Protect Your Hydraulic Cylinder with Grease

Published: May 25, 2022 Last Updated: June 5, 2023 How To Series ,


Cylinder rods are a critical component in any hydraulic cylinder. When rods are not given routine maintenance or if your hydraulic cylinder is only used occasionally, rods can quickly become rusted or pitted, directly affecting the efficiency of your cylinder and possibly resulting in a failure of your hydraulic system. To avoid this outcome, incorporate hydraulic grease into your preventative maintenance routine to increase the lifespan of your equipment and demolish downtime previously spent on unexpected field repairs.

Incorporating Hydraulic Grease into Regular Cylinder Maintenance

Grease can be used as a lubricant or a sealant within your hydraulic system. As it has a higher viscosity and greater thickness than oil, it is well-suited to creating a barrier between shafts, bearings, and other components, lowering the rate of wear and friction. Hydraulic grease is also effective as a sealant as it blocks contaminants from entering your hydraulic system while also keeping out moisture to prevent rust and corrosion.

When to Choose Hydraulic Grease

Grease is an ideal solution for cylinder components—such as gearboxes or electrical motors—that cannot be lubricated regularly or have been completely sealed. Unlike oil, grease maintains its lubricating abilities for extended periods of time. Like any substance, however, hydraulic grease is not a one-size-fits-all answer to protect every cylinder.

Use Grease When:

  • Your equipment is stored outside, seldom used, or only used seasonally.
  • Your application involves high pressure, high temperatures, shock loads, large loads, or other extreme conditions.
  • You need to create a thicker film to close enlarged clearances created by excessively worn components.
Avoid Grease When:

  • Your equipment requires heat to be dissipated as overheated grease forms a thick crust and can burn in extreme cases.
  • You need a sealant or lubricant that is easy and straightforward to clean up, flush from your system, or replace.

Regular Maintenance for Built-to-Last Hydraulic Cylinders

The type of grease required to protect your hydraulic cylinder will vary depending on the cylinder design, industry of use, and other factors. Likewise, the exact points of application—sometimes called a grease point or lube point—will depend on your precise hydraulic cylinder. Before using hydraulic grease, always consult your equipment’s manual to find your specific requirements.

If you’re still unsure how grease can protect your hydraulic cylinder or the best way to utilize grease with your equipment, you’re in the right place. HCI has the products, how-to answers, and in-the-field expertise to support any hydraulic system. To learn more about how applying grease as a part of your maintenance protocol can prolong the lifespan of your cylinder, contact us today.

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