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    Root Cause Analysis to Identify Hydraulic Failure Modes

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    Different tribological systems work under different conditions in axial piston pumps, vane pumps, or radial piston motors. Root cause analysis procedures are used to identify the failure modes discovering typical performance limits of hydraulic fluids and fluid power components. Therefore, pump lubrication and operation requirements, preferably existing in pump manufacturer specifications, must be determined. Hydraulic fluid performance standards are developed in International Standards ISO 11158, “Specifications for mineral oils hydraulic fluids (H)“, ISO 12922, “Specifications for fire-resistant fluids (HF)” and ISO/DIS 15380 “Specifications for environmentally acceptable hydraulic fluids (HE)”. All these standards represent minimum requirements. Fire-resistant and environmentally acceptable fluids show the most different performances in comparison to mineral oil based fluids. Fluid and components properties should be in good balance. The performance of different hydraulic fluids and various pumps has been predicted using small—and large—scale bench tests. Performance limits on fluids and pumps were finally tested together, followed by root cause analysis to identify hydraulic failure modes. Finally, fluid additives or component modifications led to high system performances and optimized fluid power applications. This paper describes important failure modes, reasons for fluid-depending material damages and rolling contact fatigue failures in roller bearings for hydraulic systems which are significant for the components life span. The report is focused on both useful fluid and appropriate pumps. Results from hydraulic pump tests with new steel quality for roller bearings are useful for optimized tribological systems, aqueous or non aqueous hydraulic fluids and new applications in fluid power industries.


    failure modes, hydraulic, hydraulic fluids, pump failures, root cause analysis, roller bearings, steel quality, tribological systems, testing

    Author Information:

    Reichel, J
    Dipl.-Ing., Publicly Sworn Expert, Hydraulic Fluid Power Consultancy, Essen,

    Wahl, M
    Dipl.-Ing., Research Engineer, Deutsche Montan Technologie GmbH, Essen,

    Committee/Subcommittee: D02.N0

    DOI: 10.1520/STP38272S