Choosing a Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid

By罗纳德·克尼切特(Ronald Knecht), Global OEM Manager – Hydraulics & Lubricants, Quaker Houghton.


While both HFC and HFDu hydraulic fluids reduce fire risk, improve operation safety, and enhance environmental performance, significant differences exist. Standing at 50-55% market adoption, HFC is a water-based fluid for industries in which there is a major risk of fire. In contrast, HFDu is a water-free fluid that’s designed to replace anti-wear mineral-oil-based hydraulic fluids and has a market adoption of 20-25%.



The case for HFC

HFC, or water glycol fluids, are the most widely used fire-resistant hydraulic fluids because of their cost effectiveness and their combination of excellent fire-resistant properties with good lubrication performance. Widely used in steel making, die casting foundries, pressure molding applications, and the automotive industry, HFC remains the market standard.

In addition to offering uncompromising fire resistance, other factors for choosing HFC include its OEM endorsements and comparable pricing with mineral oil. Unlike HFDu, HFC is also miscible with process water, which remains a key environmental consideration. However, some compromises do exist with HFC that need to be taken onboard.

Ongoing maintenance of HFC is essential, with regular sampling and analysis required to protect against costly component damage. A properly maintained HFC-operated system can behave very reliably.

The impact of neglected maintenance will often be a period of unplanned downtime, which needs to be meticulously scheduled to minimize the associated inconvenience and revenue losses. However, with an effective maintenance plan in place, the long-term cost efficiencies and safety benefits of HFC are beyond question.


Argument for HFDu

Widely acknowledged as the best fire-resistant alternative to mineral oil despite being more expensive, HFDu fluids are designed to replace anti-wear, mineral-oil-based hydraulic fluids used in applications where fire hazards exist. Additionally, they can be used in environmentally sensitive hydraulic applications without compromising the overall hydraulic system operations and design.

HFDu fluids are based on high-quality, synthetic, organic esters and carefully selected additives, and do not contain water, mineral oil, or phosphate ester. HFDu fluids deliver excellent and reliable hydraulic fluid performance. While initial fluid investments may be higher, HFDu fluids generally result in a total lower cost of ownership due to reduced downtime from maintenance and better lubrication, resulting in less energy consumption. Additionally, HFDu products have a long fluid life, can perform at higher pressure, and enhance system reliability.

Some compromises do exist however, as HFDu is two to three times more expensive than mineral oil. Its fire resistance meets international standards like Factory Mutual but is also not equal to its water-based alternatives, which is why HFDu fluids are often chosen for applications in which there is less risk to human life, such as blast furnaces.

Finally, HFDu is not miscible with water and as such doesn’t mix with wastewater. It can be skimmed off, which can have an impact on chemical oxygen demand, and more positive environmental and regulatory consequences. As ever, one needs to take a holistic view when weighing up the relevant benefits of water-free and water-based solutions.

It’s clear both HFC and HFDu hydraulic fluids offer a wealth of benefits. Deciding which makes the most sense to use ultimately comes down to what’s best for the specific application. Therefore, fire resistance, environmental impact, thermal stability, fluid maintenance, system reliability, the total cost of ownership, and price all need to be given serious consideration.

Quaker Houghton在防火液压液方面的专业知识可以提供清晰,指导和世界领先的耐火液压液品牌。HFC的Houghto安全包括出色的腐蚀抑制,出色的润滑和低热量释放。尽管HFDU Quintolubric具有强烈限制火灾传播,减少环境影响并降低总运营成本的特性。

通过提供一流的HFC和HFDU产品,Quaker Houghton可以在他们的建议中完全是客观的,从而使每个应用程序的独特要求和挑战都可以。


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