Type approvals for hydraulic hoses and fittings and why they matter
What is a Type Approval?
Type Approval is granted to a product that meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements.
Generally, type approval is required before a product is allowed to be sold into a particular country or industry sector, so the requirements for a given product will vary around the world.
The requirements can also differ from industry to industry.
For example, SAE J517 is a Society of Automotive Engineers standard that tells a manufacturer how to make a variety of hose products.
This does not necessarily mean that a hose will automatically be able to work in that industry. It may still require a TYPE APPROVAL.
As maritime vessels will always work in an environment of risk, maritime insurers use marine inspectors as expert assessors to report on the condition of the vessels being insured.
A marine surveyor is a person who conducts inspections or surveys of marine vessels to assess, monitor and report on the vessel’s condition, and on the condition of any products that have been installed within them.
While marine surveyors are sometimes employed by the insurers directly, they will maintain a certain professional autonomy in order to provide an unbiased view.
Marine surveys typically include an assessment of the structure of the vessel, and of the machinery and equipment used aboard that vessel.
This can also include equipment intended for use on a new or existing vessel, in order to ensure compliance with various standards or specifications.
This will include a survey of navigation, rescue and safety equipment, as well as any industrial components used on the vessel, such as hydraulic components and hose assemblies.
Safety at sea
The overriding reason for marine surveys is safety.
For example, fire is a very dangerous condition for those aboard a vessel. This is due to a lack of breathable air in confined spaces, and the fact that there are limited avenues of escape from a vessel.
The intention of marine approvals is to minimise these risks.
When surveyors are examining hose assemblies for use on a vessel, they will be looking for a type approval for that product.
This means that the assembly will need to be formally approved as being a product safe for use aboard a maritime vessel. The assessment will include fire resistance as an important consideration.
The approval process is conducted by an approval body.
The Type Approvals Process
The process for gaining type approvals for hydraulic hose assemblies is simple.
When a product is made and sold as meeting or exceeding a standard, this is self appointed by the manufacturer.
For example, RYCO T28A hose exceeds standard SAE 100R2AT because it has been designed to do so, and we have proven its performance through extensive and continual testing.
A type approval is when a third party independently assesses the performance of the product, and issues a statement that the product meets all necessary performance requirements.
This statement is a type approval certificate.
Type Approval Certificates
When a type approval is awarded to a product, a certificate is issued by the surveyor.
The certificate will clearly state the products that are included.
If there are service restrictions placed upon the use of the product, then these will also be clearly defined in the wording of the certificate.
Approval certificates have a sunset clause, which means that the type approval for that product will need to be reassessed after a defined period of time, e.g. 5 years.
Pages 43-49 of the RYCO Product Technical Manual show the approvals for the RYCO products.
IMPORTANT: The approvals shown in the RYCO Product Technical Manual may not be the most current.
Please refer to the company website, www.ryco.com.au, or contact the RYCO Hydraulics quality department for the current status of all approvals.
Why Type Approvals Matter
In a thriving industry, it is important to set yourself apart from your competitors. Customers will often ask you to state your case, and tell them why your products should be considered above others.
The approvals for RYCO’s products are a tangible point of difference. The majority of RYCO products have been independently assessed and type approved by multiple parties – in all sizes.
This is a difference worth noting, compare the number of approved RYCO hydraulic hoses against those of a competitor.