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Meet your application with the right hydraulic fluid

The majority of hydraulic systems will give a satisfactory performance using various hydraulic fluid types; for example, automatic transmission fluid, multigrade engine oil, and the traditional anti-wear hydraulic oil. However, one important question is; which type of fluid will best meet your specific application at the best transmission oil price!

Although it’s not practical to recommend a particular oil type that meets the needs of all hydraulic equipment in all applications, there are various criterions you can use when selecting a hydraulic fluid for your special requirements. At the same time, you will want the hydraulic oil prices for this product to be cost-effective!

Generally regarded as being the significant factor in the selection of a hydraulic fluid, is the influence of oil viscosity! Irrespective of the value given by the other properties contained in the oil; the determined hydraulic oil viscosity should correspond to the determined and recommended temperature for the hydraulic system. If this factor is not adhered to then the best possible life for components will not be realised.

Operational influences of transmission oil

To define the correct transmission fluid types needed for particular hydraulic systems means taking into account various and inter-dependent influences, which may include:

  • Lowest possible ambient temperature starting viscosity
  • Expected greatest operating temperature, influenced by;
  • Maximum ambient temperature; manual or auto transmission fluid.
  • Permissible, optimal viscosity range of system components

In the event of the hydraulic system being required to perform in freezing temperatures in winter or tropical summer conditions, it is possible that multigrade oil will be needed to retain viscosity. However, this will require permissible limits to be applied over a wide operating temperature range.

The overall efficiency of the auto or manual transmission fluid hydraulic system is maximized if fluid viscosity is maintained in the optimum range of usually 25 to 36 centistokes; this can have the effect of reducing the power consumption of the hydraulic system under certain conditions, with the use of multigrade oil.

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Anti-wear additives or not in transmission fluid

When considering the advantages of a good hydraulic fluid price and the best performance, it must be taken into account that using anti-wear additives is for the purpose of maintaining lubrication under boundary-determined conditions. In general, the common anti-wear additive used in hydraulic and engine oil is zinc dialkyl, dithiophosphate (ZDDP). When considering where to buy hydraulic fluid or additives, keep in mind that previously ZDDP was not always viewed as a positive addition.

However, with appropriate chemical changes, it is now recognized as an enhancing fluid additive for use in any high-pressure and high-performing hydraulic system. This can include those with piston pumps and motor and with a ZDDP concentration of at minimum 900-parts per million offering benefits to mobile applications.

Transmission fluid applications and recommendations

When considering hydraulic transmission fluid additive recommendations and the associated commercial reasons relating to equipment warranty specifications, it is generally beneficial to comply with the recommendations as set out by the manufacturer. However, in the case of certain applications using a different type of fluid compared to that originally specified by the equipment manufacturer could increase the performance of the hydraulic system, as well as the reliability factor.

When you buy hydraulic oil it is a decision that has the ability to influence various aspects of your business operation, especially equipment performance. Therefore, it is recommended prior to changing the type of fluid for a particular application; it should be subject to advice from technical specialists, representing the oil supplier and the equipment manufacturer.

It’s a case of being wise before the event instead of sorry afterward!

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