Are your cylinders wearing?

When your cylinders are acting up there are signs that need to be looked out for and recognised. Once these are noticed, it is time to see if your cylinders need to be repaired or replaced. Power Team SA have identified the following as signs that should not be ignored:

Hearing unusual noises such as banging and clanging. This can be caused by air in the fluid or a sign that cavitation is occurring. Cavitation is when there’s not enough fluid making its way to any part of the hydraulic system. This causes the pressure to drop so low that the fluid vaporises, so that when the pressure returns, the fluid “bursts” making a knocking sound. Both cavitation and air in the fluid cause contamination of fluid and can damage the components through lack of lubrication.

The cylinder starts jerking. When there isn’t a smooth consistent movement, and the cylinder starts jerking this is known as juddering. This is then followed by a drop of power and an increase in the cylinder’s temperature. This movement is usually a sign of friction caused by worn seals or something more serious such as a bent piston rod.

When there is a loss of power or when the cylinder slows down this can be a sign that there might be an internal leakage or increased friction. When a leakage occurs, this can take longer for the required pressure to build. If the leakage is not repaired the cylinder will continue to decline.

If the cylinder gets too hot this could signal a failure within the cylinder which is why it is important to be familiar with your cylinder’s normal operating temperature. Cylinders are meant to rise in temperatures but should never exceed 80° during normal operation. In high speed or high peak operation this temperature can reach 120°.

If a rod is starting to wear on one side, there could be a misalignment, excessive lateral loading, a bent rod or perhaps internal wear or damage. As a cylinder is a linear actuator it should run in a straight line avoiding this type of damage. If this is not dealt with it can lead to loss of power and efficiency, resulting in failure.

Making sure that your cylinder is in good working condition keeps your hydraulic system running smoothly. Power Team SA with decades of experience in the hydraulics industry understands the hydraulic cylinder and the need for it to be in its best working condition. By keeping an eye (and an ear) out for any changes in its performance can limit downtime and loss of income.