Workers in hard hats in a metal factory

Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluids

Liquid metal being poured by an inspector

Why should you use a fire-resistant lubricant?

Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluids are specially formulated to avoid the propagation of a flame and are difficult to ignite – reducing potential fire hazards and improving safety.

With more compact hydraulic systems that operate at growing power and under increasing pressure, fire risks are becoming more prominent in industrial settings – despite advances in safety.

Hydraulic systems that operate in severe conditions, extreme temperatures or near an ignition source face an increased risk of fire. So, protecting your people, your equipment and your business from this is essential.

Reasons to use fire-resistant hydraulic fluids

  • Enhanced safety

    Enhanced safety

    Reduce the risks of even your most demanding applications with hydraulic fluids engineered to protect your people and assets from increased fire hazards.

  • Extended service life

    Extended service life

    Avoid the need for maintenance with high-performance fluids and oil monitoring services to improve your productivity and lower your total cost of ownership (TCO).

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  • Wear protection

    Wear protection

    Reduce your maintenance costs with enhanced anti-wear properties that keep your equipment components and hydraulic fluid systems running smoothly for longer.

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  • Operate in severe conditions

    Operate in severe conditions

    Operate productively and safely in extremely high or low temperatures, with consistent viscosity delivering responsive performance.

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Reduce your impact on the environment

Mining or steel operations in environmentally sensitive settings need hydraulic fluids that not only deliver high levels of protection to equipment but also help you reduce the impact, of an accidental leak or spill, to the ecosystems around your facilities.

Our portfolio of specially formulated fire-resistant hydraulic fluids are difficult to ignite and designed not to propagate a flame from an ignition source, in comparison to mineral-based fluids. 

It also features products that are classified as readily biodegradable with low eco-toxicity – engineered to reduce the impact of spills and leaks, helping you meet your environmental responsibilities.

Discover our fire-resistant hydraulic fluids

Our portfolio of fire-resistant hydraulic fluids is designed for effective fire-risk reduction, across a range of metal, industrial and mobile applications. Using fire-resistant lubricants is a cost-effective option compared with installing mechanical fire-suppression equipment.

We help customers to make the right selection for their business through a detailed dialogue about the products that could, and should, be selected for each application. This advice draws on Shell’s expertise with the products and the customer’s understanding of the end use.

Explore our fire-resistant portfolio

Product Technology ISO VISCOSITY GRADES Benefits & Applications
Shell Turbo S5 DR HFDR: tri-aryl phosphate based on butylated phenol 46 Good oxidation and hydrolytic stability, low foaming. FM Approved, ISO 12922. 
Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S3 DU HFDU: nonaqueous synthetic polyalkylene glycol (PAG/ HPEG) 46, 68, 100 Excellent wear protection, oxidation and thermal stability, FM Approved. 
Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S2 DU HFDU: nonaqueous synthetic organic esters (HEES) 46, 68 Good wear protection and system efficiency. Readily biodegradable1, low toxicity, >80% bio-based. FM Approved, ISO 12922
Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S1 DU HFDU: nonaqueous natural ester (HETG) and polyalkylene glycol (PAG) blend 32, 40, 60 Good wear protection. Readily biodegradable1, low toxicity, USDA certified. FM Approved
Shell Water-Glycol S2 CX 46 HFC: Water-glycol 46 High-pressure performance up to 4,000 psi, all-season performance. FM Approved, ISO 12922

Shell Turbo S5 DR

A high-performance phosphate ester (HFDR) self-extinguishing fire-resistant fluid, Shell Turbo S5 DR features a high flash point, high fire point and high auto ignition temperature. It can be used as the hydraulic fluid in electrohydraulic governor controls (EHC) systems in steam and gas turbines.

Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S3 DU

As a fully synthetic readily biodegradable¹ formulation (46,68), FM- approved Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S3 DU delivers performance that is superior to premium anti-wear mineral oils and offers significant performance and environmental advantages over other fluid options, including other synthetics.

Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S2 DU

Enhance the protection of industrial equipment in steel mills, mines and foundries with readily biodegradable¹ anhydrous fluid based on synthetic organic esters. Shell Fire-Resistant S2 DU is FM Approved, USDA Bio-preferred certified and MSHA (68) approved.

Shell Fire-Resistant Hydraulic Fluid S1 DU

Reduce the risk of fire with Shell Fire-Resistant S1 DU, formulated by blending natural esters with polyalkylene glycol (PAG). Shell Fire-Resistant S1 DU is readily biodegradable1, FM approved and USDA Bio-preferred certified.

Shell Water-Glycol S2 CX 46

A water-glycol (HFC) fire-resistant hydraulic fluid, designed for hydraulic systems that operate at pressures of up to 4,000 psi with a fire-resistant hydraulic fluid that offers high-level protection against corrosion and pump wear.

Liquid metal being poured with lots of fire sparks

Make a safe switch to fire-resistant hydraulic fluids

Switching from a mineral oil to a water-based or synthetic hydraulic fluid with fire-resistant properties is an effective way to improve the safety of your facilities. Using fire-resistant lubricants is a cost-effective option compared with installing mechanical fire-suppression equipment.

However, care must be taken to ensure the conversion is carried out correctly. It is important to review OEM requirements to confirm the compatibility of a lubricant with system components (including seals, hoses and filters). Even when using compatible lubricants, a small quantity of mineral oil can impair the fire resistance and stability of the new hydraulic fluid.

Similarly, when converting from one fire-resistant fluid category to another, the lubricants must not come into contact. Mixing incompatible lubricants can result in equipment failure. Even hydraulic fluids from the same category, but from different suppliers, should not be mixed unless you can clearly establish their compatibility. Be sure to consult with suppliers when looking to switch to an alternative hydraulic fluid.


1Shell Fire Resistant S1 DU, S2 DU and S3 DU are biodegradable by greater than 60% after 28 days in the OECD 301B Carbon dioxide evolution test.

The Shell PAG-based hydraulic fluid range

The PAG-based Shell Fire-Resistant range expands this portfolio to offer you high-performing, low-varnishing, long-life, fire-resistant fluids. Download our brochure to discover the full portfolio.

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