Why should I consider RLI Oil?

RLI Oil is designed to meet the following needs:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Totally biodegradable
  • Excellent anti-wear performance
  • There may be no clean up costs if leakage occurs, because some agencies do not require vegetable-based fluids to be cleaned up. It is still important to follow all EPA, State and local laws regarding clean up and reporting of spilled materials.
  • Designed to minimize the environmental impact and have low environmental persistence
What are Biodegradable Hydraulic Oils, Cleaners and other products?

Readily biodegradable is an arbitrary classification of chemicals which have passed certain specified screening tests for ultimate biodegradability; these tests are so stringent that it is assumed that such compounds will rapidly and completely biodegrade in aquatic environments under aerobic conditions.

Inherently biodegradable is a classification of chemicals for which there is unequivocal evidence of biodegradation (primary or ultimate) in any test of biodegradability.

-Definitions from the EPA OPPTS 835.3110 and OECD Guideline

Why are biodegradable hydraulic oils preferred over petroleum based or many synthetic products?

Produced from renewable resources
Easily cleaned up
Increased fire resistance
Long life
Better lubricity

How does the performance of bio-based oils compare to petroleum or synthetic oils?

In general bio-based biodegradable oils perform equal to or better than petroleum and synthetic oils in all appropriate applications.

How does the cost of bio-based oils compare to petroleum based or synthetic oils in clean-up?

When cradle to grave pricing considerations are factored into the equation they are much better in total cost and environmental health than either petroleum based or synthetic oils.

In general, the clean-up of these biodegradable products is much less expensive than oil or synthetic products. All spills usually require that the spill is reported to the department of environmental quality, state department of natural resources or the EPA. For small spills, those under 20 gallons, that may be all that is required. For larger spills it may be necessary to remove the soil. The soil would then be monitored until the digestion is complete and the soil can then be used in other locations, taken to a land fill or other places, depending on local, state and national requirements.

All biodegradable oils and products are not created equal. It is important to compare them in terms of their specific characteristics. This includes their oxidation stability, viscosity index and biodegradability. There are different grades of biodegradability. Biodegradable hydraulic fluids can be inherently or readily biodegradable. These definitions are important because they indicate the rate and completeness of their degradation. Also, there are some very good oils on the market but there are companies marketing very poorly made hydraulic oils that do not perform well. It is best to ask for test data from an independent laboratory to insure the oils meet your specifications.

Where can bio-based oils be used?

They can be used in almost all applications where petroleum based and synthetic oils are used. There are currently a wide range of bio-based oils that meet most applications. These are really good oils where ecological considerations are important, such as marine, forest, agricultural, and other areas or where there is a desire to have an oil with better fire resistance.

What are the misconceptions regarding bio-based oils? They smell? They break down? They gum up valves?

Biodegradable vegetable – based oils do not normally smell and resist breakdown when used in the appropriate applications. They have been extensively tested and do not damage valves or gum them up if used appropriately.

What are some of the advantages in using Biodegradable oils, cleaners and other products

Excellent anti-wear protection for pumps and valves
No “rainbow” effect in water
Anti-oxidant, anti-corrosive, anti-foam properties
Rust and corrosion protection for system parts
User-safe to handle
Higher flash point
High viscosity index

Are there concerns about changing over to bio-degradable vegetable oil in a system using petroleum oil?

No. Conversion to vegetable-oil-based fluids will present no problems; they are compatible with petroleum oil. It is best to flush as much of the petroleum or synthetic oil from the system and then add the biodegradable oil. Any residual petroleum oil can be left in the system.

Where can biodegradable hydraulic oils be used?

Stacking Lifts
Trucks, Backhoes, and other heavy equipment
Lift Bridges
Lock Gates
Dam Controls
Hydroelectric Power Plants
Shipboard Hydraulic Components Robotics
Amusement Park Rides
Below is a sample of the kinds of oils currently available.

Oils, cleaners and other:
Hydraulic oils
Two-cycle engine oil
Turbine oil
Hydrostatic oil
Spindle oil
Gear oil
Trans hydraulic oil
Rock drill oil
Food-grade oils
Release oils
Gun oils

What are some of the benefits of RLI Oil?

