The Coxmoor Publishing Company book titled ‘Hydraulic Fluids – A Practical Guide’, by Allan Barber, Nigel Battersby and David Phillips, and published in association with the BFPA, is a handy source of information on its subject. Below is an extract from the publication, looking at the theme of disposal regeneration and recycling. At some stage the user of hydraulic fluids will be faced with the need to either dispose of aged or contaminated fluid or to recondition (recycle) the product for further use. Disposal of used hydraulic fluids and their containers Increasingly, restrictions are being imposed on the disposal of all waste materials. Hydraulic fluids are no exception, and users have a ‘duty of care’ to dispose of used fluids correctly, pursuant to local regulations. Waste oils, including used hydraulic fluids, are designated as ‘special wastes’, and users are required by law to keep records of how and when they dispose of these materials. It should be noted that in the European Union, even when a contractor specialising in waste oil disposal is involved, the fluid user has a legal requirements to ensure that the waste fluid is disposed of in an appropriate manner. Many fluid suppliers also operate a fluid disposal service. Levels of oil and other materials being discharged into waste water may also be closely monitored by environmental agencies, and anyone discharging unauthorised materials (or even unauthorised materials beyond agreed limits) can be prosecuted and heavy fines imposed. Once collected, there are several acceptable ways to dispose of waste hydraulic fluids, the three main routes being: energy recovery, regeneration and recycling. Energy recovery In the UK the vast majority of waste industrial oil is burnt as fuel by industries such as power generation, road-stone coating and cement manufacturing. Most waste hydraulic fluid will therefore undergo some basic treatment to remove water and particulates, before being burnt as ‘recovered fuel oil’. Although mineral oil-based hydraulic fluids are not normally mixed with any other type of used hydraulic fluid, small volumes of other non-aqueous fluids (HEES and HFDR) can be co-disposed without a deleterious effect on energy recovery. Oil-in water (HFAE) and water-in-oil (HFB) emulsions are usually disposed of by splitting the emulsion with acid. The oil can then be burnt (or recycled), whilst, after neutralising, the water can be discharged into the sewer for processing. This would have to be in accordance with local regulations and is normally subject to a specific ‘trade waste’ agreement with the local water utility. Regeneration The key to successful regeneration (or recycling) is the careful segregation of each type of used fluid. For example, mixing with metalworking fluids such as cutting oils or coolants will render the used hydraulic fluid unfit for reclamation. Regeneration (otherwise known as laundering) involves the removal of water, particulate matter and acidic degradation products. The fluid is then returned to the user. Additive levels may be replenished after consultation with the fluid supplier. For users of large volumes of hydraulic fluids, on-site reconditioning is now a feasible option that saves the cost of transportation to off-site locations for processing. Recycling Recycling (also known as re-refining) involves the complete removal of the additives and contaminants. This subjects the used fluid to a range of chemical treatments to remove impurities, followed by distillation of the base oil from the additives. The preferred option for disposal of water glycol (HFC) fluids is to recover the base stock components. This involves filtering the used fluid to remove wear metals, sludge and other contaminants. The glycol and water are then separated by distillation; the glycol is recovered and the water recycled or disposed of. The small amount of polymer-based sludge that remains and the solid material from the filtration process should be disposed of through a specialised contractor. Most water glycol fluids are readily biodegradable and are therefore amenable to disposal through the waste water treatment plant. As stated earlier, this would have to be in agreement with the local utility. The fluid can be supplied to the waste water treatment plant either by tanker or through the sewer network. Heavy metals and other contaminants would have to be removed from the waste fluid (e.g., by filtration) prior to disposal. HFC fluids should never be discharged to a watercourse as this could cause a major pollution incident due to the high biological oxygen demand. This is also true for environmentally acceptable fluids (HETG, HEES and HEPG). Containers Medium - large containers, such as 200-litre drums or IBCs (intermediate bulk containers), should be emptied and returned to the supplier or a specialist reconditioner. It is important that the container still retains its original label or markings to identify the previous contents. To obtain a copy of ‘Hydraulic Fluids – A Practical Guide’, contact the BFPA on 01608 647900 or email: enquiries@bfpa.co.uk. 

