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Fluid warmers boost machine productivity

Fluid warmers boost machine productivity

Hydraulic fluid tends to thicken as it gets colder, which hinders it from flowing into a system’s hydraulic pump. Restricting flow into the pump can create cavitation, which, in turn, leads to premature pump failure. On the other hand, waiting for fluid to warm up enough to run a machine’s hydraulic system keeps equipment and work crews from doing any work.

Cold temperatures can thicken hydraulic fluid, which can damage pumps from cavitation. The alternative is to wait for fluid to warm up, which robs productivity by keeping machines idle. Hydraulic fluid warmers, below, left, solve the problem by using engine heat to warm hydraulic fluid.

Solutions to this dilemma are offered by Arctic Fox LLC, Delano, Minn. First is the Hydra Liner, an all  stainless steel heat exchanger that screws into the 2-in. NPT or straight-thread O-ring port provided on many hydraulic reservoirs. The Hydra Liner has 3⁄4-in. inlet and outlet ports that circulate heated coolant from the engine through the Hydra Liner. The large surface area of the Hydra Liner transfers heat from the engine coolant to the hydraulic fluid.

The Hydra Liner is available in five sizes for reservoirs sized from 10 to 77 gal. Surface areas run from 105 to 385 in.2 for warming fluid as cold as –40°. Equipment with larger reservoirs or that needs greater heat transfer rates can be served by installing more than one Hydra Liner.

Arctic Fox’s Hydraulic Hot Fox fluid warmer relies on the same principle of using hot water from a machine’s engine to raise the temperature of hydraulic fluid. However, it is designed for vertical installation into a standard level sending-unit opening on the top of a reservoir.

Arctic Fox also offers custom-built units for hydraulic reservoirs with an irregular shape or that otherwise can’t accommodate a standard fluid warmer. Miniature units are available as well for hydraulic reservoirs as small as 1 gal.

A third option is an electric fluid heater. Available in 12 or 24 Vdc or 120 or 220 Vac, with power capacities from 7 to 100 W, these heaters are installed simply by removing the backing from peel-and-stick surface and attaching the heater to a metal reservoir. The heaters come in six sizes for metal reservoir capacities from 1⁄8 to 100 gal.  

Arctic Fox also offers warmers for  diesel fuel and for batteries plus system design, on-site installation and operator training services.

For more information, call Arctic Fox at (763) 972-2758, or visit www.

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