Jump to content
I Forge Iron
TJ Smith

A close call

Recommended Posts

Had a close one last Thurs.
While forge welding a billet for feather Damascus my press blew a return line.
There is not supposed to be any pressure in the return line, but let me tell you a 16 gal pump will spray hyd fluid about 10-15 feet..
The bad thing was the forge was to close and the spray from the leak went right into a 2000 degree plus forge. Instant huge fire. I was operating the press when it happened.
Worked fast shutting things down,the press,the forge,grab the fire extinguisher , spray the xxxc out of everything. Have you ever tried to cool down a 2000+ degree forge full of hyd fluid. Finally got the flames out and wheeled the forge outside.
No damage to anything except 1 light fixture. Need a new return line hose that will stand some pressure.
Mostly a lot of cleaning and probably some new paint. Ought to leave it as a reminder??
Thank God nobody got burned or hurt.
Lesson learned. Use pressure lines on the return also,Don't put your forge close to your press. Keep a fire extinguisher close.
Take care
(Lucky)
TJ Smith

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure glad it was a close call rather than a disaster. Actually a new return hose is the last thing you need on that press and NOT a higher pressure one!

That hose didn't fail the valving in your press failed if it has been a higher pressure hose the oil would've been sprayed as a  mist rather than a sprinkler type spray. Besides filling the shop with a flammable cloud of oil it WILL slice you like a hot knife through butter if you're too close.

Repair the valve body, the main feed valve is leaking or the pressure bypass is tripping but as you note pressure should NEVER build in the return hose. It's blocked! Find and clear the blockage then find out where the debris came from, the possibilities extend to every oil contact component of the press. What happened to your filters, they should've caught anything that could block a valve. You DO have filters. . . YES?

Hydraulics are not something to mess around with in a 0.5 donkey manner, take them seriously, life and death seriously. Yesterday you came close to being burned out, that fire could've been beyond control in seconds. Heck, it could've sprayed YOU down with burning oil right after eviscerating you. 

Check out some hydraulic failure "Fatal Grams" if you don't believe me. Our drill rigs typically had half a mile of hydraulic lines 37 control valves and 55 valves total. So, yeah I've had to maintain, repair and clean the 200 f. DN600 hyd fluid off me. Been there, experienced that and lived to talk about it.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just purchased a new house with a detached garage for my new shop. I purchased on eBay  three  2.5 galllon water can fire extinguishers very cheap  - two for the shop and one for the house next to the wood stove. You can buy a small 1 oz additive for a water can extinguisher that will make it produce an aqueous film foam so it can fight type A and B fires (a lot of local fire departments use these and speak highly of the foam additive) - I recommend this to everyone. Fire is no joke - be prepared. the ABC dry chemical extinguishers are very effective - but will make a huge mess - I have them in my shop also in 15# bottles - but will go for the water can extinguishers first every time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah yes the internal forge hydraulic oil quench system.  *Not* recommended!

Glad it was a brown pants experience and not a life flight to the burn unit experience!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually a new return line is what I needed. I used a clear reinforced line as everyone said no pressure in the return line. Re[placed the return line and everything works fine.

Thank you all for your concern.

Take care

TJ Smith

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, no pressure depends from the volume and speed of fluid. Little volume and slow, no pressure, larger volume and fast will work against the walls resistance and build up pressure since has no way to go fast. A larger hose will reduce any chance of pressure build up. 

Glad you are ok and were able to extinguish the flames. What sort of extinguisher did you use?

Take care man, nothing is worth a burn. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With hydrualic presses when the press is loaded up with pressure and released there is a spike of very high flow and pressure thats what would of burst the hose you had at the start. The flow may be well over 100 lt min just for a split second. Pressurised oil from a burst hose/pipe is exremely dangerous as you and others have said, when I had bulit my press I was setting the relief valve and the steel pipe blew out of the base of the ram it made a very big bang gave me a hell of a fright it was at about 3000psi. I thought it was my fault by not tightening the fitting correctly so I redid that fitting and checked all the others then cotinued and got to just over 4000psi and the same fitting came apart. There was an explosion this time the pipe wrapped itself around the oil tank, filled the workshop with oil mist and i had lost all faith in the fittings but it turned out that the hydrualics place had steel pipe that was hard and the fittings couldnt imbed into the pipe to get the proper grip .The hydraulic supplier let me use their test bed to pressure test all the fittings after that which helped restore my confidence a bit The fittings I used were aeroquip and they normally never ever do what happened to me I have covered all the fittings with steel guards just incase it happens again as some are head height. The max pressure with my press is 4300 psi with an 8" dia ram Cheers Beaver

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use high pressure hoses on all applications regardless of return or not, better safe than sorry in my book.  It doesn't cost all that much different.

On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2017 at 9:03 PM, tdriack said:

but will go for the water can extinguishers first every time.

What about -20F?  I agree that they make good extinguishers esp. with foam additive but winter months?? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another method of mitigating catastrophic hose and fitting failures is to encase them in a firehose sleeve or one of the commercial products. They won't prevent a failure, they just catch and disperse the scalpel-like stream and fuel injector spray. You'll still hear the break but it won't slice you open or fill your shop with carbureted oil mist. 

Keep your oil air free, clean and dry. It it looks cloudy change it out. Air compresses and can make for a BIG burst where clean oil loses pressure almost instantly. Water can boil and will degrade system parts, the particles can and will block and jam moving parts you do NOT want jammed. Dirty oil blocks and jams parts like pressure and safety bypasses, check valves, etc.

Hydraulics are a major workhorse but like anything so powerful can be VERY dangerous, respect and vigilance are a must.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Notownkid - I also mix 1 gal -50 degree RV non toxic antifreeze to 1.5 gal water for the water can and haven't ever had a problem with freezing in upstate NY - sorry I didn't mention that before......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having designed and built presses in industry to 100 tons, and worked on many to 2400 tons, including in forge shops may I offer a little safety insight? First in hydraulics, it is not a question of if there will be a leak but when and how bad. As Frosty notes encase those flex lines. Use the least number of flex lines possible. Use seamless pipe if using pipe. DO NOT USE hardware store cast iron fittings. For more pressure than 150 psi go with the class rated forged fittings, ie for 1000 psi buy class 1000 fittings. Get the pipe schedule that matches.

Put a nice big fire extinguisher right inside the exit door, hung right underneath the cutoff switch for the press that you thoughtfully ran there. Why? So you can do the smart thing and GET OUT of the building, turn off the press from outside by reaching in, and while standing outside, in clean air make the decision, small enough to fight or oh shucks lets call 911.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...