Anti-wear properties of hydraulic fluids are important because hydraulic pump and motor wear is costly. Hydraulic fluid performance specifications represent minimum requirements. International hydraulic fluid performance standards are being developed by ISO/TC28/SC4 committee as draft (ISO DIS 11158 “Specifications for Mineral Oil Hydraulic Fluids”). Performance specifications for non-mineral oil hydraulic fluids are also being developed.
Typically, both the user and fluid manufacturer have insufficient information relating to the anti-wear properties of a new fluid to be used in hydraulic equipment, such as axial piston pumps, vane pumps or radial piston motors. Therefore, pump lubrication and operation requirements, preferably pre-existing in pump manufacturer's specifications, must be determined. The required fluid lubrication properties may be determined by either laboratory pump tests or by a field trial, often at the expense of the customer. More preferably, the lubrication properties of the hydraulic fluid should be determined under mechanical conditions equivalent to field practice. In this paper, the use of both the vane pump test and the FZG Gear Test to predetermine the “recommended“ hydraulic fluid lubrication performance will be discussed. In this way, fluid performance may be determined at significantly lower cost than more expensive large scale hydraulic pump and motor tests which slower and more energy consuming.