Hydraulic cylinders are used in many industrial applications, including various manufacturing equipment and engineering vehicles or civil engineering equipment. Hydraulic cylinders may encounter challenges for a variety of reasons. Regular equipment inspection and a good preventive maintenance plan will help decrease the chances of cylindrical failure due to the following reasons:

Seal Leakage

One of the most common reasons we see cylinder failure is due to seal leakage. This can be caused by various reasons, from something as simple as an incorrect fitting to inappropriate metalwork clearances. Some other causes of hydraulic cylinder seal leakage might be something like markings on seal grooves or corrosion.

Contaminated Fluid

Fluid contamination is another major reason for cylindrical failure. Abrasive particles that are trapped in a contaminated fluid can bring severe damage to the piston rod or seal surface. A faulty wiper seal usually induces airborne contamination.

Damaged Rod Bearings or Piston Rods

It is also common to see damaged rod bearings or piston rods that lead to hydraulic cylinder failure. This is caused due to improper alignment between the load and the cylinder, resulting in bending or sideloading.

Internally Corroded Barrel

The contaminated fluid inside a cylinder can lead to internal corrosion. This can be avoided by blocking the water ingress inside the cylinder. However, it may be a sign that the cylinder is being used in an environment where it should not be used. It’s important for an expert to determine the cause of the corrosion and how it should be remedied. 

Broken Eye Bearing

If a cylinder handles loads above its specification, you may encounter a broken eye bearing.  These may also be caused by a shock loading or a sudden impact due to high pressure.

Extreme Temperatures

This factor may affect hydraulic cylinders by limiting the choice of seal geometries or materials. It can also cause less lubrication and/or seals with cracked sides or brittle appearance.

Chemical Contact

Certain chemicals can cause cylinder failure when they come in contact with the seal. While verifying beforehand can prevent this, it is often forgotten, leading to compatibility issues and numerous problems. 

There are various other reasons for a cylindrical failure ranging from high-pressure conditions to side loading and more. However, if you notice any hydraulic cylinder failure symptoms, you can immediately contact an expert preventative maintenance service such as Yarbrough Industries. 

Get direct access to industry-leading content

This industry moves fast, but you can move even faster if you’re up to date on trends, technical developments, and best practices. The Yarbrough Industries blog is a go-to source for valuable, timely and detailed information. Sign up to ensure that you don’t miss a single post.