How Seal Failure Spoils the Functionality of a Hydraulic Cylinder


The main reason why hydraulic cylinders face the damage is the seal failure. Although, it does not cost much to replace the faulty one with a new seal, the sudden failure of seal disrupts the whole unit. In order to prevent any further damage from occurring, it requires finding the reason behind such failures of hydraulic cylinder seals. In this blog, you will be introduced to some potential causes of seal failure, which are as follows:

Contamination in the hydraulic system: If the hydraulic system is contaminated by the external materials like dirt, dust, muck, ice etc., it causes the damage to the seal. Further, the contamination causes internal problems to metal chip circulation, hoses, fluid or other degradable system. However, the most external contamination is caused due to rod retraction. Hence, proper installation of rod wiper or scraper is necessary to avoid such problems beforehand. On the other hand, the internal contamination can be prevented by proper filtering of the fluid system. Rod bore surfaces and leakage is the indication that the seal is contaminated.

hydraulic system

Selection of Incorrect material: Chemical breakdown is caused due to the wrong selection of material. Well, the change of hydraulic system fluid is another reason why the seal gets damaged. Moreover, you also have to be aware of non-compatible material as one of the main causes why seal elements get damaged. If the hydraulic system gets discoloured, this could be the possibility of chemical attack.

Improper installation of seal: Seals are almost like lining that is typically used to confine the hydraulic fluid and pressure inside the cylinder. Without proper installation, it is not possible to get the effective outcome. So, what are the things to ensure the seal is installed properly? See the followings:

  • The seal needs to be cleaned properly.
  • Application of required coat of lubricant.
  • Seal needs to be protected from nicks and cuts.
  • Ensure the position of the seal is upside down.
  • Do not over tighten the seal gland. If there is a folding over seal lip during the installation, it causes the tightness.

Loss of heat: When you see the seal lip or the entire unit is breaking down, there could be the chance of heat loss. Due to the lack of sealing lip effectiveness, heat leakage causes. The reason behind such disaster is the incorrect use of seal material, high lip loading, high friction and being close to an external heat source. Well, it is necessary to reduce the seal lip interference, proper coating of lubricant and seal material must be checked to avoid the problem of heat degradation.

So, what could be the solution? It’s quite simple that you must have careful purchase and give routine maintenance to the system since the beginning. As soon as the damage discovered, go for repairing hydraulic services right away! This approach would save you from the damage getting bigger or causing severe malfunction.

If your company belongs to an industry that uses hydraulic machinery, it is better to look for the professional maintenance service that you could find upon searching online or going by the references.



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