How to Effectively Maintain Your Hydraulic Cylinders

Hydraulic Cylinders often do work in places that people cannot reach. Because of the tendency to use them in harsh environments, it is common to see additional wear and tear on the hydraulic cylinder, it’s mounts, components, and seals. Routine maintenance of hydraulic cylinders can prevent failure, increase the longevity of the hydraulic cylinder and improve safety. An inspection and maintenance schedule should be followed to decrease unplanned downtime, and ensure operational functionality.

The best thing thing you can do to achieve long life, and optimum performance, is to ensure that the right hydraulic cylinder is being used for the application. Anytime a piece of equipment or machinery is brought down for inspection, maintenance, and repair, it should be evaluated for job effectiveness.

 

The tips below will help identify potential issues and prevent unscheduled downtime with your hydraulic cylinder:

 

  • Ensure an adequate filtration system for the hydraulic fluid. Check for dirt or foreign materials in the fluid with regularly scheduled samples taken and analyzed. Inspect the filter on the hydraulic fluid system for any clogs or debris.
  • Inspect the hydraulic cylinder rod for signs of weakness, stress, or wear. A rough, bent, or scored rod will damage seals or allow for leaks. A hydraulic cylinder with an improper mounting configuration can bend a rod and possibly bend or break a mount as well.
  • Inspect sealed area of the system components and fluid lines for evidence of leaks. Examine all lubricated areas and replenish as needed. If there is fluid leaking from around the head of the hydraulic cylinder and the rod does not appear to be scored or damaged, you may have a broken or severely worn seal.
  • Examine the hydraulic cylinder barrel for signs of ballooning and/or machine interference which can cause serious leaks, damage and even cylinder failure.
  • Check for side loading, which if not corrected, can lead to misalignment, tube scoring, bearing wear, and damage beyond repair. Side loading is when the cylinder has a sideways force applied to it, that is not linear to the cylinders functioning motion.

 

A simple inspection can go a long way to keeping your equipment up and running and preventing downtime. Even when you have the right hydraulic cylinder installed, and use the equipment properly, any of these maintenance issues can still occur from unstable loads or a shift in the equipment’s center of gravity. If you find you need a replacement seal kit, component part, or an entire replacement hydraulic cylinder, our hydraulic cylinder specialists are happy to help you demolish downtime and get your equipment back up and running again quickly. Contact Yarbrough Industries to get the parts you need, today!

Choosing the Correct Hydraulic Hose

Any hydraulic system relies on having quality hoses to continue working effectively. That means selecting the right one could make the difference between operating an effective system or dealing with defects and potential damage. 

When looking at hydraulic hoses, they appear relatively simple and possibly even interchangeable. However, hoses are actually multi-layered, sophisticated tools designed and manufactured for specific applications. Figuring out which hose is right for your system depends on several key factors, including size, temperature, compatibility and choosing the right hose fitting connection.

Choosing a Size

If a hose is to function optimally, the inside diameter must accommodate the correct amount of hydraulic fluid, minimize pressure loss and avert heat generation or excessive turbulence, both of which can damage the hose. The “Dash Numbers” measuring system is the hydraulics industry standard used to indicate hose size and the proper accompanying couplings.

Determining Your Temperatures

When looking for a hose, it will need to be able to accommodate two temperature areas — that of the hydraulic fluid and that of the environment in which the hose exists (ambient temperature). Hoses that cannot withstand both the minimum and maximum temperatures of the fluid, as well as those not designed to work near hot manifolds, are likely to fail.

Ensuring Compatibility 

Typically, replacement hoses should be duplicates of the original hoses. In some circumstances, however, using a different type of replacement hose might actually be desirable. This is especially true if the hose failed prematurely due to excessive abrasion, unusual mechanical loads, routing challenges, temperature fluctuation or some other environmental factor. With advancements in hose engineering, there may be a better hose available.

As you read in the first paragraph, typical hydraulic hoses consist of numerous tubes, including one inner, one outer and several reinforcement layers. Hose tubing must come in direct contact with the fluid it carries, so it is important to ensure that the inner tube is compatible with the system’s fluids in order to perform reliably. Furthermore, the threads and mechanical interfaces of ends and couplings need to be compatible with the hoses and other system components. If they’re not, leaks and other hose failures can occur.

Choosing the right hose fitting connection 

The most important factor in choosing a replacement hydraulic hose is the system pressure. It is vital that you know your system’s precise working pressure — including pressure spikes — when choosing a hose to ensure it will function properly. Finding the correct hose tube and the right fittings will help you avoid future hydraulic hose failures, which may include leakage, cracking or whipping.

Delivery of hydraulic fluid is all about volume and velocity. Any replacement hose needs to be properly sized to efficiently and effectively transport hydraulic fluid. If for any reason the system has been altered, you need to determine the hose I.D. by consulting with an expert.

For more information about hydraulic hoses, or if you need assistance choosing the right hose fitting connection for your system, contact us today!