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KnowledgebasE Article

Are all hydraulic fluids the same?

Hydraulic oil (fluid) is a mixture of mineral oil and additives that aids the transfer of power in hydraulic machinery. What is hydraulic fluid used for - when hydraulic power is used, hydraulic oil is required to aid the movement. Hydraulics are a part of everyday life; there is hardly a machine that operates without some aspect of hydraulic power. Made up of oils and additives, hydraulic fluid transfers power whilst also acting as a lubricant and coolant. It works in a large range of temperatures and reduces wear, improves economy and efficiency, whilst preventing corrosion and rust.

The lubricant is the single most important element in the hydraulic system and the key to ensuring the most economical and effective use of equipment.

Despite the critical nature of the hydraulic fluid in the machinery, it is often viewed as a cheap commodity item, with all products from all suppliers offering similar performance characteristics. To some users its simply just a case of getting the best price. In these times of increasing raw material costs, it is natural for users to consider the cheapest solution available. However, low cost hydraulic oil, especially those formulated from poor base stock or recycled material, will affect the performance and efficiency of a hydraulic system and actually increase both costs and chances of equipment malfunction or even failure. With the latest equipment, the integrity of the oil is even more critical. Modern hydraulic systems with lower lubricant volume, increased pressures and higher temperatures, meaning that the hydraulic oil must be circulated quicker; creating greater stress on the oil and vastly increasing the necessity for a high quality fluid.

Using an incorrect or poor quality lubricant can lead to unexpected and severe reduction in operational efficiency which results in enhanced maintenance costs and regular disruptions. Choosing low-priced hydraulic oil may save you money initially, but the consequence of low-quality oil will cost you much more in repair and machinery part replacement costs in the long run.

High quality hydraulic oils are made from the finest virgin oils and are treated with the most advanced additives available they give the following benefits: Proven performance, outstanding thermal and oxidative stability, superior hydraulic stability, good demulsibility, excellent rust protection and lower filter blockage. A properly blended HLP oil should exceed a 2000 Hour TOST life, over twice the life of many conventional mineral oil based hydraulic fluids.

Rock Oil can offer fluid monitoring through our advanced technical facility and provide you with a detailed report on whether you’re using the best oil for your application or whether an alternative fluid would be better suited. Regular maintenance and analysis of your hydraulic system can reduce performance problems and downtime, thus extending component life and reducing operating costs.

The benefits include:

  • Cost-effective solution to avoid unnecessary replacement
  • Reduces damage to machinery by identifying any issues early on
  • Enhanced life and performance of machinery and oil
  • Reduces risk of operating injuries and costs in claims, damages and downtime

Hydraulic oil is much more than just a lubricant; it is a critical element in the efficient utilization and efficiency of machinery, cleansing, cooling and protecting systems. The efficiency and economy of using a high quality hydraulic fluid cannot be overstated.


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