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The term hose guard refers to any device or series of devices that protects a hose from external wear, heat, or abrasion. Hose guards can be designed to protect hoses of all kinds, including those that contain water, air, or fluid. If it were not for these guards, hoses may fail more rapidly, leading to higher replacement costs.
Perhaps the most common hose guard can be found in a garden, greenhouse, or front yard. Water hoses can be subjected to great strains, as they often are dragged across hard objects, such as rocks or cement. Free-standing hose guards can be located at these problematic areas to transfer the load to a surface that is less likely to damage the hose. Water hose guards can be made of plastic, steel, wrought iron, and even wood. They can also be placed to protect fragile objects from being damaged by the hose, as can happen when a hose is dragged past a young plant or tree.
Another type of hose guard is used to protect high pressure pneumatic hoses and hydraulic hoses. These protective devices are almost always constructed of some sort of braided metal that allows movement while still maintaining a protective barrier around the hose. This application can be seen on hydraulic equipment such as tractors, excavation equipment, and in automobiles.
Hose guards were originally created to save the cost of replacing hoses that are subject to high abrasion. For the small cost of a hose guard, a tractor or automobile manufacturer could better ensure that under the bumpy conditions of travel, a hose would not fail for many years. This has typically been very important in extending the long-term reliability of equipment. The hose guard idea has also allowed manufacturers to reduce the amount of clearance needed in an engine compartment. Coolant hoses, while vital to an engine's health, were commonly quite hard to locate in a vehicle due to the small number of areas available that wouldn't cause abrasion. Hose guards have helped to solve this dilemma and contribute to the reliability of modern engines and the vehicles that they power.
Hose guards are a common item to encounter in everyday life. They are used in buildings, vehicles, the medical industry, construction, and public utilities. These devices have ensured that for very little initial investment, hoses can be maintained in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.