A huge percentage of modern heavy equipment relies on hydraulics to operate successfully. Whether you're a farmer, a contractor, a heavy machine operator, or in countless other fields, a breakdown of a hydraulic system can leave you unable to perform your necessary tasks and scrambling to stay ahead of the curve.
Luckily, there are some telltale warning signs that you can keep an eye out for in order to keep your hydraulic system functioning at its highest capacity. Below, you'll find a guide to some signs that a hydraulic cylinder may be in need of seal repair. Being mindful of these signs can help guarantee that you're on top of your game and never faced with lengthy and expensive delays.
If your hydraulic system is starting to lose fluid, you'll quickly notice a decrease in machine performance. Before that performance drops off, however, you may find hydraulic fluid beginning to appear on the exterior of cylinders, in pools under your equipment, or even on the inside of your machinery casing.
When your hydraulic seals are functioning correctly, a hydraulic fluid leak is almost outside the realm of possibility. Since the cylinders themselves are typically very rigidly constructed, a seal failure is the most likely cause of fluid leaks and should be addressed immediately before overheating or other issues arise.
Sometimes the issue with a hydraulic system doesn't come from fluid escaping, but rather from air infiltrating. While we may not necessarily consider air as taking up space or having considerable mass, both of those things are true and both can cause hydraulic issues.
If weak hydraulic seals allow air to enter your system, your pistons are unlikely to be able to overcome the additional stress and will be functioning at a much lower capacity. You also run the risk of creating mechanical faults as the system struggles to correct itself, leaving you with the potential for much more serious equipment damage.
Since hydraulic systems work within such a delicate balance of heat, pressure, and friction, it's vital that all of those things stay nominal in order for the system to truly operate at its highest capacity. While many industrial environments may be high-temperature areas by nature, it's still important that you keep a wary eye on the temperature of your hydraulic system. Increased heat means increased risk, and can be a sign that you have seals which are no longer performing adequately.
If you think you may need hydraulic cylinder repair seals, talk to a provider of industrial equipment and supplies near you as soon as possible.