What Types of Media Are Transferred by Hydraulic Swivels?

Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 in UEA Blog


Hydraulic swivels are precision mechanical devices used to transfer fluid from a stationary source, through supply lines or hoses, into a rotating piece of equipment to cool, heat, or transfer fluid (pneumatic or hydraulic) power.

Hydraulic swivels are designed for the transmission of a variety of fluid media. A single swivel also integrates multiple independent flow connections and transfers different types of media simultaneously. Commonly transferred media types include:

  • Hydraulic oil
  • Air
  • Coolant
  • Water
  • Glycol
  • Other media (steam, vacuum, etc.)

Transferred media is one of the operating parameters that needs to be specified in advance when starting the hydraulic swivel design process. Other operating parameters include rotation speed, operating pressure rating, temperature, and space constraints. The seal type selection and its compatibility with various media should be verified when designing the hydraulic swivel for the transferred media.

For non-oily media, surface treatments on the spool and housing components such as nickel plating, iron-nitride, or chrome may be required to prevent those components from rusting and corroding.

Among the media being transferred through hydraulic swivels, hydraulic oil is the most common. UEA is capable of manufacturing a swivel suitable for any combination of different media. UEA has provided hydraulic swivels for transferring the following media combination: hydraulic oil and engine coolant, hydraulic oil and water, and hydraulic oil and pneumatic air.

In addition, hydraulic swivels manufactured at UEA can be combined with electrical slip rings to meet any electrical transmission needs. To learn more about hydraulic swivels, read our recent blog on hydraulic swivel seals.

Bo Li,  CFPE

Design Engineer

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