Taken as an entire group, hydraulic cylinders are about as commonplace as pumps and motors are put together. Therefore, one of the major costs that any business which relies on hydraulics can face is down to the rate of failure of its cylinders. Of course, they always seem to go down in spates of two or three—never singly—which only adds to the hassle. Nevertheless, there are a number of steps that can be taken which will lessen the likelihood of the sort of cylinder failure occurring which will lead to hydraulic onsite services being called on to solve the problem. How should you keep your cylinders in good working order for as long as possible?
Keep the Rod Maintained
The finish of the surface of a typical cylinder rod will have a significant outcome on its longevity. As well as having an impact on the durability of the rod's seal, making sure the rod is neither too rough nor too smooth will mean you require fewer hydraulic repairs overall. Problems usually occur because when the surface roughness is not great enough, there will be inadequate lubrication and the seal will be more likely to fail, as a result. On the other hand, if the surface roughness of a hydraulic rod is too great, then contaminants will get into the mechanism and this can lead to a degree of leakage over the rod seal, also leading to failure. In some cases, simply covering the rod with a shroud will prevent roughness building up from grit in the environment. Equally, treating a rod with a high velocity oxygen fuel will lubricate it and keep it working for longer.
Dealing with Ballooning Cylinder Tubes
A ballooned cylinder tube is frequently down to a lower wall thickness than is needed for the cylinder's usual operational pressure. Once a tube starts to distort in the shape of a balloon, the desired tolerance between the piston seal and tube wall goes awry. As a result, fluid—which is often under high amounts of pressure—will be able to bypass the hydraulic seal making the situation worse every time the system is engaged. Ultimately, the seal will become eroded and localised overheating will be caused as a result of the resulting pressure drop. To overcome these issues, it is important to keep the cylinder working only at its rated pressure and not to exceed it. Alternatively, you will have to upgrade the thickness of the tube to cope with any additional demands being placed on it.