Hydraulic fluids primarily lubricate pumps and motors within the hydraulic system without impairing the function of other components. Hydraulic equipment uses hydraulic fluids and in case of oil leakage, especially if the fluid used is mineral oil comes into contact with heat source it may pose a great risk of a fire hazard. Fire resistant hydraulic fluids were developed to mitigate this risk. These fluids are widely used in various industrial equipment & machineries. As per the ISO classification, fire resistant hydraulic fluids are classified as HFA Type – Oil in Water Emulsions, HFB Type – Water in Oil Emulsions, HFC Type – Water Glycol Fluids, and HFD Type – Anhydrous Synthetic Fluids. Of these, water glycol hydraulic fluids are commonly used fire resistant hydraulic fluids. The appropriate fire resistant hydraulic fluid should be selected by working closely with the fluid manufacturer for analyzing the system operation and matching the equipment needs with fluid capabilities.
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Water glycol fluids offer an optimum combination of fire resistance and performance & cost economics. Water glycol fluids are widely used fire-resistant fluids because of the way they combine fire-resistant properties with lubrication performance to provide excellent value. Water glycol fluids (HFC) are made up 35% to 40% of water to provide resistance to fire; glycol, and water soluble thickener to improve viscosity. Water glycol fluids also contain additives to prevent foaming, rust, and corrosion; and improve lubrication. Additives are performance enhancing chemicals. They include corrosion inhibitors for vapor as well as liquid phase, viscosity index modifiers, anti-wear additives for lubrication, and metal passivators for copper, brass and bronze. These additives usually account for 10% to 15% of total fluid composition. Unlike mineral oils, water glycols do not degrade by heat or metal in the system that acts as catalysts. Thus, these fluids offer virtually an indefinite life with little maintenance.
Based on region, the global water glycol hydraulic fluids market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is the dominating region of the global water glycol hydraulic fluids market, led by the presence of large number of steel mills, foundries, slag management, casting and forging, and machining plants. The region is followed by Europe. Demand for water glycol hydraulic fluids in China has been rising at a fast pace since the last decade. Production and demand for water glycol hydraulic fluids is expected to continue to increase in the country in the near future. The economy of China has been expanding at a rapid pace due to the increase in industrial output, imports & exports, consumer consumption, and capital investment. North America is among the major regions of the market owing to the high per-capita consumption of lubricants. The market in Middle East & Africa is also estimated to expand significantly during the forecast period owing to the growth in the industrial sector.
Demand for water glycol hydraulic fluids is primarily driven by the rise in safety concerns in industries such as mining, steel production, marine, and chemical. Based on application, the water glycol hydraulic fluids and process oil market can be segmented into automotive, industrial machinery, marine, power generation, chemical, and others. On account of increase in industrial output and rapid industrialization particularly in the emerging economies the industrial machinery application segment dominated the market for water glycol hydraulic fluids in 2016.
Key companies operating in water glycol hydraulic fluids market are Royal Dutch Shell Plc., IOCL, Castrol Limited, Exxon Mobil Corp., British Petroleum Plc., and LUKOIL Lubricants Company.
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