Jacksonville, Florida

Global Leader in Baling Equipment Since 1946

TOLL FREE: 800-231-9286
PHONE: 904-358-3812
SERVICE: 800-874-8328

What type of hyraulic oil do I need?​

Fluid Guidelines

Definition of Terms


Viscosity, SUS

Saybolt Universal Seconds (SUS) which is the time in seconds for 60 milliliters of oil to flow through a standard orifice at a given temperature. Viscosity simply is fluid thickness at a certain temperature.

Viscosity Index or V.I.

A measure of the viscosity -temperature characteristics of a fluid as referred to that of two arbitrary reference fluids.


Detrimental matter in a fluid.


A millionth of a meter or about 0.0004 inch.


A chemical compound or compounds added to a fluid to change its properties (example -see Viscosity Index).


A liquid or gas.

Fluid, Fire Resistant

A fluid difficult to ignite which shows little tendency to propagate flame.


A coarse filter.


Anti-wear additives which have molecules consisting of a long change of atoms. They are susceptible to shearing and, thus, a loss of effectiveness. They improve the operating characteristics of a fluid by improving its viscosity index.

1.1.1 General Discussion

The purpose of this sheet is to provide the customer with general recommendations concerning hydraulic fluids used in our baling machines. Customers should consult IBC if their requirements exceed those presented in this guideline.

1.1.2 General Recommendation

The fluid recommended for use in IBC balers is a petroleum-base ANTI-WEAR FLUID with a minimum AW68, Group 3 base oil, viscosity index of 105 or better, oxidation stability hours of 5,000+. The fluid should contain agents which provide for oxidation inhibition and anti-rust, anti-foam and de-aerating properties.

NOTE: Use of naphthenic or R&O oils will void the hydraulic system warranty.

Chemical Stability

The fluid must be chemically stable during its operation at all times during its life in service.

NOTE: ANTI-WEAR ADDITIVES ARE POLYMERS AND ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO LOSS OF EFFECTIVENESS WITH AGE. Loss of fluid additive effectiveness can damage the hydraulic system components through cavitation, oxidation, contamination and foaming.

Fluid Cleanliness

The fluid must be cleaned before and during operation to maintain the proper contamination level. Filters of 25 micron nominal rating are usually adequate.

Filtration can vary with application.

Please consult factory for your specific application. Do not return to system fluid that has leaked out. Filter all oil through a 10 micron filter before installing in reservoir. (See also Fluid Maintenance)


The viscosity (thickness) of oil used in IBC balers should be as follows:

  • Max at cold start 4,000 SSU
  • Max at full power 500 SSU
  • Optimum for max life 338 SSU (at operating temperature, 100°F – 120°F)
  • Minimum at full power 57.6 SSU (at max operating temperature if proper wear additives are present)

Viscosity Index

105 V.I. or better is the recommended minimum. Higher values extend the range of operating temperatures.

The best oils with the highest V.I. will remain stable and not vary much in viscosity over the temperature range.


It is determined by viscosity characteristics of the fluid to be used. As high temperatures degrade seals, oil temperature should not exceed 150EF (72EC). Fluids with higher V.I. ratings extend both ends of the temperature range.

1.1.3 Fluid Maintenance

Introduction to Conditioning

Based on IBC ‘s experience over many years of manufacturing and maintaining equipment within the recycling industry, we strongly encourage preventative maintenance. Proper hydraulic fluid conditioning is the basic maintenance practice which must be adhered to at all times.

During the years, the precision of hydraulic system technology has increased many-fold. There have been substantial decreases in mechanical tolerances and more stringent requirements for cleanliness in the systems themselves. During these same years, the cost of an hour downtime has snowballed.

Hydraulic systems must start clean and stay clean to reach acceptable operating lives between shutdowns.

New oil should be filtered prior to operating the machine as it usually has an ISO Cleanliness CODE of 21/18/15. System requirements are ISO CODE 19/16/13 with vane and piston pumps, and ISO CODE 18/15/12 with proportional valves.

Accordingly, IBC, in cooperation with a major worldwide oil corporation, has begun a testing service and fluid condition analysis that will enable owners of IBC’s balers to keep machines in good condition and on the line longer.

Conditioning is the key word in profitable hydraulics. We use it in the sense that an athlete, who is striving for top performance, gets in condition. Proper baler maintenance with today’s hydraulic system depends on fluid condition. Fluid conditioning must become an active program for keeping your balers performance up.

