Pressure tester could be a lifesaver

AN Australian company has produced its first prototype of a portable pressure-testing device for hydraulic hoses that could reduce fluid injection injuries.
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Launching the PDD prototype are (l to r) Kate Bishop, Neil Martin and Liviu Schintee (all from Custom Fluidpower) with Centennial Coal’s Steve Burgess

Andy Graham

Custom Fluidpower’s Portable Detection Device for Pressure in Hydraulic Hoses (PDD) was developed with the help of funding from the Australian Coal Association Research Program.

The company says there is currently no similar non-invasive device available to establish whether a hose, tube or pipe is under pressure.

Custom Fluidpower engineer Liviu Schintee said the PDD told an operator if there was high pressure or low pressure in a hydraulic hose.

“This information is critical in performing isolation procedures in hydraulic circuits where is not possible to connect a pressure detecting device to measure the pressure in contact with the medium or hydraulic oil,” he said.

“In a complex hydraulic circuit with long lines, not all the lines are provided with test points to allow pressure measurement.

“The invention addresses this aspect by allowing an operator to have a portable device that indicates if there is high pressure or low pressure in that hose following a simple non-invasive procedure.”

Custom Fluidpower sales director Neil Martin said stored hydraulic energy could create a risk of fluid injection injury when disconnecting hoses for servicing or repair.

“Using the PDD the operator can substitute the hazard of disconnecting a hose under high pressure with the risk of disconnecting the hose under low pressure,” he said.

“This risk is more manageable and the risk of personal injury is lower.”

A second potential application is identifying hoses under pressure in installations with long hose lines where the hoses are bundled and connected to different actuators or services.

The PDD will identify high pressure in hoses without stopping the machine.

The PDD works by applying a safe level of deformation to a hydraulic hose with a clamping device and measuring the deformation of this hose.

It then compares this deformation with data stored in its memory and issues a low pressure, high pressure or re-test notification.

Custom Fluidpower will now work to refine the prototype and make it market ready.

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