A study on the effects of potash contamination on the performance of hydraulic components using fire resistant fluids

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 81, No. 920, 1988
K. SZAFRON and R. BURTON, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, M. TANSEY and R.E.L SEAL, Research Engineers Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Abstract Conversion of hydraulic equipment to fire resistant fluids has been hampered by less than satisfactory component performance and in some cases, catastrophic equipment failure. Concern over identifying possible causes to these problems led to a joint research project between the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Mining Limited and the University of Saskatchewan. This paper summarizes some of the results and conclusions derived from this joint project. In this study, the research was limited to evaluating the effects of potash contamination on the performance of hydraulic equipment. Two separate types of tests were conducted in order to provide a basis upon which trends could be established. This study concluded that the presence of potash dust in the hydraulic fluid can induce severe wear over relatively short periods of time. It was also deduced that a contaminant-free fluid combined with proper fluid maintenance could extend the performance of hydraulic components using fire resistant fluids even under very severe operating conditions, such as elevated pressures and temperatures. Recommendations as to how to achieve this goal and the practicality of doing so are presented.
Keywords: Hydraulic equipment, Fire resistant fluids, Potash, Component performance, Equipment.
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