Types of Hydraulic Hoses

Types of Hydraulic Hoses

Hydraulic Hoses

Different Types of Hydraulic Hoses

Hydraulic Hoses or Systems are everywhere, you just need to know where to look. If you see orange construction barrels, then you’re also looking at equipment littered with hydraulic systems. Zero-turn lawn mower? Yep. Garbage truck? Yes, again. Brakes on your car, the tilt on your outboard motor, in a manufacturing plant… they are everywhere. 

Hydraulic hoses or systems use pressurized hydraulic fluid to output work in a mechanical system. Let’s go over some quick basics. Hydraulic fluid is an oil or water based incompressible fluid. Since it is incompressible, it can efficiently transfer energy from a pump and send it to a motor or cylinder. To describe what a hydraulic system is, let’s talk about the most simple one: a log splitter. A pump pulls fluid from the reservoir through a return line and pressurizes it. The pressurized fluid is sent through a 2-wire hose and acts on a cylinder with a wedge, pushing on a log until it splits. As the piston retracts, the cylinder pushes the fluid back through a return hose into the reservoir to cool and get ready for the next cycle. This system—reservoir, pump, cylinder and hose—is the hydraulic system.

Hydraulic Hoses

Hydraulic System

Knowing a few details (refer to our Stamped article) about your system will help you decide what hose is right. Choosing a hydraulic hose is not that complicated once you’ve begun to understand the various options and why they exist.

On the one hand, there are a ton of hydraulic hose specs made by any one manufacturer. Heck, there are 19 SAE 100R specs and a handful of European EN specs. On the other, it’s really pretty simple. You’ve essentially got three options: rubber with metal wires, thermoplastic with textile reinforcement, or Teflon with stainless braid. There are a few other application specific specs out there, and we’ll talk about them in a bit, but, really, those are your three options. After you know which you need, the rest kind of sorts itself out.

Before we get started, there are some general things you need to know. First, hydraulic hose part numbers indicate inside diameter using a system of 1/16ths. For instance, -04 is ¼” inside diameter, or I.D. (4/16=1/4), and -12 is ¾” (12/16=¾) and so on. So, a part number like H28006 is hose spec H280 and size 06, or ⅜” I.D.

Next, hydraulic hose is usually rated based on a 4:1 safety factor. This means 3,000-psi hose bursts at 12,000 psi or more. Exceptions include jack hose which often has a 2:1 safety factor, because it is a static and low stress application. Ask our Hose Pros if you’re concerned about safety factor.

The general construction of a hydraulic hose is tube, reinforcement, and cover. The tube is the inside of the hose that conveys the hydraulic fluid. Then, there is the reinforcement; this provides the strength and holds the pressure. Last is the cover. The cover’s job is to protect the reinforcement from abrasion and corrosion.

Hydraulic Hoses

Construction Types

There are three main construction types for the pressure side of a hydraulic system and one for the return side. Hoses for the pressure side of your system will usually be made of rubber, thermoplastic, or Teflon.

Check out our rubber catalog

Rubber

Rubber hydraulic hoses are usually made of nitrile rubber since it’s compatible with most hydraulic fluids. Rubber hoses can either have textile braid for lower pressure applications under 1,000 psi, or high tensile steel wire for pressures up to 7,000 psi and beyond. The wire reinforced variety is the most common. Constructions range from one layer up to six layers of reinforcement.

Hydraulic Hoses - hose assembly
  • 1 Wire Braid – Less common than 2-wire hose. Used in lower pressure hydraulic systems.
Hydraulic Hoses - hose assembly
  • 2 Wire Braid – Less common than 2-wire hose. Used in lower pressure hydraulic systems.
Hydraulic Hoses - hose assembly
  • 4 Wire SpiralTypically used in heavy equipment requiring very high pressure (4,000-6,000 psi). Good at handling impulse.
Hydraulic Hoses
  • 6 Wire Spiral – Usually reserved for large diameter and ultra-high pressure (up to 7,000 psi)

Covers are usually made of an engineered rubber good at withstanding the elements and abrasion. Some manufacturers produce hoses with especially tough covers for applications requiring extreme abrasion protection; these might have UHMW coatings to withstand aggressive abrasion and impact. If you want to see hydraulic hose with tough covers cutting down huge trees in seconds, and you have a few minutes to waste on clickbait, you will love this video, especially the machine at 7:30: 

Some specialty applications for rubber hydraulic hoses include designs for high temperature (300°F+) and low temperature (-70°F).

