.
Mandrel lubricant is only one issue. Look at the processes that a hydraulic hose goes through during general assembly. Cutting a hose into smaller pieces generates rubber dust which can coat the inside of the tube. Crimping can cause small shards of metal to break off and get lodged in the hose. An unsealed hose can pick up dust and grime, particularly during transportation to the job site.
Clean before use
Given all of the ways that contamination can enter your hydraulic hoses, it makes sense to clean before use. Flushing a new hose through with solvent before use or shooting through a projectile to collect debris is both straightforward and absolutely critical to keeping your system free from contamination.