It really shouldn't need to be said that a hose burst is always a catastrophic incident. In a best case scenario, a hose or connection failure causes environmental contamination concerns. In a worse scenario, people may be seriously injured or even killed. Hydraulic fluid spraying from a hose burst may also catch on fire if it contacts hot surfaces nearby.
Never use hoses or connectors, regardless of their age, if you have doubts about their condition. Cracked, blistered or worn hoses should never be put into service. It's not worth the chance you're taking with your own life, and the lives of others around the equipment.
Hose whip is the name for what happens if a hose or fitting breaks, and the hose then flails freely. Hose whip can easily dismember or kill.
Hydraulic hoses are made up of layers of wire braid and include steel fittings on the end of a hose assembly. Imagine getting hit by a steel cable moving at high speed, and you'll have an idea of the damage a hydraulic hose can do if it breaks away. In the case of a compressed fluid, the distance travelled and speed acceleration become an even greater issue.
The good news is that accidents are not inevitable! Correctly designed and maintained hydraulic systems are very safe to work around.
Whether you are replacing an existing hose, or building a new system, you'll need to select a hose of the correct pressure rating, material, diameter, and length.
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