A hydraulic cylinder repair is a relatively simple process, as they are less complex than other hydraulic components…
The amount of repair work needed on a cylinder depends on the degree of wear and tear on the component. As with most components, it can often be cost-effective to undertake a simple hydraulic cylinder repair, but if the damage to the cylinder is too great and a repair is not viable, or cannot be relied upon to deliver ongoing, optimal performance it is better to purchase a replacement unit.
Internal and external leaking is the most common reason for repairs on hydraulic cylinders. But, by disassembling and closely inspecting the damage to the cylinder, you may be able to see other problems that aren’t immediately obvious.
There are different types of hydraulic cylinder repair:
Piston seal: the piston seal can become defective if it is distorted, eroded or missing and this is usually a cause of an oversized barrel or bulge during operation. At this point, replacement of the barrel or cylinder is required. If you replace the piston seal only and not the barrel, whilst this is a quicker method of repair, it is a short-term fix. More maintenance would be required later on.
Rod seal: A distorted rod seal can be caused by excessive wear of the guide bush or if the rod is bent. The consequence of this is the rod weight pushing on the seal, causing failure. If you replace the rod seal without identifying and correcting the underlying issues, then again, the fix will only be short-term.
Rod: In most cases, the chrome on the rod can be inspected and if it is shiny on one side and dull on the other, the rod is bent. The straightness of the rod should always be checked when repairing the cylinder. Bent rods can be corrected by using a press. Whilst it is possible to prevent damage to the hard-chrome plating during this process, if the chrome is spoiled, it must either be re-chromed or the entire cylinder must be replaced. A damaged chrome surface decreases the efficiency and service life of the rod seals. If the rod only has some minor scratches, they can be polished out using fine emery paper.
Piston: in light-duty applications, pistons within the cylinders are designed with aluminium or cast iron, and are in constant direct contact with the cylinder bore whilst in operation. Some scratching on the outer surface of the piston poses no risk to the cylinder’s function, as long as the nominal bore diameter does not exceed the minimum diameter of the piston. A good tool to use to check the length could be a micrometer.
Our hydraulic cylinder repair service…
In many cases well-repaired hydraulic equipment is indistinguishable from a brand new unit. We offer a hydraulic cylinder repair service, in addition to repairs on pumps, motors, power packs and other types of hydraulic equipment.
Our service includes a free assessment, where we will strip down your faulty unit and fully diagnose the extent of hydraulic repair work needed, providing an itemised quotation and details of how many parts can be salvaged. Following our inspection we may conclude that a hydraulic repair is not viable, or that your repaired equipment may be unreliable or prone to poor performance in future. If this is the case then we will always contact you to explain why and to quote for a replacement new unit so that you can choose what you want to do.
When assessing your equipment our team may also be able to provide recommendations on how to improve your systems’ design and efficiency, allowing you to reduce running costs and minimise the likelihood of any future downtime and hydraulic repair work. We can also undertake a “critical spares analysis” identifying those key system components that we recommend you hold as spares.
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