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Hydraulic Cylinder Seals Failure – The Main Causes

  • March 28, 2019

One of the main causes of failure in hydraulic cylinders is seal failure. Though the cost of a hydraulic cylinder seal is not very high, it can become very expensive for loss of production and downtime failure when the seal becomes the cause of cylinder failure.

If there is a problem in the cylinder, it is better to concentrate on the problems or reasons that are causing the problem of seal failure. The main causes of hydraulic seal failure are as follows:

When the seal is not installed properly: It is very important to consider the following points when the seal is installed:

  • Cleanliness
  • Seal protection from cuts and nicks
  • Perfect lubrication
  • Just check whether the seal is placed upside down. This is a common problem.
  • The precaution here is to be very careful while installing the hydraulic seal

When the hydraulic system is contaminated: This is another main cause of hydraulic seal failure. The contamination is caused by external elements like mud, grit, dust, dirt, ice etc. There can be contamination from internal problems as well like metal chips circulation, fluid, hoses, and other degradable system's products break-down. You can check this out to get the best info about hydraulic repair.

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Most hydraulic systems are externally contaminated due to rod retraction. That is why the proper installation of a rod wiper or scraper is a good solution. The prevention of internal contamination in the hydraulic seal can be done by proper filtering of a fluid system. You know that seal is contaminated when you see scored cylinder and rod bore surfaces, too much of seal wear and leakage etc.

Incorrect material selection: When there is a chemical breakdown of the material of the seal, it is due to incorrect material selection. Another cause may be due to change of hydraulic system fluid. Application of non-compatible materials is one the main cause failure of seal elements.

Heat degradation: When you see your hydraulic seal exhibiting a hard, brittle look or when you see parts of the seal lip or body breaking way, it means that there is heat degradation. Heat degradation occurs due to loss of sealing lip effectiveness.

The main causes for this are incorrect seal material, very high friction, very high lip loading, and very close to outside heat source. In order to solve the problem of heat degradation, it is necessary to reduce seal lip interference, to change the material of seal or to increase lubrication.

Conclusion: To solve the problem of hydraulic cylinder seal failure, it is not necessary that you buy replacement seals from manufacturers of the hydraulic cylinder. Instead, it is your hydraulic seal's manufacturers, who can provide you with exactly sized seals. If the problem keeps on occurring, consult you a supplier to find a solution that can increase the life of your hydraulic seal.

Josep Lee

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