SAN DIEGO—Gates Corp. has expanded and simplified its hydraulic hose line for integrated hydraulic systems and expanded its protective sleeving line that guards against the dangers of hydraulic hose bursts and pinhole leaks.
The Denver-based firm re-engineered its MegaSys-brand product line for hydraulic systems in a way that should help reduce the costs for its fluid power customers, while filling out its LifeGuard-brand line-of-sight sleeving systems.
The MegaSys line has a number of new attributes, including handling higher pressure and achieving a better bend radius for end users, according to Terry Weeber, Gates vice president for global marketing and product capability.
“In a way this is the next generation of MegaSys,” said Weeber, discussing the innovations at NAHAD's annual convention, held April 2-6 in San Diego.
The constant pressure, spiral-wire and wire-braid hoses can be bent up to one-third the SAE specification, and the MegaCrimp and GlobalSpiral couplings guarantee leak-free connections with MegaSys hoses with maximum working pressures up to 8,000 psi.
The hoses can be routed in tight spaces for easy installation, and overall hose assembly length and cost are reduced by as much as 64 percent, Gates claimed.
New layline labeling on the sides of the hoses—used just for the MegaSys line—include a distinctive design and pressure color-coding system to make the hoses easy to identify in stock and service. Information on the hose includes its trade name; size; pressure; SAE, EN or DIN standard; and USMSHA flame-resistance compliance.
“There's a lot of ingenuity built into that layline,” Weeber said. “It's a real mainstream bread and butter line for Gates, but we're looking for continuous improvement.”
The color coding also will help once the hose is in service. For example, often an operator can see just a bit of the hose, or the information on the hose can begin to wear off.
“Now, as long as you can see that color, which is pretty predominant, you can identify it,” he said.
The changes also bring potential inventory savings for distributor customers because one type of coupling covers all sizes, so fewer stock-keeping units of couplings are needed, he said.
The new MegaSys line also simplifies things for customers because Gates now essentially offers two hose lines in this area: spiral and wire-braid, along with the two fittings families, MegaCrimp and GlobalSpiral, said Mark Lehnerz, advertising manager for the firm's Worldwide Fluid Power Division.
All the hoses in the line—from one-quarter inch up to 2½ inches—also are now constant pressure. That is in contrast, Lehnerz said, to traditional hydraulic hose offerings, where as the size of the hose increased, the pressure it could handle decreased.
The LifeGuard line is intended to protect equipment operators working within a 3-foot line-of-sight of a hydraulic system against such hazards as fluid burns and injection; fires and explosions; electrical shock; and mechanical failure.
Lehnerz said the original product rollout was modest, with a couple of products that could handle just a 3,000 psi failure or 6,000 psi pinhole leak. Now the expanded line can protect workers from a 5,000 psi hose failure or 10,000 psi leak.
Gates also added the same color coding that it put on the hose layline because the sleeving covers the hose, so it's impossible to see the color underneath.
The sleeving line is not designed for applications where the hose is buried inside of a unit, but for when it is used in such things as skid-steer loaders, refuse trucks, some longwall coal mining uses, railway equipment maintenance and others where the hose is exposed and the operator near the equipment.
“If that hose were to fail, that catastrophic force is going to explode back to the operator,” Lehnerz said. “People forget when fluid is coming out at 4,000 to 6,000 psi, it literally is almost like a knife.”
He said hydraulic fluid that enters a person's bloodstream can be fatal.
Weeber said the LifeGuard sleeving is made of ballistic-grade nylon and is more advanced than any other system on the market. “It has its own unique crimping system,” he said. “It's very simple but designed to match the integrity of the sleeve itself.”