Inspection And Replacement Of Critical Seals In Your Hydraulic System

Hydraulic systems are often used to power equipment and machinery as well as use pressure and fluid to move items that are too heavy to move mechanically. Hydraulic seals exist within these systems that are critical to containing the oil and the pressure of the system, and when maintained correctly, the seals will work perfectly for your application. 

Hydraulic Pumps

The heart of the hydraulic system is the pump that pulls oil from the reservoir, pressurizes it, and then uses it to create movement in pistons or rams downstream. The amount of pressure the system uses depends on the force it needs to generate, and the hydraulic seals must withstand that pressure.

Hydraulic seals can be used in many different parts of the system, but the seals used where surfaces move are commonly where the leaks start because of the accelerated wear that comes with the movement. The cylinders or rams are one of the most significant problem areas in any hydraulic system. However, there are also critical seals in the pump requiring regular inspection and maintenance.

Worn hydraulic seals inside the pump can cause the system pressure to fall and can affect the ability of the rams to do their job. If something is leaking or the pump pressure drops unexpectedly, you need to have a hydraulic service check all the seals, hoses, and associate system components to determine the source.

Hydraulic Cylinders

The primary hydraulic seals in most cylinders are on the body of the cylinder. They are designed to allow the ram to move while containing the pressure and oil inside the cylinder body. The design works well, but over time, dirt and grit can get on the ram and get dragged through the seal, leaving micro-cuts in the sealing surface that can start to weep oil. 

As the seals begin to break down, more oil escapes, and, in time, the seal will fail. These cylinder seals are not difficult to replace if you have the right tools to do the job, and most hydraulic shops can rebuild the cylinders for you at a cost much lower than you pay for new cylinders.

Preventative Maintenance

The best way to avoid a failure in your hydraulic seals is to check them regularly for damage and replace any that are starting to seep or leak oil. Cylinders with more than a thin sheen of oil on them may be leaking, and anytime you find a puddle of oil near the pump, a hydraulic line, or any component with seals in it, you need to have it inspected.

Clean the parts regularly so you can see any new oil leaks, and check everything before starting the system each day to ensure you find any problems early.   

Contact a local industrial supplier to learn more about hydraulic seals.