Four Foolproof Hydraulic Cylinder Maintenance Tips for Heavy Machinery

30 August 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Every type of machinery that operates on a hydraulic system such as a winch or crane has a component called a hydraulic cylinder. Most mechanical failures relating to hydraulic systems stem from hydraulic cylinders. You will need to maintain and repair the cylinder as regularly as possible if you want to avoid high costs associated with the failure of the entire machine. As an operator or owner of such a system, you will need to fix a few parts of the cylinder that are prone to failure. Here are some hydraulic repair tips to help your system run for many years:

The Bearing Area -- For longevity of a hydraulic system, the surface area of the wear bands on the equipment's piston and gland should be enough to withstand the force transmitted to the cylinder. A small surface area in the bearing area will cause too much thrust exerted on pistons and rods. The resultant impact will damage these parts, causing the entire hydraulic system to malfunction. Your hydraulic system expert can modify the design of the equipment to avoid system breakdown.

Rods -- If your equipment is used on a daily basis, cylinder roads can bend due to various reasons. For example, the weakness of the materials used to make the cylinder rods can compromise the integrity of the cylinder. Also, the diameter of the rods should be adequate to endure the heavy thrust exerted on a daily basis. Moreover, ensure that the expert installing the cylinder is experienced to prevent improper arrangements of the rods. When the rods bend and subsequently malfunction due to pressure, the cylinder can leak causing the machinery to fail.

Swelling of Cylinder Tubes -- Oftentimes, hydraulic cylinder tubes can expand due to the flaws of the material needed to build up pressure. Furthermore, when the walls of the tubes are very thin, the excessive pressure can cause the tubes to expand. Premature failure of the cylinder can occur when the tubes swell because high pressure is passed to the pistol seal via the pressure fluid. This liquid, which cannot be supported by the expanded tubes, will eventually damage the seal. Your mechanic should ensure that the cylinder tubes installed meet the industrial standards required to withstand the high-velocity fluid.

The Surface of the Cylinder and Rods -- Smooth surfaces of the cylinder mechanism can significantly reduce the life of the hydraulic system. Similarly, a very rough surface can allow contaminants to penetrate into the cylinder, causing leakages. If you want the hydraulic cylinder to last long, lubricate the rods according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Also, you can treat the surface of the rod by plating or spraying with nickel-chrome or other superior metal sprays to prevent frequent failures.