Historical Overview of the Development of Water-Glycol Hydraulic Fluids
Because of on-board fire problems during World War II, the us Navy initiated a program to develop hydraulic fluids that were more fire-resistant than the mineral oils that were in use at that time. Water-glycol hydraulic fluids were subsequently developed and first commercialized in 1947 which offered vastly improved fire resistance relative to mineral oils. Since 1947, in addition to formulation changes, there is significantly greater understanding of the impact of these changes on pump wear performance. This paper will present a selected overview of water-glycol formulation chemistry, some of the fluid formulation issues that have been encountered and the evolutionary improvement of hydraulic pump wear performance.