The challenge of built-in contamination in hydraulic systems takes center stage in the article “Minimizing the Impact of Built-in Contamination in Hydraulic Systems,” featured on Machinery Lubrication. The adverse effects of contamination in hydraulic fluid power systems are well-known. The rationale is straightforward – reducing the gaps or clearances between moving parts enhances efficiency and allows for precise machine control. Particles compromise efficiency through abrasive wear and can disrupt machine control when they lodge in hydraulic valves.

The importance of addressing contamination-related issues, especially in hydraulic equipment assembly. Built-in contaminants introduced during the assembly of components contribute to increased warranty costs. Hydraulic equipment manufacturers adopt three primary strategies to mitigate the impact of such contamination.

The first strategy involves establishing contamination limits for new components. This decision entails a cost/benefit analysis, considering the trade-off between cleanliness and associated costs. Verification of component compliance with contamination limits is the second strategy, ensuring adherence to set standards. Lastly, flushing the assembled system to achieve a predetermined cleanliness target is the third approach, ensuring the roll-off cleanliness level.

The approach to contamination control should consider a hydraulic system’s contamination sensitivity and working pressure. By implementing these strategies, it supports industries in minimizing the impact of built-in contamination, thereby enhancing hydraulic system performance and reliability.

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