People often have a lot of questions about how hydraulic hoses work. And that’s no surprise: these hoses are capable of dealing with massive capacities, and a lot of mystery surrounds how they are used, as well as how they historically developed. Their sheer size, weight, and carrying power often make them the subject of confusion.
On the other hand, often, hydraulic hoses are just assumed to be “big tubes,” which is kind of a generalization that doesn’t take into account the relative complexity of the modern hydraulic hose. In fact, hydraulic hoses are a product of the principles of hydraulics and hydrostatics, which actually have a rich history going back to ancient times while remaining relevant and necessary to human culture today!
With that, we’re going to cover the basics below.
What is Hydrostatics?
Hydrostatics is a branch of fluid mechanics – the science of how liquid movement works. To understand how hydraulic hoses work, you need to understand a few basics about hydrostatics, which dates as far back – believe it or not – to a practical joke developed by the famed mathematician Pythagoras.
A Pythagorean Cup is a goblet that was designed to look like a regular cup for drinking with a bent tube at the center of the base which was not filled with liquid, but air. If the cup stayed beneath the height of the tube, it operated as a normal drinking cup. But if it went above the line, gravity would cause the liquid to quickly flow into the tube, thus spilling everything out through a hole in the bottom.
While Pythagoras probably made a lot of enemies at drinking parties, this principle – that liquid and air can remain in stasis until there is too much water – is, in fact, still used in many modern toilets!
Early experiments in liquid pressure and movement over centuries led to what we understand as hydrostatics today. So without everything from mathematicians playing tricks to Blaise Pascal centuries later studying how pressure caused water to flow from one side of a tube to the other, all the way to the work of atmospheric physicists today, the concepts of hydrostatics would be lost to us.
Hydrostatics is the field of science that helps lead to our understanding of the principles of hydraulics: the science of moving and storing liquid. Hydrostatics today takes into account the movement of fluid versus atmospheric pressure and a wide variety of other variables. And these principles bring us to the hydraulic hose, which is used to transport liquids under varying conditions and pressures.
What is a hydraulic hose?
Hydraulic hoses are designed for moving one thing and one thing only, and that is liquid. Of course, there are a lot of different kinds of liquids, and this is where expertise comes in when trying to design a hydraulic system.
Hydraulic hoses have different gauges, and most of them are based around the thickness of interior and exterior hoses, as well as the bend radius of the hose. The sizes of the inside and outside diameter helps determine the actual size of the hydraulic hose.
Because of the wide variety of hydraulic hoses, the first thing that has to be determined is what is the purpose of the hydraulic system to begin with. A high-pressure hydraulic system will require hoses that are built to withstand that pressure. The type of liquid is important, as it will determine things like material choice as well as density.
Hydraulic hoses have a wide variety of uses, so choosing the right type is essential. Especially if one is dealing with a pressurized system, establishing the correct type of hydraulic hose is of the utmost importance.
How do hydraulic hoses work?
Hydraulic hoses are usually designed with a few different factors in mind, based on the system being created itself. Hydraulic hoses are often composite, meaning that they can be made of multiple parts separated by joints or even connected to hydraulic tubes.
The application of the hydraulic hose is what determines how it works. For example, in high-heat applications, hydraulic tubes may be used in conjunction with hydraulic hoses in areas where the temperature is highest, as tubes are more heat resistant while less flexible than hoses.
Hydraulic hoses are constructed in layers. The first is an inner tube that carries the fluid, and this is usually the one that is the most flexible of the three. Outside the inner tube is a reinforcement layer, which generally has some sort of protective mesh or design to prevent breakage. Finally, there is a protective outer layer, which is usually designed to be weatherproof and heat-resistant.
Hydraulic hoses exist in a variety of types, which are built with different fluids and purposes in mind, whether for residential or large-scale commercial use.
Hydraulic Hose Repair
Now that we’ve covered the basics of hydrostatics, hydraulics, and hydraulic hose repair, it’s hopefully more clear why it is essential when dealing with your hydraulic system to deal with experts in the field.
Hydraulic hoses are not just “big tubes”- they’re specially designed pieces of equipment to give their user total control over things like liquid input and output and are usually part of a greater and more complex hydraulics system.
Hydraulic hoses are designed for longer-term use than a typical hose, have a specific heavy-duty purpose, and are not usually as simple to repair as applying a rubber patch. Because of this, it is essential to deal with professionals who know how your hydraulic hose works, what are the principles behind its operation, and how to get it to full operational ability.
Sometimes it may need to be replaced. Other times a compound solution can be found that could extend the life of some of the hose. But in the end, the most important thing is that the hydraulic system stays working. For that alone, calling in a professional is worth the time and the expense to ensure that your hydraulic hoses stay in optimal working order.