Even if you’ve selected and installed high-quality chemical hose assemblies, without a properly planned and routinely-implemented maintenance program, their lifecycle may be substantially reduced. Determining the frequency of inspection and potential replacement of products and equipment is dependent on factors such as the potential risks from a possible hose failure, the severity of the application, and any experience with failures in this particular application or similar applications. Users must establish and follow a routine maintenance program to reduce potential risks and replace faulty products before failure occurs.
In this piece, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what a thorough maintenance program must include. Let’s dive in.
It’s critical that users inspect chemical hose assemblies on a regular basis. Here’s a rundown of the conditions that, if visible, must be addressed by shutting down the machinery and equipment immediately, followed by replacing the hose assembly:
Users should perform a thorough inspection of all the other related chemical hose assembly parts and components, and all the following parts and equipment should be tightened, corrected, repaired, or replaced:
It’s extremely important that personnel run the system at its maximum working pressure and test for possible leaks and malfunctions. They must avoid potentially hazardous areas when checking and operating the system. It’s crucial to make sure that the hose is never operating beyond the published maximum operating pressure and that peak or surge pressures are also lower than this level.
Elastomeric seals and chemical hose assemblies that are used on adapters and hose fittings will eventually harden, age, deteriorate and wear under the compression set and thermal cycling processes. Personnel must inspect and replace elastomeric seals and chemical hose assemblies at specific intervals.
These intervals are determined by assessing past service life, industry or government recommendations, and when failures may lead to damage, unacceptable downtime, or risk of injury. It’s also important to understand that these parts may undergo internal wear (chemical or mechanical) due to the fluid and could fail without any warning.
Hydraulic systems work on the principle of utilizing high-pressure fluids to do mechanical work. Hoses, hose assemblies, and fittings all work in tandem within hydraulic systems by transmitting high-pressure fluids. When under pressure, fluids can be extremely dangerous and even potentially lethal, which is why personnel must exercise extreme caution when handling high-pressure fluids and working with the chemical hoses transporting said fluids.
It isn’t uncommon for chemical hose assemblies to fail if not repaired or replaced at regular intervals. Generally speaking, such failures typically result from some type of abuse, misapplication, wear, or failure to perform routine maintenance.
When chemical hoses fail, the high-pressure fluids flowing inside tend to escape as a stream that could or could not be visible to personnel. Personnel should never attempt to locate leaks by using their hands or any other parts of their bodies. Fluids under high pressure can easily penetrate the skin and result in severe tissue damage and potential loss of limbs. It’s important to have even minor injuries caused by hydraulic fluid injections treated promptly by a physician with the proper knowledge of the properties of high-pressure hydraulic fluid.
In the event of a chemical hose failure, immediately shut the machinery and equipment down and make sure to leave the area until the pressure is released completely from the chemical hose assembly. Shutting the hydraulic pump down may not lower the pressure built up in the chemical hose assembly. Often, the equipment— such as check valves—used in a system can cause high levels of pressure to remain in a chemical hose assembly even when equipment or pumps aren’t operating.
Small holes in the chemical hose, also called pinholes, can eject narrow, extremely powerful but difficult-to-spot streams of high-pressure hydraulic fluid. Note that it may take several minutes, potentially even hours, for that level of pressure to be completely relieved in order for safe examination of the chemical hose assembly.
Once the pressure zeros out, personnel should take off the hose assembly from the equipment and examine it thoroughly. Chemical hose assemblies must always be replaced in such an event. Users must never attempt to repair or patch a chemical hose assembly that’s failed.
Like any piece of equipment, elastomeric seals will harden, age, wear, and deteriorate under the compression set and thermal cycling process over time. Personnel must ensure that they are regularly inspected and replaced in order to protect the system.
FlexFit Hose is an industrial hose manufacturer in Baltimore, MD. Our stainless steel hose fittings, high-quality PTFE flex hoses, and chemical hose compatibility tools improve efficiency and productivity.
FlexFit Hose’s high-pressure PTFE hoses are designed to resist abrasion, corrosion, reactions, damage, and other common risks associated with various types of chemicals. In addition to our PTFE hoses, we also have flexible metal hoses that can withstand harsh chemicals that are non-compatible with other materials.
Contact FlexFit Hose for more information on our products.