Hydraulic fluid plays an important role in your hydraulic systems. It allows you to control specific functions of an aircraft because it is the energy transfer medium in all hydraulic systems. Skydrol is one of the most widely used hydraulic fluids because of its unique properties.
Skydrol is a hydraulic fluid that is phosphate ester-based, Eastman explains. Its chemical makeup delivers its most defining characteristic: fire resistance. In fact, Skydrol is the first ever fire-resistant hydraulic fluid in the industry.
Skydrol was developed in the late 1940s because of the risk of fire in aircraft operations. These risks stemmed from potentially leaking high-pressure mineral oil-based hydraulic fluids that were in use at the time.
Moving away from mineral oil-based hydraulic fluids, the Douglas Aircraft Company and Monsanto, two companies in this joint venture, invested in phosphate-ester technology. When jet aircraft were introduced, phosphate ester fluids needed to be improved to accommodate lower external temperatures and higher altitudes.
Skydrol is the most advanced hydraulic fluid in use for aviation because of how cutting-edge it is. Some of its properties include:
Skydrol hydraulic fluid has a wide range that was developed for different aviation requirements and needs. Some of these include:
Skydrol PE-5 hydraulic fluid is a breakthrough product solving problems related to the longevity of aviation phosphate ester-based hydraulic fluids. It offers the longest hydraulic fluid life of any phosphate-ester-based product.
Even under high moisture conditions, this Skydrol hydraulic fluid allows you to have less frequent fluid replacements. Overall, this reduces your environmental impact and gives you a much more cost-effective and operationally efficient hydraulic fluid.
Skydrol 5 is a premium hydraulic fluid specifically designed to be extra lightweight. Its design is due to its much lower density compared to other types of Skydrol hydraulic fluid. The idea behind a lighter hydraulic fluid is for you to use less fuel because of lower aircraft weight, which ultimately boils down to saving on fuel costs.
This doesn’t mean that Skydrol 5 is a second-rate hydraulic fluid. It is the first aviation hydraulic fluid that has erosion resistance at high temperatures. Amazingly, you can have less downtime and maintenance with this Skydrol hydraulic fluid.
Skydrol LD-4 has a high standard among Type IV hydraulic fluids. This particular variant offers low density, deposit control, and valve protection. The Skydrol LD-4 variant can solve the problem of valve erosion.
Its unique formula has an anti-erosion additive and acid scavenger that reduces valve erosion. This formula has been servicing aircraft for over 35 years with no change in its makeup.
Skydrol 500B-4 has the longest service history among phosphate ester hydraulic fluids and for good reason. The Skydrol 500B-4 is a fire-resistant hydraulic fluid, like all other Skydrol variants. However, it also has improved erosion resistance because it contains the same anti-erosion additive and acid scavenger found in the Skydrol 500B-4.
Skydrol has lots of applications in aviation including:
Skydrol is popularly used in aviation, but there is some concern about its safety if proper protocols aren’t followed. Skydrol-to-skin contact may cause irritation, redness, or even chemical burns. This is why it is recommended that you take care when handling hydraulic fluid with the right protective gear. Always follow the Material Safety Data Sheet recommendations.
Skydrol is the go-to option when it comes to hydraulic systems in aircraft due to the many advantages it offers in the aviation industry. Skydrol is highly important in the aviation industry, as it positions hydraulic systems to run smoothly and securely. Its distinct features enable it to be an ideal choice for aircraft hydraulic systems. This contributes to the better safety and performance of the aircraft.