Thermoplastic

This construction is typically made of a nylon tube, synthetic fiber reinforcement, and a polyurethane cover. Thermoplastic hose is often used in general hydraulics, material handling, forklifts, and near electrical systems. It can handle pressures similar to 1- and 2-wire hoses but be installed in applications where a rubber hose with wire reinforcement would not work. The polyurethane cover performs very well when subjected to the abrasion of a sheave on a forklift. In situations where electricity is a concern, like in a bucket lift for repairing power lines, non-conductive, thermoplastic hose is perfect.

Hydraulic Hoses

Teflon or PTFE:

Made with a Teflon tube and stainless braid reinforcement, it does not require a cover because the stainless braid will not corrode under normal circumstances. Teflon hose is used in applications that require corrosion resistance, chemical compatibility, or where high temperature is a concern. It carries a 450°F rating.

Check out our Catalog Options

Some things to keep in mind when specifying Teflon hose concern size and bend radius. The size is usually 1/16” smaller than the part number indicates. For instance, -04 hose is 3/16” and -06 is 5/16”. So, just because your part number ends in 04 does not mean the hose is ¼”. This is true for all sizes. Regarding bend radius, remember that Teflon hose is a hard-plastic tube covered in braid. If you bend the hard-plastic tube until it kinks, you’ve now ruined your hose and created a weak spot. Be careful when routing in tight spaces.

Return – Hydraulic Hoses

Return line is a hydraulic hose that can handle suction and is returning the hydraulic fluid back to the beginning of the system. This style of hose is usually a rubber tube and cover with textile braid for positive pressure and a helical wire to allow for suction.

Truck Hose – Hydraulic Hoses

Truck hose is its own special category within the hydraulic hose family. SAE 100R5 defines it as a fabric cover, 1-wire hose used on many systems in on-highway vehicles. Like Teflon hose, truck hose sizing does not follow the standard 1/16th approach used by standard hydraulic hose. The actual hose ID is anywhere from a 1/16” to ⅛” smaller depending on size. Again, call the Hose Pros at TCH, and we’ll help you understand 100R5 hose.

This covers most of the basics of hydraulic hoses. If you ever need to dig deeper and get into the nitty gritty call one of our Hose Pros at TCH and we’ll be happy to help.

TCH Industries

We. Are. Hosers.

Our focus and obsession is the distribution and fabrication of hose for industry and hose related products. Founded nearly 40 years ago, we are proudly owned and operated by the same family. Our manufacturing partners are some of the biggest and best names: Eaton, Parker, Dixon Valve, Hose Master, Brennen, Hannay Reels, and many others.

In short, we are a customer-centric hose company filled with happy professionals who can help you meet all your hose related needs. If you have any questions, please reach out to us by filling out the form below!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

How to Design the Right Hose: S.T.A.M.P.E.D.

How to Design the Right Hose: S.T.A.M.P.E.D.

Hose Design & Hose Assembly

In order to design a cost-effective, long-lasting, and safe hose assembly, you need to understand a few things about hose design. Let’s face it: when deciding on a hose, the three factors that stand above the rest are safety, money, and longevity. Choosing the wrong hose can lead to failures in service, costing you major dollars and potential injuries on the job site.

Trust us, we’ve seen it.

When a hose fails, your job site shuts down, and hopefully no one was hurt. Maybe you have a spare, or for those of us not so prepared, now you need to call your local hose shop. You send one of your guys with the broken hose and get a new one made, while the other three guys in the crew play games on their phones. An hour later, your new hose arrives, and you spend the next half hour installing it and cleaning up.

In all reality, this is not a bad scenario compared to what it could be: a chemical hose leads to a spill with dangerous vapors; a high-temperature steam hose burns somebody; a hydraulic hose breaks and drops a load. It can be way worse than a few guys not working while a hose is being made.

You need to choose the right hose.

Hose industry insiders use an acronym called S.T.A.M.P.E.D: Size, Temperature, Application, Media/Material, Pressure, Ends, Details.

Size

Of course, this is first. Size is one of the most straight forward considerations when selecting a hose. Start with the ports you’re connecting to; if they’re both the same size, then choose a hose that matches. With differing port sizes, there is no standard rule. If flow rate is important to you–maybe you’re running air tools–then you may want to choose a hose size that matches the larger port.

