Hose Protection: Spiral Guard or Wrap Sleeve?

There are several different products on the market designed to help eliminate hose damage from contact with the environment or application. The question is; which one is best for your application?

Almost all hose & hydraulics protection products have the same goal, but approach it differently. What tends to happen, is that whatever the product choice is for a specific need, it tends to be used for all requirements for hose protection. It’s an efficient approach for materials management, but quite often a less than satisfactory solution for the application.

Spiral Guard is a product that enjoys a wide use in hose protection. It was an innovation that replaced the older spring guard and flat armor guard. Both older products provided protection, but had one downfall. When impacted, would crush and stay crushed against the hose. The damaged spring guard or flat armor would then damage the hose which would then need to be replaced.

Spiral guard is widely used, but it too is not always the best choice for an application. Below (left) is an example of a drilling application where spiral wrap was used for impact protection. The chemistry of the application tended to dry the elastomers out of the plastic, which made it more brittle. High winds and winter temperatures at -10°F slammed the rotary drill hose against the rig frame which broke the spiral wrap.

Taped in place with additional sections spiraled on became a regular ongoing process.

The solution was to replace the spiral wrap with a heavy-duty hook & loop wrap style sleeve (right). The sleeve is resistant to the chemicals, flexible, easy to install at the application site and well suited for the ambient conditions. The heavy urethane coating reduces surface friction, providing excellent abrasion resistance for wet, high UV and sharp edge applications.

Another example of applications where sleeve is a better choice than spiral guard, is where there are weldments or protruding structures. The angle and motion of the hose caused the spiral to catch on the protrusion. Not only did it not prevent hose damage, but instead concentrated it on one spot.

There are other applications where hook and loop wrap style sleeve is a preferred choice over spiral wrap. The picture below shows spiral being used as a bundling element which must be spiral wrapped around the hose group. The heavy spiral is stiff and can be difficult to apply and labor intensive. In addition, spiral used in this manner binds the hoses, preventing free movement. The dirt and sand dust from the application falls on the hose bundle. This abrasive material sifts its way between the hoses and cable and being tightly held, proceeds to grind and abrade those hoses and cable.

The better solution is to use a hook & loop style wrap sleeve, which encapsulates the bundle, keeping the dirt out and sized correctly, which results in the hoses moving independently inside the sleeve, as needed, preventing damage.

Assembly and maintenance are easily done after the hoses are installed.

Hook and loop wrap style sleeve is also a better choice for use on service applications. The applications would be less subject to aging damage and remain flexible. It can be cut to length in the field and installed without disconnecting the hoses or spiraling it on in a confined space. Service access is 70% faster than the spiral option.

It’s not a one size fits all proposition. It’s choosing the best solution for the application. If you have any questions, call us at 800-782-5752 or visit our website for more information.