Why Do Hydraulic Seals Fail Before They Should?

Making it possible to perform some of the biggest jobs, hydraulic cylinders can be found on everything from forklifts to mechanical presses. These powerful units are designed to withstand many years of use if they are properly maintained. However, hydraulic seals can fail far faster than they should due to the failure of the hydraulic seals.

Typically, there are causes directly behind the failure of a seal in a hydraulic cylinder, and many of these causes can be avoided. If you have hydraulic seals that are continuously failing faster than they should, there can be a few likely culprits to blame. 

The seal is being exposed to excessively high temperatures. 

Excessively high temperatures will degrade the rubber of the seal. Therefore, it is important that the unit you are using is used as intended by the manufacturer and that the temperature of the hydraulic oil is closely monitored. 

The seal was not properly seated when it was installed. 

One of the biggest reasons a hydraulic seal will go out before it has reached the end of its proposed lifespan is if it was not installed properly to start with. For example, if the seal had a slight bend or kink that was not straightened out before the rest of the cylinder was placed, it could easily cause failure. 

The seal is placed without the backup rings and gaskets. 

Most hydraulic seals have a series of other seals and gaskets that are meant to support the function of the seal. If these implements are not used as they should be, or if they have failed and you forgo replacement, it can actually cause the main seals to break down faster than what they should.

The seal is breaking down because pressure release valves are dysfunctional. 

If too much pressure is building up inside of the cylinder, it can create deep scars in the hydraulic seals. You can examine damaged seals once they are removed to get an idea of whether or not this could be the problem. The telltale cuts in the seal are indicative that high-pressure air is being pushed against the seal. 

The seal is breaking down due to excess particles in hydraulic fluid. 

If you do not replace hydraulic fluid as recommended, your seals are going to break down faster than what they should. The small particles that the fluid can collect will wear against the seal and cause an unnatural breakdown. 

For more information on hydraulic seals, consult with companies like HyVal Industries Inc.