Maintenance For Hydraulic Cylinders

The use of hydraulic systems on machines, vehicles, equipment, and manufacturing systems provides power, control, and the ability to lift, move and lower loads of all types with precision.

As the hydraulic system uses pressure to create the movement of the cylinder for lifting or extending, it is essential to maintain all components in the system. This includes the pump, hoses and the cylinder itself. A small amount of time spent prior to using the cylinder as well as in a yearly checkup of hydraulic cylinders can help to extend the life of the cylinder and avoid the risk of unscheduled downtime if a system component fails.

Visual Inspection

A quick visual inspection of hydraulic cylinders, including the rod, seals, ports, and hoses should be required before using the equipment. Look for signs of leaks, dirt or debris or any type of rusting, pitting or damage to the surface of the rod.

Rods that are bent or damaged can further cause problems with seals and increase the risk of cylinder failure when under load. As this can be a dangerous situation for operators and bystanders, this is a critical safety inspection.

Hydraulic Fluid Choice and Maintenance

Hydraulic fluid can become contaminated with debris or materials during operation. Filters in the system can become clogged or damaged, limited the fluid flow or failing to correctly filter out debris. This debris can end up lodging in and around seals or valves, which leads to the need for replacement.

Using the right type of hydraulic fluid for the operating conditions for hydraulic cylinders is another factor to consider. Replacing oil or dirty fluid is a simple way to extend the life cycle of the cylinder and system components.

In most cases, early detection of any problems can reduce the need for cylinder replacement. With old cylinders or those that are badly damaged, a full replacement may be a more cost-effective option than a repair.

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