Among the heaviest-duty applications of hydraulic cylinders is construction equipment. This area of heavy machinery makes extensive use of the hydraulic cylinders for a wide range of uses, each with its requirements, but all of which heavily rely on the reliability, strength, and performance of their components. If you own and operate construction equipment such as excavators, dumper trucks, or loading shovels, hydraulic cylinders will always be components of such machinery. Therefore, you may want to extend the service life of your hydraulic cylinders by identifying the causes of hydraulic cylinder seal failure and potential preventive measures.
Seals that are not installed properly will definitely lead to problems. For this reason, you need to ensure that during the installation of the hydraulic cylinder seal, there is proper lubrication, maintenance of cleanliness, and protection of the seal from cuts. Therefore, it is important to hire a professional to do the work especially when you are replacing the seal.
When the failed seal exhibits a brittle and hard appearance or when parts of the seal start breaking away, you should expect heat degradation. The heat degradation will lead to reduced or loss of effectiveness of the sealing lip through loss of seal material and excessive compression. Possible causes of heat degradation include proximity to outside sources of heat, high dynamic friction, wrong seal materials, and excessive lip loading. To fix this problem, you can increase lubrication or change the seal material.
Contamination of Your Hydraulic System
Contamination of your hydraulic system is also another cause of seal failure. External elements like mud, ice, dust, dirt, grit, and internal system contamination from breakdown oil products, circulating metal chips, and other degradable components of the hydraulic cylinder system are often causes of the contamination. Since most external contaminants will enter the hydraulic cylinder system during the rod retraction, your best solution for this problem would be to properly install a rod scraper or wiper. Prevention of internal contamination can be achieved through proper oil filtering.
Using non-compatible materials can lead to chemical attack by hydrolysis, oxidation or reduction of the seal elements, and oil additives. Chemical breakdown leads to the loss of the lip interface of the seal, and excessive shrinkage or swelling. A critical sign of chemical attack is discolouration of the hydraulic seals. This will be fixed by avoiding a change of your hydraulic system fluid and ensuring correct selection of seal material.