Regarding length, it depends. Some hoses, like air and water hoses, might come in standard lengths of 25’, 50’, and 100’. If one of these is long enough for what you’re doing, then it’s the right length. Other times, you’re routing a hose inside of a machine, and it has to be exact. If it’s too short, it doesn’t reach, and if it’s too long, it rubs against adjacent components. In short—no pun intended—make sure it’s long enough, but not too long.

Temperature

Choosing the right material that can withstand the temperatures your hose will see is the difference between a hose that lasts years, or one that lasts for days. Temperature can shorten the lifespan just as quickly as abrasion or chemical incompatibility. Take a look at these common hose materials to see the wide range of temperatures they can handle:

  • PVC: 0 to +140°F
  • Standard Rubber: -40°F to +212°F
  • Engineered Rubber: -70°F to +302°F
  • Teflon: -65°F to +400°F
  • Silicone: -65°F to +500°F
  • Stainless Steel: below -238°F to +1500°F

This is why we have to start looking at a hose as having two environments: there’s one inside and one outside. On the two extremes, a cryogenic hose has to have a stainless-steel tube that can withstand extreme colds, while a furnace-door hose has to have a fiber glass cover to withstand red-hot steel just feet away. It’s important to be aware of both, but one will usually dominate your decision in selecting a particular hose.

Pressure

If you have a 2500 to 4000-psi pressure washer, then feel comfortable using a one-braid, 4000-psi hose. You don’t need to upgrade. More isn’t always better. Industrial-grade, one-braid pressure washer hoses are easier to handle than two-braid. While two-braid hoses are used in 5000 & 6000 psi applications where extra strength is required, they come at the cost of decreased flexibility and increased weight.

Hose Application—What Makes Your Hose Unique?

Luckily for you, so many hose products are categorized by their application: chemical hose, tank truck hose, brewery hose, air hose, the list goes on… and on. If you open up a catalog from any hose manufacturer, you’ll find a nearly endless list of common, application specific hoses. Other times, you need to tease out what’s driving your spec in a particular direction.   

You can measure a precise size, pressure, and temperature, but application can sometimes be a bit more nuanced. For instance, if you’re specifying a hose for adhesive, you are going to want a smooth, non-stick hose. You might choose a nylon hose, often times called a paint spray hose. In this instance, your paint spray hose is now an adhesive hose, and that’s ok. If you chose a Teflon hose for this application, that would work too. There isn’t always a silver bullet, and, often times, there’s more than one right answer.

hose assembly

Example 1:

The hydraulic lift on a utility truck fixing power lines should not use a wire-reinforced hydraulic hose; instead, the right choice is a non-conductive, thermoplastic hydraulic hose. This protects the utility worker and equipment from electric shock.

hose assembly

Example 2:

High-pressure, hydrogen gas in the heat of the desert. Thermoplastic hose can handle high-pressure gases, and they can handle desert heats. However, we’ve found that as the temperature rose in testing, the diffusion rate through this hose exceeded allowable rates and appeared as a leak. The hose was working properly, but the application didn’t fit, even though the pressure and temperature were in spec. In this case, a metal hose was a better choice because it had a zero-diffusion rate, regardless of temperature. 

Application is also why we choose accessories, which we’ll talk more about in the ‘Details’ section.

Media & Material

It’s important to know the media—what’s running through your hose—or the media that may come into contact with your hose from the outside, because it has to be compatible with the hose cover. When choosing a hose material, for both the tube and cover, make sure the hose material can handle the media it will come into contact with. If you have an acid-transfer application, you need a tube material that can handle acid. If you’re refurbishing a sandblaster, you need a tube that can handle abrasion. Yes, it’s that simple.

Pressure

Pressure is not just an ultimate number. It sounds straight forward, but there are a couple other considerations. Let’s get the obvious out of the way. If you have an application running a constant pressure without much fluctuation at room temperature, then you need to have a hose rated for that pressure.

Heavy construction equipment is a good example where pressure alone is not enough to choose the right hose. When choosing a hydraulic hose that will see impulse and pressure spikes, sometimes we select a spiral hose over a braided hose. Since braided hose is woven, the impulse and spikes force the wires to grind against themselves. Spiral construction allows the layers of reinforcement to flex without grinding against the next layer. This makes spiral hose perfect for heavy construction. 

Metal hose—stainless steel wire over a corrugated, stainless steel tube—requires special consideration for pressure de-rating. 

