Component Conversion for Skydrol

Submitted by Dave Nolan || Valin Corporation
on Mon, 04/16/2018
Skydrol is a commonly-used hydraulic fluid used throughout the aviation industry (among others). It’s unique chemical makeup provides that Skydrol is a phosphate ester that curbs corrosion and prevents erosion to various components.  One of the most important properties to the industry is the fact that it is fire-resistant. Valves, pumps, motors, etc. in the industry are all components that encounter a phosphate ester base hydraulic fluid like Skydrol.  However, if these components are going to have this special fluid running through them, there is some work that will ultimately need to be done to them.  Converting components to be suitable for use with Skydrol is a process that needs to occur in order to protect the integrity and safety of the entire system.

The main area of concern regarding the various components that encounter Skydrol is the seal elements of the components.  Seals can be a big issue if not properly addressed when a hydraulic fluid like Skydrol is introduced to them.  The more common Buna or Viton seals inherent to these components will not hold up to a phosphate ester hydraulic oil. That means that before a pump, valve or motor can safely be introduced to Skydrol, the equipment will need to be converted properly.

At Valin Corporation, the engineers provide a very important and hard-to-find service for the industry regarding components used to facilitate the use of Skydrol. There is a conversion method that Valin engineers are experts in performing on components destined to be incorporated into systems utilizing phosphate ester base fluid, and it starts with a thorough cleaning. All components that are converted are completely disassembled, cleaned of all mineral based oils or residues, and resealed using the appropriate seal for the location and pressure range of the component. At times, proper seals that are not commercially available are designed and manufactured specifically for the application by Valin engineers. Valin also has the ability to test the finished conversions with Skydrol to assure the conversions have been accomplished error free.

Exploded View

Components need to be completely taken apart and thoroughly cleaned before they can be used in a process utilizing Skydrol. There is absolutely no mixing capability between standard oils and a phosphate ester base oil such like Skydrol.  After a concentrated cleaning has taken place, the component needs to be resealed.  These seals must be rated for phosphate ester fluids. Thus, the material used for the seals is determined by analyzing the specific location for the seal. What temperature, pressure, or action the seal will be subjected to are just a few of the factors that help determine what new seal material will be selected to perform best for the application.

There are several material types available for use in the conversion of components for Skydrol rated service. These materials can range from metals to thermoplastics and elastomers. The key to a successful conversion is selecting the appropriate material for the seal application.

Placing a pump, motor or valve in a process or system that utilizes Skydrol without properly cleaning and converting, can lead to component failure, and ultimately full system failure.  The experts at Valin Corporation can walk you through what needs to be done to keep your system healthy and safe.

Talk to one of our experts today to learn more at (253) 656-5765.