Tag Archives: hosemaster

How to Handle Corrosion in Your Mill

Avoiding as Much Unplanned Downtime as Possible

Steel mill operators don’t like to have downtime problems, in fact they can’t afford to.  They want to run as much as possible, and as efficiently as possible.  Production equals dollars.  As problems pop up that cause unplanned downtime or upset production (and subsequently get addressed) over the years, they’ve driven the industry to continue to change and evolve as a whole.  So the mills of today don’t have the same issues that mills did in the past.  You can’t as easily say “Hey, we saw this exact same problem up the street on their furnace!” the way you may have been able to 50 years ago.

That doesn’t mean that mills still don’t run into issues, they just tend to be a bit more personalized. And when you have a unique issue, you tend to get a unique solution.  A mill will do its best to solve its own problems, yet each mill has their own idiosyncrasies.  When these “little” problems pop up, the mill has to find a way to deal with it.  When it comes to problem-solving in mills, there are two main schools of thought: get to the real core of the problem and fix it as completely as possible for a lasting solution, or stabilize the issue and control it through regular coordinated maintenance.  Both strategies have the same end goal: avoid as much unplanned downtime as possible by solving the problem.  But which strategy is correct?

A Lasting Solution vs Regular Coordinated Maintenance

This is seen all the time with hoses and expansion joints.  To illustrate this issue, let’s use two real-life examples: Mill A and Mill B were both using Hose Master’s Annuflex hose assemblies to transfer cooling water on the caster and experiencing similar hose failures due to corrosion from an unknown source. Both Mills had seen unplanned downtime due to the failure of these hoses, but each had a different philosophy on how to solve to the problem.

picture of steel mill“Mill A” takes the long-term calculated approach.  They analyze it, looking at everything regarding the application to isolate the underlying issue.  Surrounding piping, surrounding equipment, the hose construction, the media inside the hose…and discover that the mold powder being used during the casting is mixing with cooling water spray, and floating down onto the outside of the hoses, causing them to corrode.  In the short term, they made piping adjustments and redesigned their Annuflex hose assemblies to be made out of ChemKing which uses a nobler alloy (Hastelloy C276) to resist the corrosion, and add an external guard to help prevent particulate from coming into contact with the hose in the first place.  They then plan to install a metal shield around the casting segment where the mold powder is originating to prevent it from escaping and damaging the surrounding equipment in the future.  This solution is more time consuming and more expensive, but the issue is solved for good and removes the need for regular maintenance!

“Mill B” sees the same problem for what it is at face value: just a hose failure.  Because the hoses have been allowed to stay in service for an extended period of time, they seek to remedy the maintenance issue of hoses failing unexpectedly. Because the mill has a planned maintenance outage every 6 months, scheduling the hoses to be replaced regularly at this time will remove the issue of unplanned failures.  In order to increase the service life and guarantee performance in-between the planned maintenance outages, they make the lateral switch from Annuflex to Masterflex.  The added flexibility ensures that all the assemblies they use on the caster will be flexible enough regardless of the slight differences in piping configuration,  and that the hoses will not fail due to fatigue. The standard alloy construction can withstand the corrosion long enough to survive between outages, so by replacing them all at once they now have taken control of the service life issue.  Because of the more economical construction, they can easily afford to replace the hoses at their planned intervals and avoid any further lost production!

So, Which Solution is Right?

Well – both are right. Each mill found a way to keep their production up-and-running that makes sense to them. The hose issue plays a very small part in the overall production flow of the mill, and how they strategize and organize their overall approach to maximizing production and uptime takes into account a huge number of variables.  When helping to solve these problems, manufacturers like Hose Master have to take these differences into account.  There’s more than one way to skin a cat; and what may work for one mill, may be an unacceptable solution in another.


The original article was written by Erik Kane and can be found on Hosemaster’s website.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is a preferred distributor of HoseMaster. To learn more about how we can help with your MRO solutions, contact Gallagher today.

Measuring Metal Hose Assembly Lengths

“Which way do I measure this metal hose?”

A common question among some customers who use metal hoses is: “Which way do I measure this metal hose?” Well, there’s a few different options.

  1. The first method is to measure the overall length of the assembly.
  2. Or, the live flexible length of the hose assembly can be measured.

Live Length vs Overall Length

Traditionally, the live length – or the amount picture showing live length versus overall lengthof flexible hose between the fitting – is used to determine whether there is sufficient hose length to accommodate a certain offset or movement, whereas the overall length of the assembly would be used to determine if the hose is going to fit in an application.

When measuring the overall length of the hose assembly, make sure to measure the overall length via end-of-fitting to end-of-fitting and if it has floating flanges on it, remember to measure to the face of the stub end on that floating flange.

JIC Swivel Fitting

If it’s a female JIC swivel fitting, however, it’s not necessary to measure the overall length to the end of the nut. Measure to the seat of the JIC inside the female swivel fitting. This is the standard for the metal hose industry.

Some customers may measure the overall diagram showing measurements with centerlinelength to the end of the JIC nut because some standards are measured differently by hydraulic manufacturers. If there are elbow fittings on the ends of the hose, metal hose industry standards dictate that measurements should be taken to the centerline of those elbow fittings rather than measuring the outside of the radius of the bend on those elbow fittings.

Laid flat with no kinks or bends

When measuring the length of a hose assembly, make sure it’s laid flat without any kinks or bends in the assembly. If it’s a strip wound hose assembly, ensure that strip wound hose is in its relaxed length, midway point between fully compressed and fully extended. Then, take the measurements on the length of that assembly.

For a great visual representation of measuring metal hose assembly lengths, watch this informative video below from Hose Master:


This video was produced by Hose Master and can be found on their Youtube channel or on their website.

For more information, contact Gallagher Fluid Seals or call 1-800-822-4063.

Metal Hose Application Do’s and Don’ts – Part 2

Metal hose applications can get tricky. Sometimes you can have problems or failures due to the surrounding piping system or because of the way the hose is installed.

Today we are going to discuss Part 2 of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to installing metal hose assemblies in a metal piping system.

Hoses can take a great deal of damage when they are torqued. Twisting it stretches the corrugations and the fitting wells and can cause it to fail. To prevent torque, don’t install the hose off-center.

When it tries to flex, the assembly will be torqued. Do install the hose in-line with itself; called in-plain. This prevents it from torquing when it flexes, and you should stick to one plain of movement. A quick test for in-plain could be done with either a sheet of paper or a flat surface like a table.

When handling long lengths or coils of hose, it’s important to make diagram of a hose wrapsure the hose doesn’t get twisted. Don’t grab one end of the coiled hose and walk away or pull on one end with the other end fixed. This will torque the hose. Do coil and uncoil it properly. Roll it like a tire or pretend like it would be on a reel and try not to twist it.

When installing a hose, significant physical damage can be done to the fitting, the welds, and the braid with the various tools that may be used to install it. Don’t use a wrench or other tools on the hose anywhere but on a hexpad. Gripping the hose by the braid, the braid collar, or the threads will damage the assembly. Do use a second wrench or a swivel-capable fitting when applicable to prevent twisting during the assembly installation.

Torquing the hose during installation is common and can be an issue. If the existing piping does not have any kind of swivel or rotation, don’t use an assembly with fixed-ends fittings at both ends. Otherwise, installation could torque the assembly and strain into service.

Do use a swivel, floating flange, or union, or other fitting that allows the hose assembly to twist during installation.

Follow these tips can help maximize your hose safety and the safety of your plant personnel. If you missed it, make sure to check out Part 1 of the video series.


This video was produced by Hose Master and can be found on their Youtube channel or on their website.