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Hydraulic Cylinder Troubleshooting: 4 Tips to Avoid Hydraulic Cylinder Failure

Hydraulic systems that use hydraulic cylinders and hydraulic cylinder parts can be extremely powerful and can do work that would otherwise be very difficult to do manually—for instance, cutting through dense rock in a mine or lifting hundreds of tons of steel to build a skyscraper.

Just like other hydraulic parts and components, cylinders do experience wear.  Eventually, they will need to be replaced.  Yet, with regular hydraulic cylinder troubleshooting and maintenance, you can identify potential problems before they become major and costly repairs.

1. Keep the hydraulic fluid clean.

Dirty fluid is one of the top causes of hydraulic cylinder failure.  When contaminants pass through the cylinder, they can damage the surfaces of the bore and rod  along with seals and fittings.  The larger the particles are the more severe the damage.  Monitor and change filters and fluid as required..

2. Monitor the pressure level inside the cylinder.

Pressure is created by the hydraulic system so that the desired work can be completed. You could install a pressure gauge to monitor variations in pressure that are outside normal operating parameters. If you notice a variation in pressure from the norm shut the system down and do a full inspection.

hydraulic system of tractor or excavator

3. Be aware of the added stress on cylinders from side loads.

Side loads occur when the cylinder is operated and is doing work that is perpendicular to the direction the cylinder moves, this is referred to as side-loading. Side loads place additional stress on the cylinder and hydraulic cylinder parts, if they are too excessive they will cause damage such as bending the rod or deforming the cylinder.

4. Check hydraulic cylinder seals and fittings for leaks.

Another common cause of cylinder failure is when the seals and fittings leak fluid.  When fluid leaks, all sorts of things can go wrong, from overheating and loss of power and therefore function especially if the leak is from the high pressure to the low pressure side of the piston.

By using these hydraulic cylinder troubleshooting and maintenance tips, you can reduce the likelihood of hydraulic cylinder and system failures. To find replacement hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic cylinder parts, and other hydraulic system parts and components, please browse online at: www.whp.co.uk., or contact us at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today!

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