Posted on: 17 June 2020
When you are working with hydraulic systems, there are things that you need to maintain to ensure that the system is going to perform the way you need. The seals in the system are among the most critical parts of the system and probably one of the most overlooked. Knowing when to change the hydraulic seals is crucial to keeping the system working correctly and avoiding sudden failure of the hydraulic system.
Types of Seals
The hydraulic systems from one piece of equipment to the next may be different, but the principles behind them are the same. The system uses a pump to build pressure in hydraulic cylinders or actuators. The hydraulic seals on the cylinders and pump are there to allow parts like the ram in the cylinder to move while still keeping the oil inside the cylinder.
The hydraulic seals on these systems are typically made from rubber and sometimes reinforced with steel or other metal in the rubber. Over time the rubber will start to breakdown, and the seals can leak if they are not appropriately maintained.
Inspecting the Seals
It is essential to inspect the hydraulic seals in your system regularly. Check for leaking oil around the seals, cracks or pieces missing from the rubber seal, or damage to the ram or other part extending through the seal.
There will be some oil on the ram of a hydraulic cylinder even if the seal is good, but it should only be a very light coating on the surface. If you see dripping hydraulic oil or oil seeping out from under the hydraulic seals when there is pressure on the system, it is time to replace the hydraulic seals.
Replacing the Hydraulic Seals
The hydraulic seals can be challenging to replace if you do not have the right tools or experience working with seals. If the seals that you are replacing are on the cylinders, the entire cylinder needs to be removed from the system and then disassembled to remove the old seal.
The technician can clean the inside of the cylinder and check the seals on the piston, replacing them if necessary, and then reassemble the cylinder with new hydraulic seals. Once reassembled, the cylinders need to be put back in place and the hydraulic lines connected. The system will need to be bled to remove any air from the system before using the equipment.
If the seals that are leaking are on the hydraulic pump, you will need to have the tech replace those seals, but often those require pulling the pump off the equipment and rebuilding it.
For more information, contact a hydraulic seal supplier.Share