2 FAQs About Piston Rod Damage In Hydraulic Equipment

Various types of heavy construction machinery are powered using hydraulic cylinders. Piston rods are an integral component in the aforementioned types of machines. They serve as the point of connection between the machine being used and the hydraulic cylinder. It is important for operators of hydraulic machines to understand what it takes to protect their piston rods against damage.

That having been said, this article provides answers to two important questions that first time users of hydraulic equipment may have in relation to piston rod damage.

What Are Some Common Causes Of Physical Damage To Piston Rods?

Physical damage to piston rods is often responsible for the failure of these devices. External physical damage on these rods often results from impact-related incidences such as the action of wayward falling materials, the improper use of cylinder maintenance tools (around the rod area), and the action of abrasive items that may come into contact with the piston rods during operation.

Installation of protective shields above and around piston rods is among the best ways to protect against physical damage from the impact of abrasion or that of wayward falling items. Also, equipment operators should avoid DIY hydraulic cylinder maintenance and repairs so as to reduce the likelihood of tool-related damage to the cylinder.

Breakage of piston rods is the highest degree of physical damage that a piston rod can suffer. Piston rods will often break when the machine being used is over-loaded on a regular basis. They will also break when they're used for applications that require more power than they are sized to handle. In such a case, replacing the existing rods with their rightly-sized counterparts is the only way out.

What Is Side Load Damage And How Can It Be Prevented?

Side load damage is also a common cause of hydraulic cylinder-related problems. Side load damage is caused by an unequal distribution of pressure centred away from the piston rods. The unequal pressure puts a strain on cylinder piston rods, which often results in warpage of cylinder seals. This gives the seals an oval shape that is different from their characteristic circular design. Installation of internal stop tubes can help to prevent seal warpage by increasing the leverage for warp-resistance.

Side load damage in a hydraulic cylinder may also result from the use of different materials on piston ends and on rod ends. This is often responsible for uneven wear and tear in the hydraulic cylinder system, which creates a fertile ground for the occurrence of side load damage. Thus, equipment operators should always ensure that the material used on piston ends and rods ends is similar.

For more information about keeping your equipment in good shape, contact local hydraulic cylinder services