When temperatures in a quench bath rose to 35oC for one engineering company it meant production targets were under threat. This then had potential for additional complications, waste product, severe delays in supply chain delivery and compromising the company/client working relationships; all factors that could have serious short and long-term financial implications.

BPI Minster Films in Leominster has recently installed a series of magnetic separators supplied by Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd. The magnetic separators capture any ferrous metal contamination in the process, preventing equipment damage and production downtime.

Emerson Process Management’s new global reliability management consulting practice says it is guiding business leaders on how to better manage maintenance costs, improve reliability and increase profitability.

PWE takes a look at managing motor and generator repairs at nuclear power stations.

The British Fluid Power Association publication ‘Fluid Power Engineer’s Data Book’ is a valuable source of information covering a wide range of technical topics related to hydraulic and pneumatic installation and maintenance. One critical theme covered is that of cleanliness control. This article outlines some of the key points covered within the book.

The Port of Tilbury is London’s major and greenest port and at each high tide the water level inside the impounding dock is raised to meet shipping and operational requirements. This is performed by four 57.5” vertical A/F Vickers Armstrong pumps installed in the late 1960’s and over the years they have served the dock extremely well. At any one time three pumps are used, pumping up to 6000lt/sec of abrasive seawater for two hours either side of each high tide.

Martin Kingsbury, membership director, the BFPA, outlines the association’s range of hydraulic hose courses, and explains how they can improve your ability to install and maintain hose efficiently in order to keep plant and machinery productive, reliable and safe.

A large raw water pumping station in Malaysia was suffering from severe vibration problems with the drivetrains on a number of large pumps, which resulted in regular failures and downtime.

Chris Hansford, managing director of Hansford Sensors, discusses the need for accurate data capture as part of a predictive maintenance plan in modern manufacturing and explains the different measurements that can be taken by vibration sensors to carry out condition monitoring in different applications.

The root causes of misalignment in fans are bent or incorrectly installed shafts and worn bearings. These result in vibration, noise and heat, which effectively wastes energy. Misaligned shafts also increase the load on motors, requiring increased power consumption from the motor to generate the additional turning effort required to rotate the shaft.

IP68 enclosures are able to protect against water ingress even when fully submerged, making them ideal for applications in extremely harsh environments. PWE reports.

Following on from last month’s look at the importance of hydraulic hose quality and how certified holders of the British Fluid Power Distributors Association’sApproved Hose Assemblies Mark scheme are dedicated to high standards in hose assembly, this article stresses the importance of avoiding the practice of hose re-ending at all costs.

For suppliers of hose assemblies, establishing a reliable reputation with customers/end users is critical in order to secure ongoing repeat business. Similarly, when dealing with a hose assembly supplier, customerswant to know they are sourcing high-quality hose, fittings and related equipment and services.

For suppliers of hose assemblies, establishing a reliable reputation with customers/end users is critical in order to secure ongoing repeat business. Similarly, when dealing with a hose assembly supplier, customerswant to know they are sourcing high-quality hose, fittings and related equipment and services.

A solutions App has been launched by NSK that works alongside the company’s Added Value Programme AIP to improve efficiency, reduce breakdowns and improve profitability for industrial users.

Electrical and hydraulic systems need regular check-ups in order to maintain peak operational performance. Paul Hickman, an expert in drive technology at Bosch Rexroth, says that all-too-often end -users neglect to give these vital pieces of equipment the TLC they deserve.

Ian Ritchie, managing director of Brammer, the UK’s leading distributor of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) products and services, looks at how a planned and proactive approach to managing all aspects of maintenance can deliver significant financial and operational benefits to companies across all manufacturing sectors.

Following on from surveying appropriate treatment for fluid injection injuries last month, the British Fluid Power Association (BFPA) outlines three main categories of this type of injury, and suggests a list of optimal guidelines for medical professionals to follow in the event of such an occurrence.

For a large petro-chemical company located in Antwerp, Belgium, the cost of replacing failed bearings on its cooling tower fans was becoming a serious issue. With 25 similar applications across just one site there was an urgent requirement to find a better solution which would improve reliability and reduce the maintenance costs. The answer was provided by Revolvo, with its SRB split roller bearing design, which greatly reduced the time and cost of the replacement operation.

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