The success of any hydraulic system depends upon you, the customer and your employees. Only by your close attention to day-to-day details, can your baler be kept in top condition.

Developments in hydraulic technology are rapid, and we at IBC stand ready to provide information, analysis service, parts and service to solve any problems you should encounter. You must realize, though, it is your care and maintenance of your baler which will ultimately prove to be the determining factor in reducing equipment component failures.

Contamination and Filtration

An operating hydraulic system suffers wear. Wear creates microscopic metal particles which then cause accelerated wear. Heat causes oxidation of fluid. Moisture condenses and mixes with the fluid, reducing lubricity –possibly combining with oxidation products to form acids. The fluid then circulates all these wear components through the entire system.

Treating and conditioning the fluid to remove those wear components is the essential maintenance practice. The standard method of treating and conditioning wear contamination in fluid is through filtration. The standard filter supplied with IBC ‘s is usually adequate to remove most wear contaminants. It is for the average wear level encountered in most installations. It is not adequate for severe operation or very dirty or dusty environments. Severe operation requires a second return line low micron filter, or a separate filtration circuit with a low micron filter. It is supplied as a customer option by IBC.

Should you have doubt about the operating conditions your baler is under and have a question as to whether or not your primary filter is adequate, you should contact IBC and purchase a hydraulic fluid analysis mailer. This is a kit which contains complete instructions on taking a fluid sample and has a prepaid mailer to send this to the spectrographic analysis lab. The price of this kit includes postage and lab fees.

The analysis is reported to you and IBC will give particle contamination per cubic centimeter of your hydraulic oil. Also a breakdown as to what types of metal particles (aluminum, copper, steel, etc.) are in your fluid. The amount of water or acid in the oil is also reported. In addition, an analysis of the overall system condition, the additive depletion of the fluid and the fluids filtration effectiveness is determined.

From this information, IBC ‘s engineers can determine what steps must be taken to bring about a maximum efficiency of all components in your system under the conditions you are operating with. We can supply various severe duty bolt-on filtration kits, new hydraulic filters and replacement components for any parts damaged by severe duty operation. The data to supply what additional, if any, measures your baler requires in its particular application can only be decided on through this analysis of its contamination condition.

Warning Signs of Contamination

Many signs of fluid contamination in hydraulic balers occur, the three major warning signals are:

  1. Reduced cycling times due to cam ring wear from particle contamination.
  2. Sticky valves due to spool clearance wear and blockage from particle contamination.
  3. Leak back at cylinder or leaking cylinder or valve seals.

Proper fluid conditioning is the most important preventative maintenance step you can perform to maximize efficiency and longevity of your hydraulic baler.

Control of contamination is of primary importance. The finest hydraulic design and equipment can be destroyed rapidly if proper fluid conditioning techniques are not followed.

Recommended Fluid

The following fluid has been found to meet the recommended criteria for IBC baling machines.

Warning Logo

Using a naphthenic or an R&O based hydraulic oil will void hydraulic warranty.

International Baler Corp. machines are factory tested using a high quality hydraulic fluid, HYDREX AW68.

Hydraulic Fluid Requirement:

The minimum anti-wear fluid is an AW68, Group 3 base oil, viscosity index of 105 or better, with oxidation stability hours of 5,000+. It contains agents which provide oxidation inhibition and anti-rust, anti-foam and de-aerating properties.
These are the minimum requirements to maintain your warranty and extend the life of your hydraulic system.

This list shows examples of acceptable hydraulic fluids.



HYDREX Viscosity Grade - 68
Flash Point, °C / °F D92 225/437
Viscosity, cSt @ 40°C
cSt @ 100°C
SUS @ 100°F
SUS @ 210°F
D445 67.6
Viscosity Index D2270 105
Pour Point, °C / °F D5950 -33/-27
Rust Procedures A & B, 24 hr D665 PASS
Oxidation Stability, hours D943 6500+
Oxidation Stability, mg sludge D4310 PASS
Hydraulic Stability, copper loss Mg/cm2 D2619 PASS
Dielectric Breakdown, Voltage, kV D877 44
Four Ball Wear Test, Scar Diam. (mm)
40kg, 1200rpm, 54°C / 129°F
D4172 less 0.4
Water Separability, 54°C / 129°F mL water (minutes) D1401 40-40-0 (20)

The values quoted above are typical of normal production. They do not constitute a specification.
1At 82°C (180°F)