No matter how tough the machinery, all hydraulic cylinders will need to be repaired or replaced eventually. Wear and tear on the components of the cylinder can cause poor performance, leakage, or complete cylinder failure. Use these warning signs to know when it’s time to repair or replace hydraulic cylinders.
Bent Cylinder Rod
A bent cylinder rod is one of the major signs that a cylinder is being overworked and due for replacement. The reason for the bend could be due to any combination of too small rod diameter, not enough material strength, or incorrect mounting of the cylinder. Once a cylinder rod bends, it places a greater load on the hydraulic seal leading to early failure.
Ballooned Hydraulic Tube
Spotting ballooning in a hydraulic tube is a key sign that the cylinder is due for repair. Ballooning is a sign that the material used to make the wall of the tube is too thin or that the material is too weak for the operating load. After a tube starts to balloon, fluid will begin to leak from the seal, causing a loss of pressure and performance from hydraulic cylinders.
Cylinder Rod Finish
Cylinder rod finish plays a surprising role in ensuring a long service life for hydraulic cylinders. If a cylinder rod has a finish with a surface roughness that is too low, it can lead to insufficient lubrication of the hydraulic seal. Conversely, if the cylinder’s surface roughness is too great, containment movement into the cylinder increases, leading to shorter seal life and leakage.