Hydraulic power transmission with oil as power transmission fluid is widely applied in industrial applications. The main consumer of hydraulic fluids are heavy duty hydraulic machines such surface and underground mining equipment, drilling rigs and earth-moving machines. Petroleum-based hydraulic fluids and lubricants are persistent and toxic. They need to be disposed at the end of life in order to minimize the dispersion in the environment, and the are carcinogen and have resulted in almost 10,000 workers developing malignant tumours, resulting in more than 5,600 reported deaths/year in the EU. Additionally the use of oil-based hydraulic machines poses severe fire and safety concern in harsh industrial environment (i.e. high temperature). The inevitable trends in the construction industry and legislation show very clearly that the oil in the hydraulics should be replaced with less pollutant media. Biodegradable synthetic oils show lower performance, poor lubrication, higher costs, greater wear, seal compatibility problems, and long-term stability concerns. Substitution of oil by water is the best solution for an environmental, safety, health and cost perspective. However in the high-pressure fluid applications, the requirements for the substrate/coating systems are extremely severe, because wear resistance, friction and corrosion aspects must be addressed. Nowadays no application of water hydraulics in the machines for construction and mining, which represents the biggest market for hydraulic components and the largest consumers of oil, exist. HYDRO-COAT project is aimed at developing the knowledge and the technology to produce a new range of “environmental friendly” machines for construction using water as hydraulic fluid, addressing the technical barriers imposed by the use of water instead of oil. This objective will be reach by integration innovative coating solutions with optimal design of hydraulic components for use with high-pressure water.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs