Hydraulic Fluid Selection

Previously we’ve introduced articles focusing on lubricant selections most likely to provide long-term operability and reliability to the equipment owner. This time these concerns are secondary to the question of machine efficiency.

This may seem to run against the point of previous Best Practice articles, but in fact it doesn’t. Given that approximately a fifth of a hydraulic motor’s energy is lost to heat, and that this loss is directly affected by how the fluid properties impact mechanical and volumetric efficiency, the question of energy efficiency becomes the leading point of interest.

This article focuses primarily on selecting fluids that produce the best overall efficiency. In other articles, we’ll address the issues of system condition and contamination control.

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