Inspecting Your Hydraulic Cylinder

Hydraulic Cylinders are often doing hard work in environments where people often can’t. This can cause additional wear and tear on the hydraulic cylinder, it’s mounts, components, and seals. Maintaining hydraulic cylinders to prevent failure, can also increase the longevity of the hydraulic cylinder and improve safety. An inspection and maintenance schedule should be followed to decrease unplanned downtime and ensure operational functionality.

The number one thing you can do to achieve a long life, and optimum performance, is to ensure that the right hydraulic cylinder is being used for the application. Anytime a piece of equipment or machinery is brought down for inspection, maintenance, and repair, it should be evaluated for job effectiveness.

Tips for Identifying Issues with Hydraulic Cylinders

The tips below will help identify potential issues and prevent unscheduled downtime with your hydraulic cylinder:

  1. Ensure an adequate filtration system for the hydraulic fluid. Check for dirt or foreign materials in the fluid with regularly scheduled samples taken and analyzed. Inspect the filter on the hydraulic fluid system for any clogs or debris.
  2. Inspect the hydraulic cylinder rod for signs of weakness, stress, or wear. A rough, bent, or scored rod will damage seals or allow for leaks. A hydraulic cylinder with an improper mounting configuration can bend a rod and possibly bend or break a mount as well.
  3. Inspect the sealed area of the system components and fluid lines for evidence of leaks. Examine all lubricated areas and replenish them as needed. If there is fluid leaking from around the head of the hydraulic cylinder and the rod does not appear to be scored or damaged, you may have a broken or severely worn seal.
  4. Examine the hydraulic cylinder barrel for signs of ballooning and/or machine interference. This can cause serious leaks, damage, and even cylinder failure.
  5. Check for sideloading, which if not corrected, can lead to misalignment, tube scoring, bearing wear, and damaged beyond repair. Sideloading is when the cylinder has a sideways force applied to it, that is not linear to the cylinders functioning motion.

A simple inspection can go a long way to keeping your equipment up and running and preventing downtime. Even when you have the right hydraulic cylinder installed, and use the equipment properly, any of these maintenance issues can still occur from unstable loads or a shift in the equipment’s center of gravity. If you find you need a replacement seal kit, component part, or an entire replacement hydraulic cylinder, our hydraulic cylinder specialists are happy to help you demolish downtime and get your equipment back up and running again quickly. Shop online, or call our experts at 888-771-1894 to get the parts you need, today!