Why Your Hydraulic Seals Could Be Failing

Systems failure is a common phenomenon in machines. The engineer understands this eventuality, but the end-user is more concerned about a working machine. Most cylinder users face the challenge of failure resulting from the hydraulic seals. Having sufficient knowledge of available types of hydraulic seals and how they work can reduce their chances of failure. 

Types of Hydraulic Seals 

In hydraulic cylinders, seals are integral components that reduce fluid leakages by sealing different components. In this case, dynamic seals protect dynamic parts during reciprocating motion, while static seals help seal fixed components in cylinders. The following list highlights the common types of hydraulic seals: 

  • Piston seals: They reduce pressure and prevent fluid leakages
  • Buffer seals: They reduce pressure and inhibit system contaminants
  • Guide and wear rings: They prevent friction resulting from metal-to-metal contact
  • Rod seals: They reduce pressure, regulate fluid leakages, and prevent rod corrosion
  • Wiper seals: They inhibit contaminants from the cylinder 

Cause of Hydraulic Seals Failure 

The constant use and exposure of hydraulic seals eventually result in their failure and subsequent need for replacement. Keeping in mind the causes of hydraulic seal failure is a step to preventing such damage.

Seals hardening: One of the common causes of seal failure is hardening, making them lose elasticity to moving components. When hydraulic seals are fixed in areas where there is a high temperature, that results in hardening and eventual cracking. High temperatures result from friction of the revolving operations and high fluid temperature due to pressure. 

Wear and tear: In the long-term, all material components wear as their elements disintegrate. However, excessive lateral load and friction hasten the wear and tear process in hydraulic seals. Ensuring regular and sufficient lubrication can reduce the damage.

Seal fracturing: In definition, fracturing is a material disintegration in the form of burns, breakage, and cracks on the face of the hydraulic seals. Fracturing is often the result of excessive pressure as hydraulic seals face exposure to dynamic cylinder movements. Besides, hydraulic seals fracture more easily when made using low-quality materials. 

Wrong installation: Improper installation is a product of mechanical and human error. Firstly, a flawed design and manufacture of hydraulic seals may result in a seal that does not ensure proper sealing. Secondly, engineers can install hydraulic seals improperly due to lack of skills or keenness. A wrongly fitted hydraulic seal increases the risk of failure due to incorrect handling and sealing.

Seal contamination: Hydraulic seals can also fail due to contamination. The introduction of contaminants such as debris and low-quality fuel affects the rod functioning and subsequently lead to scared hydraulic seals. Such imperfections reduce the functions of hydraulic seals and damage the cylinder components. 

Hydraulic seals perform dynamic and static sealing. The seal function depends on the design, quality, and machine handling. Thus, general maintenance and knowledge can reduce hydraulic seals failure. 

To learn more, contact a hydraulic seal supplier.

About Me

Choosing Better Equipment

After I started reading more about manufacturing in this country, I realized that there were a few things that needed to change in the businesses around me, and fast. I started talking with different factory owners about their accident rates and what they thought caused the problem, and they were more than happy to help me to figure out what we could do to improve things. It was amazing to see how much of a difference a few simple changes made, and I was really impressed with how receptive people were to changing longstanding systems. This blog is all about choosing better equipment to change your life and your company's profitability.


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