Hydraulic hoses can't tell you that they are about to fail, but new ColorGard hose can show you. The thermoplastic hose uses a multi-layered elastomeric or polymeric material in contrasting colors. The colors usually include a black outer cover with a red inner layer, but other contrasting colors can be used if desired. As the black layer wears away over time and the hose approaches an unsafe operating condition, the red inner layer is revealed, giving the hose inspector an early warning that it is time to further inspect the hose and consider pulling it from service. "ColorGard will highlight a problem before it's a problem," says Steve Powell, the engineering manager at Parker-Hannifin's Parflex Div. He says the new hose has the same abrasion resistance as other thermoplastic hoses, but is safer thanks to the contrasting colors. The hose's applications include construction and mobile equipment, where hoses are typically dragged across concrete and other abrasive surfaces. ColorGard is also suitable for hydraulic rescue equipment (e.g., Jaws of Life) where inadvertent hose failures are unacceptable. In indoor industrial applications, the hose helps end-users avoid catastrophes, injuries, clean-up expenses, and lost productivity.
Although hose assemblies in fixed-position hydraulic systems are not as prone to abrasion as assemblies that regularly move in mobile and construction equipment, abrasion still occurs in fixed systems through vibration and other means. ColorGard's applications also include use in fixed-position hydraulic systems where it allows for easy identification of hoses requiring replacement. Parker-Hannifin, Hydraulic Business Unit, Parflex Div., 1300 N. Freedom St., Ravenna, OH 44266; Tel: (330) 296-2871; FAX: (330) 296-8433; www.parker.com
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