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The 4 Dangers Of Choosing The Wrong Hydraulic Cylinders

As a general product group, hydraulic cylinders are one of the most common system components in the world; almost as common as hydraulic pumps and motors combined! If you operate a great deal of hydraulic equipment, either in a domestic or an industrial setting, then the chances are you will have had to deal with cylinder repair or replacement. In a business setting, this repair can contribute a significant proportion to your total operating costs.

Are Modern Hydraulic Cylinders Failures Of Design?

Of course not! Hydraulic cylinders, particularly those models that we offer at Flowfit Online, are reliable and high-performing, but when placed under a great deal of continuous stress, even the best system components are likely to break or, at least, require some maintenance.

If any of your cylinders don’t last as long as they should, there are certain things that you need to consider, with regards to the components themselves.

  1. Bent Rods – The bending of a hydraulic cylinders’ rods can be caused by an insufficient rod diameter, incorrect material strength or improper cylinder mounting arrangement – perhaps even a combination of all three.

    Once the rod has bent, a deforming load is placed upon the rod-seal itself. This can lead to increased leakage, and will ultimately result in the premature fail of the seal entirely.
  2. Rod Finish – The surface finish of a cylinder’s rod can have a significant effect on the service-life of the rod’s seal. If the surface roughness is too high, then the containment ingression is increased, and a high level of leakage can occur. Alternatively, if the rod is too smooth, then seal life can be reduced as a result of inadequate lubrication.

    If you’re looking to extend your cylinder’s working life, think of the rod’s surface as a lubricated, high-wearing surface and ensure that you treat it accordingly.
  3. Ballooned Tubes – Typically caused by insufficient wall-thickness and material strength for the system’s operating pressure, ballooning can be deadly to your hydraulic cylinders.

    Once the tube has ballooned, the tolerance between the piston seal and the tube wall is lost, which can allow the high-pressure fluid to bypass the seal. The high-velocity and force of this fluid can then erode the seal itself, and cause localised heating.

    Ballooning can dramatically reduce the service life of your hydraulic components, and even premature failure of the piston seal.
  4. Insufficiently Sized Bearing Area – If the surface area of the bearing bands on the piston itself is insufficient, excessive load is placed on the rod and piston seal. This can result in swift deformation of the seals and even lead to their premature failure.

Choose Flowfit Online, For Reliable And Specialised Hydraulic Cylinders

When picking out your hydraulic cylinder, remember to check the specifications thoroughly. Most examples of cylinder failure are due to the customer picking the incorrect component for their system, or going for the cheaper option when they require a hard-wearing solution which will offer a long service life.

For more information, contact us on 01584 876 033 or email us directly at for advice on the perfect hydraulic cylinder for you, and your system’s needs.

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