On any piece of equipment or in any system, ensuring that all components last as long as possible is important to save money and to prevent downtime when a component fails.
In most cases, companies with heavy equipment have spare parts around for common components that are frequently replaced due to wear and tear. The cost of a hydraulic cylinder makes this impractical, which makes it even more important to complete routine maintenance and make sure it is kept in good working order.
For both a double and a single acting hydraulic cylinder, the basics of maintenance are the same. The key is really in visually checking the cylinder with every use of the equipment, allowing for quick identification of potential issues.
It is a good idea to provide visual reminders on equipment as to the maximum load for a single acting hydraulic cylinder in any system. While these cylinders can tolerate a load above their operating parameters, this causes an increased risk of bending the rod or causing problems with the seals, which limits the life of the cylinder over time.
Ensure the Rod Finish is Maintained
Pitting, corroding, scratching or other types of surface damage to the rod, particularly when it impacts the rod surface, results in problems with the seal as well as the risk of contamination in the hydraulic fluid. By maintaining the correct lubrication as well as monitoring the rod for signs of damage, any problems can be quickly corrected before they cause additional damage.
Check the Hydraulic Fluid
Changing out the hydraulic fluid as needed, particularly if there is any type of moisture, debris or dirt in the fluid is essential. The longer the contaminated fluid is circulated through the single acting hydraulic cylinder, the greater the risk of damage.
Maintaining a hydraulic cylinder is not a lot of work, but it should be done as required based on the use of the equipment. When in doubt, a visual inspection of the cylinder and the hydraulic system is always a good option.