RLI fluids offer excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance. In service, RLI protects high speed, high pressure pumps, valves, and other associated equipment against wear, extending equipment life. RLI has excellent temperature/ viscosity characteristics, and is suitable for operating in temperature ranges of -35 to 165 degrees Celsius. RLI products are compatible with typical hydraulic seal materials, and are fully miscible with conventional petroleum-based oils. The fluids exhibit excellent water separation and provide an inherent self-cleaning effect in valves.

When in use, RLI provides:

Excellent anti-wear protection for pumps and valves
No “rainbow” effect in water
Anti-oxidant, anti-corrosive, anti-foam properties
Rust and corrosion protection for system parts
User-safe to handle
Higher flash point
High viscosity index
RLI fluids are recommended in hydraulic applications where accidental spills or leakage could present an environmental hazard.

What are some of the possible applications of RLI Oil?

RLI will perform in systems demanding high performance hydraulic fluid, featuring the advantages of being “Readily Biodegradable” with non-toxic additives which are also biodegradable. Examples of uses include hydraulic lifts, hydraulic elevators hydraulic marine applications, heavy and light industrial and construction hydraulic equipment, both indoors and outdoors, timber harvesting, forest fire-fighting equipment, mining equipment, oil exploration and production, hydraulic lift bridges and locks, golf course hydraulic mower lifting devices, airport service fleets, municipal and utility hydraulic apparatuses, and other uses for hydraulic fluids where ground and water contamination is a problem with its petroleum counterparts. Successful applications include:

Passenger & Freight Elevators
Dock Levelers
Industrial Lift Trucks (Inside & Outside Usage)
Stacking Lifts
Cranes, Pile drivers, Casson Drivers, Dredging Equipment
Backhoes, Mobile Hydraulic Logging Devices, Lifting Devices
Mobile Hydraulic Sprinklers, Spray Heads, Tree Shakers
Tractor Hydraulic Take-Offs

Lift Bridges, Lock Gates, Dam Control Gates
Shipboard Hydraulic Components, Bow Thrusters, Power Steering, Davits, Cranes, Boat Lifts, Hydraulic Variable Pitch Props
Fork Lift Trucks, Robotics, Hydraulic Presses, Hydraulic Stamping Machines
Hydroelectric Power Plants, Gates, Governors, Bearings, Debris Rakes
Chain Saw Lubrication, Log Splitters
Golf Course Hydraulic Mechanisms

What about the safety of RLI Oil?

RLI meets or exceeds all tests as follows: ASTM D-2882, ASTM D-2619, ASTM D-3604, ASTM D-2272, ASTM D-4172, ASTM D-892, ASTM D-287, ASTM D-471-66, ASTM D-877 Dielectric Strength Test, ASTM D-5864, OECD 301B – Readily Biodegradable Modified Strum Test, FTM-5308.6 – Oxidation Test, ISO-9439 International Water Quality Evaluation Standard Oxidation Test, ISO-9001:2000 Certification.

Leakage or spillage of RLI into the environment should be avoided. However, unless significantly contaminated or altered in service, small discharges of RLI fluids should rapidly biodegrade and not cause any lasting harm to the environment. All local, state, and federal laws should be strictly observed.

What are some of the tests that have been run on RLI Oil?

The following are typical tests used to determine the performance characteristics of products. Check product technical data sheets for the specific tests used for each product.

