Hydraulic systems use pressurised oil to perform work, whether it’s actuating valves, moving machinery or lifting equipment. While a certain amount of heat generation in hydraulic systems is acceptable, if the temperature of the oil increases beyond the operational specifications of the system components, it can damage seal compounds and cause a drop in efficiency. To prevent this, a cooling system must be in place. That’s where hydraulic oil coolers come in.

A hydraulic oil cooler is designed to reduce the build-up of thermal energy within a lubrication system by shedding accumulated heat into an external medium. They generally work on a conductive transfer principle whereby the hot hydraulic oil is passed through a series of pipes exposed to a constant flow of low-temperature cooling medium. The cooling medium absorbs the thermal energy and sheds it, typically into the atmosphere. Several different types of hydraulic oil coolers are available for general use, with most using either air or water as the coolant medium. Air cooled units, which resemble automobile radiators, utilize a powerful fan to push ambient air across the pipe coils carrying the hot oil. Water cooled oil coolers, on the other hand, employ a sealed shell through which cold water is circulated.

Both are popular options for cooling hydraulic lubricants and provide reliable service under a range of operating conditions. Our team of experts can recommend the best product for your application and ensure that it is installed, commissioned and maintained properly to extend its life and improve performance.

Bowman manufacture a wide range of marine and industrial air and water cooled hydraulic oil coolers to suit most applications. Our standard units feature a shell and tube design with a variety of threaded or hose tail connections to accommodate most applications. For more demanding installations, we offer a wide choice of tubing material options including copper nickel, stainless steel and titanium. We also have a large selection of end caps and headers for both land and sea-based applications.

Choosing the right type of marine oil cooler for your vessel or plant can be complicated but our experienced team is happy to advise and help you select the best unit to fit your requirements. Our computer aided selection software is available to assist in recommending the correct product for your specific application.

Keeping your marine oil cooler clean and free of debris is essential to extend its lifespan. Incoming seawater can erode the tubes and tube plates of an untreated unit, so selecting a product with adequate filtration is critical to prevent premature failure. In addition to this, the velocity (or flow rate) of the incoming seawater is another factor that can influence how long your marine oil cooler will last. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that the manufacturers recommended water flow rates are adhered to.

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