When impulse is present, we de-rate by half. If there are intense pressure spikes, we de-rate by 1/6th. For example, if a 600-psi hose is being used on a piston pump and will see impulse, we de-rate it to 300 psi. If that same 600-psi hose were used downstream of a valve and sees a pressure spike when the valve opens, it would be de-rated to 100 psi.

Temperature can have a huge impact on pressure rating, particularly in PVC and metal hose. As temperature goes up, strength goes down. For instance, a PVC hose gets an x.5 multiplier at 110°F. It loses half its strength at 40°F above room temperature! By the way, all catalog pressure ratings are assumed to be at 70°F. Metal hose has a much more gradual decline and can be used at very high temperatures. You just need to know the hose working pressure and temperature, and use this chart to determine the de-rated working pressure:

https://www.hosemaster.com/technical-information-flexible-metal-products/temperature-derating/

Side note—most hoses have a 4:1 safety factor. This means they burst at four times higher than their working pressure (3000 psi working pressure = 12000 psi burst). Certain specialty hoses, like steam hose and jack hose, use a different safety factor, but 4:1 is the norm.

Ends

You need to select hose ends that match the thread and connection style of your port and are made of a material compatible with your application/media. There are many, many connection styles: flange, quick disconnect, SAE thread, metric thread, and on and on. Common materials include plated carbon steel, 304 stainless, 316 stainless, brass, plastic, and even custom materials. To avoid getting into the weeds here, if you don’t know what end you need, call us!

Details

Yes, the industry struggles a little with what ‘D’ in S.T.A.M.P.E.D. means. ‘Delivery’ is the most common interpretation, but it’s better referred to as ‘Details’. It certainly includes delivery date, but it means so much more. It’s kind of intended to be a catch all for everything that makes your hose right. Does your hose need any of these?

  • Bend restrictors
  • Abrasion protection
  • Fire sleeve or thermal protection
  • Electrical conductivity
  • Testing & certifications
  • Tagging & labeling
  • Phase angle
  • Packaging
  • Cleaning

This is S.T.A.M.P.E.D. If you can respond to all these points, then you have the information needed to design the right assembly. If you want help, you can call the Hose Pros at TCH Industries, and we’ll guide you through the S.T.A.M.P.E.D.  process. Let our nearly four decades of experience work for you.

TCH Industries

We. Are. Hosers.

Our focus and obsession is the distribution and fabrication of hose for industry and hose related products. Founded nearly 40 years ago, we are proudly owned and operated by the same family. Our manufacturing partners are some of the biggest and best names: Eaton, Parker, Dixon Valve, Hose Master, Brennen, Hannay Reels, and many others.

In short, we are a customer-centric hose company filled with happy professionals who can help you meet all your hose related needs. If you have any questions, please reach out to us by filling out the form below!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Pressure Washer Hose Buyer’s Guide

Pressure Washer Hose Buyer’s Guide

We know searching for the right pressure washer hose can be overwhelming. The first page of Google points you towards all the big box and online stores you can think of. Their options are fine for a casual user who wants to wash his car, but what if you need to something a little more industrial? There are a lot of options and considerations when choosing the right hose. This guide will teach you about them and help you understand what you need.

Is Leaving a Mark Avoidable? Technically, No.

Pressure washer hose is notorious for leaving marks on whatever you’re washing. Dragging a hose across a deck may not always leave a mark, but vibrations from a running pump, alongside the abrasion caused by frequent dragging, will definitely speed up the wear of the cover and, consequently, leave a mark on your driveway or deck.

On the bright side, markings can be reduced by using the right hose. Color, cover material, and proper use can help. Light colored hoses are the best option, with markings standing out less than their black counterparts. Our customers have had the most success with gray. We’ve tried black, blue, and white, all marking more than gray covers.

Synthetic rubbers have the best abrasion resistance, because they are specifically designed to be non-marking. Plastic hoses—like those found at Lowes and Home Depot—are fine when you need a light-duty hose, but they don’t hold up as well.

Pressure Washer Hose

Size and Length Matters… Duh

Choosing the right diameter is often driven by the port in the pump. Most people choose a 3/8” hose when they have a 3/8” port, a 1/4″ hose with a 1/4″ port, and so on. Using 3/8” hose will provide more pressure and more flow at the gun. This is most important with 1/4″ connections. Pressure drop in a 1/4″ hose can be nearly 400 psi, whereas a 3/8” hose would only give you a 50-psi pressure drop (at 3 gpm in a 100 ft hose).

