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Equipment Safety

  • Students shall publish a safety check list for equipment for which they are responsible.
  • Students must read the safety check list for each piece of equipment before operating it.
  • Ensure you know the location of the emergency stop button before starting equipment.
  • Always depressurize accumulators or pneumatic reservoirs before working on fluid power apparatus.
  • If an oil spray could occur, ensure that the sprayed oil can not cause a fire or explosion due to exposure to an ignition source.
  • Check the application pressure, system pressure and component pressure before connecting a system to a pump or pressure source. The maximum operating pressures are listed on equipment labels or published on manufacturer websites.
  • Check the pressure ratings of all hoses and tubes included in your system. Never include "SAE 100R4" hose in pressure lines. If equipment contains hoses, ensure they are adequately constrained to prevent a whipping hazard in the case of a failure.
  • Use the correct connectors and adapters when connecting hoses, tubes, peripherals and actuators. Hydraulic connections use one of four standards:
    • ORS: Face O-Ring
    • ORB: SAE O-Ring Boss
    • SAE Flare 37 deg (JIC)
    • SAE Flare 45 deg (rarely used)
    Never mix connector types.
  • If quick couplings are used, check the compatibility of the female and male sets marked on the parts. The part numbers and markings are listed on manufacturers' web pages. For example, an AERO Quip coupling -8 set uses a 5610-8-10S male connector and a FD56-4101-08-10 female connector.
  • When assembling quick connect couplings, ensure that you hear the couplings snap together. Ensure that the couplings are engaged by gently trying to pull them apart. If in doubt, disconnect and re-connect the couplings.
  • Periodically check hoses for leakage, cracks, kinks or breaks.
  • Identify likely trajectories for parts that could become airborne in a failure (such as fragments launched by a failure of a rotating shaft) and stand clear of them.
  • Test your equipment for leaks at low pressure before raising the pressure to the operating pressure.
  • If using the shop oil supply, learn to operate the power unit by reading the separate laminated instruction sheet. Make sure to turn on the cooling water for the power unit before turning on the power unit itself. Turn off the power unit and the cooling water before leaving the lab.
  • If your equipment contains a large manifold, bleed the air out of it before pressurizing it for the first time. (Otherwise, it stores energy like an accumulator in the compressed air.)