How About A Vegetable-Oiled Excavator?


The use of biodegradable hydraulic fluid in hydraulic systems is not so common in the modern construction industry. Perhaps this is because many construction specialists lack sufficient information about biodegradable hydraulic fluids.

This article provides three reasons why it might be a good idea to choose a biodegradable hydraulic fluid for your next oil change.   

The Viscosity Index

The viscosity index is used to determine how temperature fluctuations affect the viscosity of different fluids. Fluids that have a high viscosity index will often maintain their viscosity in the face of fluctuating temperatures.

When hydraulic fluids become less viscous, the oil film in these fluids is becomes thinner than it usually is. As a result, the ability of the fluid to lubricate various components of the hydraulic cylinder is compromised. Once the lubricating ability of the fluid is compromised, the hydraulic system is left vulnerable to constant over-heating.

Vegetable oils (for example) often have a higher viscosity index than petroleum-based oils. This means that extreme temperatures within the hydraulic system will have less of a negative impact on the viscosity of hydraulic fluids if vegetable oils are used for lubrication in hydraulic excavation equipment. By extension, this means that you're less likely to deal with problems associated with over-heating in the excavator's hydraulic system.

Flash Points

In the world of hydraulics and hydraulic fluids, flash point is a measure of the temperature required to make a hydraulic fluid evaporate to the extent of generating sufficient quantities of flammable vapour. Thus, the flash point determines how easy or how difficult it is for the hydraulic fluid in an excavator to evaporate and burn.

The flash point of biodegradable hydraulic fluids is often higher than that of petroleum-based fluids. For this reason, a vegetable oil running through the hydraulic system in an excavator may be less of a fire hazard than its petroleum-based equivalent. A biodegradable hydraulic fluid may therefore make it safer for you to operate the excavator.


Finally, you may want to consider a biodegradable hydraulic fluid for your excavator because these fluids often are often less toxic than conventional hydraulic oils. Toxicity should be a major concern for construction workers because hydraulic fluids will often leak from the excavator (and into the soil) during construction activities. Because biodegradable hydraulic fluids are less toxic, a leaky hydraulic excavator will introduce less toxic compounds into the soil during a construction activity. Contact a local professional for hydraulic repairs.


16 June 2016

Compelling and Creative Commentary on Construction and Contractors: A Blog

Welcome! My name is Frances, and this is my first blog. Whether you found me through a Google search or were passed my link by a friend, I am so glad you found my blog. I plan to fill it with a range of commentary on the world of contracting and construction work, and I hope that you find my ideas compelling and creative. I am a dog trainer, but I have always loved the world of construction. I tend to work a lot on the weekends and evenings, when my clients are off work. As a result, I have a lot of time to write during the day, and I decided to create this blog. Thank you for reading.