Keep in mind: the longer the hose, the greater the pressure drop. We don’t want to raise needless concern here, but if you can get away with a 50-footer, don’t buy the 100. More import than pressure drop, longer hoses are hard to handle. If you’ve ever tried to coil a 100-footer with a gun on the end, you know exactly what we’re talking about. We recommend a reel for anything longer than 50 feet, especially if you’re a daily user.

Is It Time To Replace My Hose?

The most common indicator that it’s time to replace your hose is a damaged cover with exposed wire reinforcement. The cover’s job is to protect the wire from corrosion, which leads to reduced pressure as the reinforcement deteriorates. If you can feel a broken wire poking through the cover, it’s time for a new hose. A broken wire is a leak path for water, causing corrosion; and, more importantly, you’re asking for a nasty cut and a trip to the Minute Clinic for a Tetanus booster.

Trust us, we’ve learned the hard way.

Don’t forget to keep a close watch on the hose ends, as they can accumulate rust and calcification on the inside, leading to reduced flow.

Pressure

If you have a 2500 to 4000-psi pressure washer, then feel comfortable using a one-braid, 4000-psi hose. You don’t need to upgrade. More isn’t always better. Industrial-grade, one-braid pressure washer hoses are easier to handle than two-braid. While two-braid hoses are used in 5000 & 6000 psi applications where extra strength is required, they come at the cost of decreased flexibility and increased weight.

Which End Connection Do I Need?

Pressure washer connections typically are either Metric M22 X 1.5 (14mm tube is the most common), 3/8” NPT pipe thread, or straight-through quick connects.  The M22 male thread is found on the pump. From here there may be an adapter to 3/8” NPT or a quick disconnect. Make sure to use some kind of thread sealant like Teflon tape if you have NPT. NPT threads don’t seal by themselves and require help.

*Electric units sometimes have the M22 X 1.5, 15mm threads. There are two ways to determine if you have threads for 14mm or 15mm tubes. One is to measure the inside of the male connection after the taper using calipers. It will be very close to either 14mm or 15mm. The other is to measure the diameter of the male part in the middle of the female threads. This feature, usually with an O-ring, mates up with the taper inside the male threads. It will measure very close and just under 14mm or 15mm.

Cleaning with Chemicals, Detergents, & Hot Water

Sometimes, pressure alone isn’t enough. The surface you’re cleaning might require some extra elbow grease. If you use chemicals, detergents, or hot water, you need a hose that can handle it. Hoses made with plastic tubes are often times good with chemicals and detergents but don’t do well with hot water. Synthetic rubber is engineered to handle a wide range of industrial cleaners and handle hot water. Hoses rated to 311°F will provide the longest life if you routinely use a heater in your washer system. Heat and chemicals can quickly break down your hose.

Let me tell you a story:

We were once selling a “water cooling” hose to a steel mill. The application was only 160°F, so we chose a common water transfer hose rated for 180°F. This was the same rating as the equipment manufacturer’s hose, so we felt comfortable replicating the spec.

The manufacturer’s hose lasted three months, and so did ours.

At first, we didn’t even think temperature mattered; after all, our hose was rated for the application. After some investigation, we decided that temperature might be our culprit. We specced a 350°F hose ten years ago, and it’s still going strong. This taught us a valuable lesson: hot water can wreak havoc on your hose, and if you have a burner, you need a hose specifically designed for hot temperatures.

PowerKlean 4000

TCH has designed a hose from the ground up to address the needs of pressure washers all over. PowerKlean 4000 has all the best attributes combined into one hose. It’s a non-marking, high-temperature, light and flexible hose that handles all pressure washer applications up to 4000 psi. The PowerKlean 4000 comes in standard lengths of 50 and 100 feet, and we can accommodate any custom length you require, just call and get a quote.

  • 3/8” I.D.
  • 4000 psi
  • Gray synthetic, non-marking cover, synthetic tube
    • Resistant to weather, oil, and O-zone
  • 311°F/155°C
  • One-braid, steel-wire reinforcement

TCH Industries

We. Are. Hosers.

Our focus and obsession is the distribution and fabrication of hose for industry and hose related products. Founded nearly 40 years ago, we are proudly owned and operated by the same family. Our manufacturing partners are some of the biggest and best names: Eaton, Parker, Dixon Valve, Hose Master, Brennen, Hannay Reels, and many others.

In short, we are a customer-centric hose company filled with happy professionals who can help you meet all your hose related needs. If you have any questions, please reach out to us by filling out the form below!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Scroll Up