ASTM D-2882, Modified Vickers Pump Test (1500 psi @ 500 hrs @ 150 degrees)
ASTM D-445, Viscosity @ 400C
ASTM D-2983, Viscosity @ -150C, Brookfield
ASTM D-4684, Viscosity @-300C, MRV TP1
ASTM D-2270, Viscosity Index
ASTM D-97, Pour point
ASTM D-92, Flash point (COC)
ASTM D-130, Copper corrosion strip 3hr @ 1000C
ASTM D-5483, Oxidation stability (Pressure differential scanning calorimeter) min
ASTM D-974, Neutralization number mg KOH/g
DIN 53538, Part 1, Swell of synthetic NBR-L rubber, % (Ave.)
Denison TP 02100, Filterability
HF-0 Requirement
ASTM D-1401, Demulsibility, ML, Oil/Water/Emulsion
ASTM D-4172, 4-Ball Wear, 1h, 1670F, 1200 RPM, 40 kg
DIN 51354, FZG Test
ASTM D-2619, Hydrolytic Stability Test
ASTM D-3604, Elastomer Compatibility Test
ASTM D-2272, Rotary Bomb Oxidation Test
ASTM D-665, Rust Test
FTM 5308.6 (Federal Test Method), Oxidation Test
ASTM D-4172, 4-Ball Wear, 1h, 1670F, 1200 RPM, 40kg
ASTM D-892, Anti-Foam Additives Non-Silicone Defoamer
ASTM D-287, API Gravity @ 60 degrees, Specific Gravity Point 0.915
ASTM D-877, Dielectric Strength Test (38,900 VAC)
ASTM D-5864, Standard Test Method for Determining the Aerobic/Aquatic Biodegradation of Lubricants
OECD 301B. Ready Biodegradability Modified Sturm Test
ISO 15380, Environmentally friendly
ISO 14001:1996, Environmental management system

Should I be concerned about changing over to bio-degradable vegetable oil in an existing hydraulic system using petroleum oil?

No. Conversion to vegetable-oil-based fluids will present no problems; they are compatible with petroleum oil. However, ideally it is best to flush the petroleum oil out of the system by running Hydro Safe through the system to remove as much of the petroleum oil as is practical and then fill the system with Hydro Safe oil. Any residual petroleum oil can be left in the system. Please contact us for additional questions or the best procedures to follow when changing over a system to Hydro Safe.

How do I change out existing petroleum oil to Hydro RLI oil?

Drain as much of the existing oil from the hydraulic system as possible before adding RLI Oil. You may flush out the system but it is not required. RLI oils are compatible with petroleum oils, but to gain the maximum benefits of RLI oils, it is best to remove as much of the petroleum oil as possible. Please consult with us should you have further questions.

What is Fire Resistant hydraulic oil?

The term “Fire Resistant” as defined by Factory Mutual, meets the ASME A.171B fire resistive criteria and means:

1. Sprayed fluids that contact an ignition source will not propagate flame.
2. That if the source of ignition is removed from a fluid spray, and flames will self-extinguish.

What is the biobased content in RLI oil?

The bio-based content in RLI hydraulic oils range from 84% to 99%, depending on the grade of oil. All of RLI hydraulic oils are totally biodegradable, and exceeds the government criteria of being “readily biodegradable” (60% in 28 days, ASTM D-5864). Readily biodegradable is defined as an attribute of products that have a natural ability to biodegrade quickly and completely.

What makes RLI oil biodegradable?

Vegetable oils are biodegradable because they are naturally occurring compounds that common bacteria in aquatic and terrestrial systems can break down, unlike many other compounds that kill bacteria preventing biological breakdown.

Can RLI hydraulic oils be used in a hydraulic system other than a hydraulic elevator?

Yes. Hydro Safe oil is being used in many other applications such as, Industrial Lift Trucks, Stacking Lifts, Backhoes, Lift Bridges, Lock Gates, Dam Controls, Hydroelectric Power Plants, Shipboard Hydraulic Components, Robotics, Amusement Park Rides, and other industries utilizing hydraulic systems.

Will RLI oils provide anti-wear protection in my hydraulic system?

Yes, RLI hydraulic oils contain a phosphorus compound that provides a solid protective coating on the exposed metal which provides excellent anti-wear performance in a wide array of hydraulic components.

What is the life expectancy of RLI oil?

RLI oil was first installed in elevators back in 1996 with no problems.

What is the difference between Readily Biodegradable and Inherently Biodegradable?

Readily biodegradable products distinguishes materials which are quickly decomposed into harmless byproducts, while “inherently” biodegradable means it will eventually biodegrade.