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Unless you work in an industry that uses hydraulic-powered machinery, the chances are you'll have little awareness of what a hydraulic hose does (or even that such a thing exists). The truth is hydraulic hoses are a key component in helping many of the UK and Ireland’s businesses to deliver their services, so they're a vital cog that millions of people rely on each day.
What is hydraulic hose?
A hydraulic hose is a specialist type of hose that you'll find in many commercial and industrial settings. Hydraulic hoses are typically constructed from flexible rubber or wire, and feature a series of layers to give the hose its strength and durability. These layers comprise of an inner tube, a reinforced layer and an outer layer.
What is the purpose of hydraulic hose?
Just like a hose you might use to water your garden, the purpose of a hydraulic hose is to allow fluid to flow from one component to another – in this case hydraulic fluid. The hose is the conduit that ensures the fluid is able to travel unimpeded and it's a vital part of keeping hydraulics systems moving. In fact, if a hydraulic hose was to fail it can bring entire production lines to a standstill and take vital machinery offline until the hose can be replaced.
Construction options for hydraulic hose include reinforced, coiled, corrugated, or convoluted. Reinforced hose is constructed with some element of reinforcement—styles include textile braid, wire braid, wire helix, and other designs in many ply or layer configurations. Coiled hose is coiled for flexibility and elasticity. This feature often makes it expandable and easy to store. Corrugated hose contains corrugations, pleats, or spiral convolutions to increase flexibility and capacity for compression and elongation. Multi-element hydraulic hoses are constructed of more than one hose formed or adhered together in a flat, ribbon, or bundled configuration. Additional features to consider include integral end connections, anti-static, lay flat, crush-proof, flame-resistant, and explosion-proof.
In addition, material considerations include the type of fluid being conveyed and its concentration as well as substances that may attack the hose cover. Hose selection must ensure compatibility if it is to convey special oils or chemicals. The same holds for hose exposed to harsh environments. Substances such as UV light, ozone, saltwater, chemicals, and pollutants can cause degradation and premature failure. And for Industrial Hose, there are many different types for different usages such as Pressure Washer Hose, Steel Wire Braid Hydraulic Hose, Steel Wire Spiral Hydraulic Hose and so on.
While hydraulic hose is usually constructed of multiple materials, the most commonly use primary materials include elastomers, fluoropolymers and silicone, thermoplastics, metal, and composite or laminated structures. Elastomeric or rubber hydraulic hose are often selected for their flexibility. Fluoropolymer hose offer good flex life, superior chemical and corrosion resistance, and can handle high temperatures. Thermoplastic hydraulic hose offer tight minimum bed radii and excellent kink resistance. Metal hoses can handle high temperature flow materials and often can handle very high pressures. They can be either stiff or flexible.