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Causes of Hydraulic Cylinder Seal Failure

Hydraulic cylinder seal failure can lead to substantial losses in profitability. There are several reasons for hydraulic cylinder failure. Poor installation is a typical reason that hydraulic cylinder seals fail. Poor installation includes insufficient cleanliness, damaged seals and improper lubrication. Contamination often contributes to hydraulic cylinder seal failure. Environmental contaminants such as dust, mud and dirt as well as internal contamination such as oil by-products and circulating metal chips can jeopardize hydraulic cylinder seals.

Incorrect choice of material can lead to a breakdown of hydraulic cylinder seals and cause them to fail. Inappropriate material choice can result in seal damage by oil additives and hydrolysis. Specific kinds of seal damage that can occur include swelling or shrinkage, loss of seal lip interface, discoloration, softening of the seal durometer and breaking of the seal body. Breaking of the seal body may be a sign of heat degradation. Other causes of heat degradation include a nearby heat source, lack of heel clearance, excessive lip loading and excessive friction.

If you have additional questions about hydraulic cylinder seal failure or would like to know more about our hydraulic cylinder seals, feel free to contact us. Our seal experts stand ready to assist you.

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