It is considered a rule of thumb to match hoses and couplings from the same manufacturer when selecting a hydraulic hose and coupling system. Nearly every hydraulic system or aftermarket assembly requires a series of hoses and couplings capable of transporting fluid under pressure between ports.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), an American standard for hydraulic hoses, recommends against using couplings and hoses from different manufacturers because different materials can result in a variety of hose styles that are often made according to differing international standards. As such, choosing the right connection can be difficult.

“Hose performance can be drastically reduced even to the point of catastrophic failures,” explains Kent Clark, Gates product manager – fluid power.

“Due to the extremely high pressure running through the hose even a slight variation increase for each component can cause a significant reduction in hose assembly life.”

Gates Australia’s MegaSys range of hydraulic hoses, crimp specifications and couplings are designed as an integrated solution that reduces the complexity of fabricating hydraulic fluid systems.

The hoses are suitable for mining environments in part due to their tight bend radius, which cuts down on hose length and allows for increased flexibility of use.

Hoses can be bent up to one-third SAE specifications, guaranteeing leak-free use up to the maximum stated pressure in a temperature range of negative 40C to 100C for MegaCrimp and negative 40C to 100C for GlobalSpiral.

A specialised abrasion-resistant coating applied to the cover of the hose called MegaTuff also increases service life and reduces required maintenance. All Gates couplings come standard with TuffCoat plating. This special plating helps to prevent rust formation at performance levels of up to 600 per cent higher than the 72-hour SAE standard.

A more advanced version, TuffCoat Xtreme, is capable of resistance of up to 840 hours, over 1000 per cent higher than the SAE standard. These coatings are especially useful for combating the often-harsh, highly corrosive environments of Australia’s mine sites, and Gates refers to TuffCoat as the ‘plating of choice’ for specialised mining applications.

“The mining industry is complex,” states Clark. “Mobile as well as stationary equipment requires extreme pressure, high risk and tough applications. While budgets are tightening, performance expectations are increasing.

“Is sacrificing production for perceived savings with lower performing products worth the risk? We don’t think so — based on the voice of the customer, the focus is to increase production by decreasing downtime cause by unexpected hose failure.

“The solution would be to convert assemblies to Gates MegaSys offering a MegaTuff cover to handle the harsh and abrasive environment that hoses would be exposed to,” explains Clark.

MegaSys products use an exclusive colour-coded layline matching system that is designed to make it easy to identify hoses. The colour of the layline provides a key to the hoses’ working pressure. Distinctive design and pressure colour coding makes MegaSys hoses easy to identify in stock or in service. Combined with couplings specifically designed to crimp on these hoses, leak-free performance is guaranteed up to maximum working pressure as high as 8000psi.

Blue laylines indicate 3000psi capacity, purple 4000psi, red 5000psi, orange 6000psi and yellow 8000psi. Hoses and couplings are also split into two categories, MegaCrimp and GlobalSpiral, the former being made of wire-braid and the latter spiral-wire. Two coupling families cover all braided and spiral wire hose ranging from SAE100R1 through to SAE100R15.

In addition to pressure ratings, the layline on the hose indicates the hose’s trade name, size and accredited standards, whether it be the SAE (United States), EN (European), ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration).

MegaSys promises to eliminate expensive repairs and downtime that comes about as a result of using inadequate or mismatched hose systems. Gates cites a case study where a client saw a 37 per cent reduction in downtime and 25 per cent fewer hose failures after converting to MegaSys products.