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Hydraulic System

ISO 4406 code is a standard that is recognized in the industry. Certain recommended fluid cleanliness quantities are necessary to realize the best performance and cost saving operation of your Hydraulic System.

The cleanliness of your hydraulic fluid is critical to the trouble free and cost effective operation of your system. Hydraulic components are very expensive and need special consideration when selecting and filtering this fluid.

ISO 4406 (International Standards Organization) code is a standard that is recognized in the industry. Certain recommended fluid cleanliness quantities are necessary to realize the best performance and cost saving operation of your hydraulic system.

The ISO 4406 cleanliness level standard is used to reference the number of particles greater than 5 and greater than 15 microns in a known volume. For our usage, this volume will be 1 ml. The number of 5+ micron particles is used as a reference point for "silt" particles. The 15+ size range indicates the quantity of larger particles present, which contribute greatly to potential catastrophic component failure.

Now, the way the ISO chart lists the "ISO Code" is with a two number system. For example, the approximate rating of new oil off the store shelf would be rated at 20/17. In this two number system, the first number indicates the number of particles that are greater than 5 micron in size. The second set of numbers after the / indicates the number of particles that are greater than 15 micron in size. Ideally, the lower you can get the two numbers in the ISO chart, the less will be the internal damage inside your engine or hydraulic system.

To ensure that you achieve the most efficient and relative results, it is important to establish and maintain an oil analysis program. More than 70% of Hydraulic Failures are caused by contaminants in the oil.Heavily contaminated oil can reduce power by as much as 15-20%, slowing machine response and taking longer to perform an operation.By following a few basic tips, the life of piston rods, seals, valves and pumps can be more than doubled. By maintaining the hydraulic fluid in "as-new" condition, the life of the same components can be increased tenfold.

Particles Breed Particles

An abrasive particle passing through the system scrapes off further particles. Larger ones join the original to create a mass of wear catalysts, smaller ones become silt which builds up on metal surfaces to clog oil flow and cause sticking valve components. In-line filters do not remove silt, (particles below 15 micron) and do not remove water.

The benefits are:

  • A dramatic reduction in component wear (seals, piston rods, pumps, etc) 

  • A reduction in the incidence of sticking and worn valve components.

  • Extended life of in-line oil filters.

  • An end to the need to change hydraulic fluids.

The cleanliness of your Hydraulic Fluid is very crucial to the trouble free and cost effective operation of your hydraulic system. Hydraulic components are very expensive and need special consideration when selecting and filtering this fluid.

Determine the required standard of filtration you require from the chart below :
Pumps Less Than 2000 PSI 2000 to 3000 PSI 3000 + PSI
Fixed Vane 18/15 17/14 16/13
Fixed Piston 17/15 16/14 15/13
Variable Piston 16/14 15/13 14/12
Valves 2000 PSI 3000 + PSI
Directional (solenoid) 18/15 17/14
Pressure Control (modulating) 17/14 17/14
Flow Control (standard) 17/14 17/14
Proportional Flow Controls 15/13 15/13
Servo Valves 14/11 13/10
Cylinders / Motors 1000 PSI 2000 PSI 3000 + PSI
Actuating Cylinders 18/15 18/15 18/15
Axial Piston Motors 17/14 16/13 15/12
Radial Piston Motors 18/14 17/13 16/13
More Than Up to and Including Number Scale
5000 10000 20
2500 5000 19
1300 2500 18
640 1300 17
320 640 16
160 320 15
80 160 14
40 80 13
20 40 12
10 20 11
5 10 10
2.5 5