Hydraulic Contamination: A Key Thing You Need To Consider

Hydraulic Contamination is an invisible problem that can sneak into your vehicle and destroy your engine. When this happens, you may experience a failure to achieve or accomplish any tasks at hand.

The aim of this article is to throw light on the consequences that results from hydraulic contamination. Later we will discuss what preventive measures you can follow to mitigate the risk. This way you can maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of your vehicle. Sounds Good? Read on to find out!


Hydraulic contamination refers to the movement of hazardous soil, disinfectants and other contaminants into the hydraulic system.

The record says that in every 100 hydraulic failures the 75 mainly occurs because of severe contamination. Therefore, you cannot ignore this issue.

You can prevent the hydraulic contamination by having proper knowledge about where they are coming from. This will help you keep an eye on the sources.

Sources of Hydraulic Contamination

There are several sources which contributes to the hydraulic contamination. Some of the main sources are as follows:

1.   Development or Assembling Contamination

It is also known as built-in contamination. This type of contamination mainly results during the assembly or development processes for a particular equipment.

  • During sand casting the sand grains may stuck inside the component.
  • A smaller piece that come from welding slag.
  • Silver metal or fine grinds produced from tapping or drilling

The experts can avoid this type of contamination through flushing or overhauling the new components in your vehicle. It also prevents built-in contamination from rising above a specific point.

2.   Oil Contamination

Oil contamination occurs when you don’t filter it properly before putting it inside your engine. T

his results in the formation of metal shavings and metal particles that can damage seals, bearings, and other internal components. It mainly occurs because of metal to metal contact. Then these metal shavings take the place of oil between the meta to metal contact.

3.   Ingress Contamination

Ingress contamination refers to the contamination through air. When ever the components open or damaged or through any mean oil exposes to the atmospheric air.

This will lead to entrance of pollutants within your hydraulic fluid or lines. Please note rod seal does not completely seal the contaminants from entering.

4.   Internal Contamination

This contamination mainly results because of chipping and splitting of metal pieces internally. It may be due to low oil levels or high heat or friction consequences.

These chipped particles then get mix into the hydraulic fluid. Thus, making the fluid thick, sludgy. With time it also becomes smelly.

5.   Chemical Contamination

Chemical contamination is the presence of harmful or dangerous chemicals in your equipment. The major threats that chemical contamination poses to your equipment include damage to bearings, seals and components.

This is mainly due to corrosion from acids and solvents, corrosion from oils that can leak from moving parts. It may also be due to extreme temperature conditions caused by elevated temperatures or high altitudes.

Consequences You Can Experience Because of Hydraulic Contamination

There are several consequences that you may experience when you face hydraulic contamination. Some of the main consequences are as follows:

1.   Accelerated Wear

Wear is the rate of mechanical erosion, or friction, between two surfaces. Wear can occur on any moving component in a hydraulic system but is most common with gears and bearings.

How much damage can a single sand grain possess to your hydraulic equipment? A very less, no, you are wrong. You need to consider that within a hydraulic motor there is continuous placement of power and torque.

This single grain takes the place of lubricant specially between the metal surfaces. Thus, eliminating the lubricant from there. You will face scratches in the main areas of your component. It severely affects the performance of hydraulic motor.

Due to successive scratches it results in metal removal from a particular place. This will lead to the excessive contamination within the vehicle hydraulics. This is the main reason it is essential to observe the hydraulic fluid conditions inside periodically. This will help you in timely replacement of damaged parts.

2.   Filter Clogging

Filter clogging refers to the close of all sieve opening because of contaminants. This will not allow the further filtration process.

If you are careless with hydraulic filters replacement on your hydraulic equipment. Then you will shortly face problems related to contamination. The contamination will clog up your filter. When it occurs, a couple of things that you are going to experience.

The pressure will rise in case if the filter does not have bypass and you will face complications. It will also contribute to seals blowing and unrepairable damage. This could result in extra expenses or unbearable costs.

The second thing which you experience is surface damage. If there is a bypass valve in your filter you can expect longer working. After clogging of filter all the contaminants make their way out through the bypass valve.

