5 Common Mistakes of Hydraulic System Design

hydraulics design

While hydraulic systems can make life much easier when it comes to heavy working, incorrect design or operation can be costly. Though there is a multitude of problems that may occur when designing your hydraulic system, these common mistakes can be costly and time-consuming. Planning ahead and enlisting professional help can prevent most issues ahead of time and keep your machine running properly.

Ignoring Safety Protocols

When dealing with hydraulic equipment, safety protocols are key. Be sure to follow all safety guidelines to ensure proper and effectively running equipment.

Sizing Fluid Conductors by Outter Dimensions

Improperly sized conductors can cause turbulent flow which can lead to friction between the conductor walls and the fluid itself. To combat this issue, make sure to measure your conductors by the inside diameter. Flexible hose is measured and categorized by the inside diameter, so if you get a 1-inch hose, the inside will have a 1” diameter. However, steel tubing and scheduled pipe are measured by the outside diameter. This means that a 1-inch pipe may actually have a smaller inside diameter, which will need to be considered.

Recommended Max Fluid Level in Conductor Types:

  • Inlet Lines: 2-4 ft/sec
  • Return Lines: 10-15 ft/sec
  • Pressure Lines: 10-20 ft/sec for 500/2000 psi; 25 ft/sec for 3000+ psi

Sizing Drain Lines Based on New Pump Capabilities

Since the maximum efficiency of a new piston pump can drop over time, basing the size of your drain lines on max performance can lead to big problems. To decrease the risk of leakage, shoe lift, and total shaft seal failure, consider the volumetric drop of your pump over time.

Continuing to Operate an Aerated or Cavitated System

Leaks, wear, and other problems can cause air to seep into your lines and can cause major destruction to your pump. Once air bubbles reach the pressure side of your pump, they will collapse, causing erosion. It’s imperative to stop the operation of an aerated or cavitated system and find and repair the leak before continuing.

Forgetting About Flow Amplification

Flow amplification is commonly forgotten and can lead to leaks, poor functionality, and even bursts. When your machine’s cylinder retracts, fluid flow will increase. Ensure that your lines, valves, and filters are properly sized to handle this influx to prevent unnecessary problems.