Origins of contamination may be from system components, the hydraulic working fluid, the outside environment, or be generated by the system itself. These contaminants, some large and some microscopic, can have a profound impact on the performance and longevity of the hydraulic system.
There are three principal means through which contamination can
occur in a typical hydraulic system.
Contamination can be:
1. Generated during system operation
2. Built into the system during assembly
3. Ingested by the system during operation
The working fluid in hydraulic systems should be as homogeneous as possible and free of all visible and microscopic debris for optimum performance. The complete absence of contamination in hydraulic systems is unrealistic, but an acceptable and defined level of contamination is generally considered hydraulic system cleanliness. The best approach to cleanliness is to prevent contamination in the first place. Use clean hose and couplings and keep them clean (i.e. cap ends). Clean hose bore after cutting to length as cutting hose to length is a major contributor to contamination.