This will result in bulk flushing of contaminants which will eventually raise surface damage issues. These issues may result in complete damage or failure of multiple components in your hydraulic vehicle.

3.   Valve Clogging

Valve clogging happens when contaminants enter the valve and lodge in the valve’s parts, causing it to stick. This can have a variety of impacts on efficiency, drive performance, and reliability of the vehicle.

Usually small particles after sticking into the valve results in valve clogging. This issue leads to the decrease productivity of your vehicle. The thing you need to know is you cannot easily track the issues.

It represents the excessive downtime along with accomplishing troubleshooting the main problems. Time comes when valves are unable to operate the right way. This contributes to loss in power as well as pressure losses. It will also result in speed reduction.

4.   Reduction in Efficiency

Reduction in efficiency describes the decrease of power applied to an engine and getting poorer performance.

The abrasive contamination is the leading cause of reduction in efficiency. There are number of things that contributes to reduction in efficiency.

Water or air inside the hydraulic fluid prevent the compression of hydraulic fluid. This possess a negative impact on the power and performance of hydraulics.

5.   Cavity Formation

Cavitation is a condition that occurs when liquid or gas bubbles form in a liquid. It occurs when the pressure difference between two points leads to rapid flow.

If these bubbles get large enough. They will break the surface tension and allow large volumes of air/water come into contact with the liquid surface.

Presence of moisture or water can cause cavitation in your hydraulic components. If other contaminants exist besides cavitation in your hydraulic fluid.

You can even experience a severe damage. The chipping of metal or metal chunks that results because of cavitation contributes to severe contamination in your hydraulics.

How to Avoid Hydraulic Contamination?

You cannot monitor or identify hydraulic contamination without proper accessories and tools. This mainly includes high cost hydraulic filters. But this don’t reflect that you cannot follow other preventive measures.

Some of the main preventive measures that you can follow to avoid contaminating your hydraulic fluid are as follows:

1.   Open Your System in Clean Environment

Whenever performing repair or maintenance measure, you should do it in clean environment.

The main reason behind it to prevent the sneaking of air, sand, water or other contaminants inside your hydraulics. Also, when performing maintenance or refilling the oil don’t keep your system open for longer.

2.   Use Filtered Oil

Hydraulic fluid is the lifeblood of our machines. Every time you change your hydraulic fluid make sure it is clean enough. You can do this by passing it through a specific filter.

Filter help you remove dirt, debris, sand, or grit if any in your oil. Always keep your hydraulic fluid away from moisture or higher temperature fluctuations. This will alter the chemical composition and affect the viscosity levels.

3.   Troubleshoot Hydraulic Lines

Troubleshooting of hydraulic lines is an investigation work to identify the problems and finding the solutions to these problems. It helps to prevent contamination of hydraulic system as it mostly is in contact with hydraulic fluids.

You can assess the leakage if exist in hydraulic lines. This may lead to low level of hydraulic oil and sneaking in of foreign contaminants. Troubleshooting will help you prevent this contamination by addressing the leaks on time.

4.   Avoid Different Oil Mixing

You can prevent contamination by not using the oil of two different kinds in your hydraulic vehicle. Time comes when low level of oil cope up using refilling.

This cope up is necessary to carry out with the right type of oil. Unless it may lead to contamination. You should use the hydraulic oil that meet the necessary standards set by the OEM manufacturer.


Now you know everything about consequences of hydraulic contamination. You can follow the above-mentioned measures to prevent these consequences. You can also choose Xugong.

Xugong is an innovative company with extensive international experience. Their Hydraulic Contamination prevention has helped excavators achieve higher production yields and lower downtime with less costs and less pollution.

Whether you’re an operator, manager or engineer, Xugong has the right solution for your excavator system. They have specially-designed systems to prevent any kind of hydraulic contamination.

Unlike their competitors, Xugong’s team is backed by successful international experiences and offers better customer service and warranties than other companies on the market.

Contact Xugong today for your Hydraulic Contamination prevention needs!


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