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Why Is It Important to Keep Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems Free of Leaks?

Pneumatic and hydraulic systems are crucial for many industrial processes and automobiles. For trucks, they help to perform important mechanical functions by leveraging fluid power. Of course, a breakdown in any component in such a truck’s system can be problematic, leading to transmission system malfunction. If the truck is part of a business’s fleet, grounding it may affect the business’s bottom line. Hydraulic and pneumatic problems that befall truckers at odd hours can mean delays. However, with 24/7 Mobile Truck Repair in St. Louis, MO, you can rest assured that such issues can be handled at any time of day or night.

Perfect pneumatic and hydraulic systems are still an elusive concept; while there have been great advances in this field, engineers have yet to come up with a hydraulic system that never springs a leak. Modern versions are much more efficient. However, problems still do occur. Sometimes, these hydraulic problems can be severe if the leak is underestimated.

Basic Hydraulic Technology

A typical hydraulic system involves conduits or tubes connecting with other fixtures. This means that any time there’s a need for a pipe to be fitted into another fixture, leaks are always a possibility. While the introduction of leak-free fittings has greatly mitigated this issue, leaks still occur thanks to the seals used within hydraulic systems. As such, leaks continue to be a concern for engineers and maintenance crews of pneumatic and hydraulic systems.

Causes of Hydraulic Leaks

Hydraulic leaks continue to be a concern for a host of reasons. In addition to the continued use of seals in certain parts of a hydraulic system, there is yet to be a failsafe mechanism that completely shuts down a hydraulic system in response to a minor leak.

The negative feedback mechanism is an engineering concept whereby any disturbance in a system sets off a series of corrective measures designed to restore normalcy. Under ideal conditions, a leak in a hydraulic system should initiate a chain of events that aims to correct this. At the very least, it should shut down operations to prevent the kind of system damage associated with fluid leaks.

In addition to an inadequate negative feedback mechanism, improper installation of fittings and use of the wrong lubricants on the seals are other major causes of hydraulic leaks. Lack of proper installation means the fittings are not properly secured in place. This could leave minute gaps through which fluids can leak

Importance of Avoiding Leaks

There’s a reason most systems, including hydraulic and pneumatic ones, need regular maintenance. This is because the potential for things going wrong is high. When they do, it can lead to significant system problems that may be hard to fix, not to mention the costs associated with repairs.

An obvious danger of a leaking hydraulic system is a disastrous system failure. For instance, if the said hydraulic system is in a truck while being driven on a busy highway, the potential for an accident could increase significantly. If a system failure occurs in an industrial manufacturing plant, an explosion could occur.

Ground support equipment (GSE) is one example of key applications of hydraulic and pneumatic systems. GSE is important for airport operations especially in the terminal service area and on aircraft. Leaks that are not addressed properly in such systems could result in catastrophic loss of lives, not to mention millions of dollars worth of damage when an aircraft crashes.

Hydraulic systems tend to be under tremendous physical pressure, sometimes in the thousands of bars. As such, even seemingly insignificant leaks can cause major problems. Hydraulic fluid that is under such significant physical pressure can transmit this force much like a sharp knife cutting through soft butter.

In addition to the potential physical and system dangers posed by leaks, costly repairs are also a good reason to keep hydraulic and pneumatic systems leak-free. Simple dust and dirt particles can be absorbed into hydraulic and pneumatic systems. With time, these particles may find their way into the hydraulic parts of the system that are covered by seals. Their accumulation in such areas can lead to the seals’ inefficiency, leading to costly leaks.

Leak-free hydraulic systems ensure that production is not affected. This means unnecessary downtime and needless repairs are avoided.

Ultimately, preventing leaks within a hydraulic or pneumatic system is way better than having to deal with their consequences. Regular maintenance procedures and vigilance go a long way toward ensuring that leaks don’t cause major problems.

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