5 Types of Hydraulic Cylinder Failure
As an ISO certified company, Select Fluid Power is committed to quality programs. When it comes to failure analysis, we conduct extensive testing on your hydraulic cylinder to find the cause of failure and then compile multiple reports to ensure the same failure does not occur again.
Let’s go over the five most common types of hydraulic cylinder failure:
- Damaged Chromed Rod
It is relatively easy to damage a chromed rod and extensive damage can be caused by something as simple as contact with rocks or a chain, to something as severe as violent environments and transportation. Alternatively, if we take a look at the internal environment, there are a couple scenarios to be aware of. If an incorrect seal package is being used in the gland, or if you or your team fail to notice poor clearances between the inner diameter and the rod outer diameter on a previous repair, new damage can occur and cause substantial damage to the chromed rod.
- Piston Damage
If contaminants like dirt or dust infiltrate the system, scoring on the inner diameter of the barrel can occur, causing extensive piston damage. It will also damage the piston seals as well. One of the most efficient ways to prevent piston damage is ensuring that the hydraulic oil is very clean.
- Gland Seal Damage
One of the major causes of gland seal damage is the occurrence of side loading on the hydraulic cylinder rod. The angled and irregular pressure that comes from side loading the cylinder creates an uneven distribution of force on the gland seal. This force affects the mechanics, which creates the need to not only replace the gland seal, but mechanical components as well.
- Incorrect Seals Used in Prior Repair
If a company does not constantly re-calibrate their measuring tools, it is possible for a seal that needs to be 6.0 mm, to end up being 6.2 mm or have a similar margin of error. This margin of error can result in the failure of your hydraulic cylinder, which is why working with an ISO certified company is so important. ISO certified companies are required to calibrate their measuring tools, which ensures that all measurements are exact and consistent every time.
- Over Pressuring the Hydraulic Cylinder
Despite being more uncommon than the other types of failure, we thought it was important to include over pressuring on our list. Over pressuring can occur in a variety of ways and the most common form originates from a combination of valve failures and released air. This causes pressure spikes, which in turn cause the barrel to bulge, and the multi-stage cylinder rod to implode and the cylinder barrel to explode. In severe cases, large collateral damage can occur, mainly damaging the pump and valve motor.
As you can see, each failure is different and depending on which type of failure you experience, a variety of other systems and parts can be impacted. By determining what type of failure occurred, we are able to repair all damaged components as well as help you prevent further failures. How do we do this? At Select Fluid Power, we conduct a single or multi-stage rod cylinder inspection report, a plating report, and if needed, a detailed analysis report. By conducting these reports we learn exactly how and why your cylinder failed, which prevents further downtime and is more cost-efficient.