Hydraulic Cylinder Implosion: A Look at Common Causes

From the hydraulic pumps in your facility to the hydraulic lifts, these pieces of machinery rely on a hydraulic cylinder that houses a chamber of fluid inside to keep the parts properly lubricated and free of excessive heat. The implosion of a hydraulic cylinder occurs when too much pressure builds up within this chamber and it causes the cylinder to rupture from the inside out. This event, which is highly possible with particular types of hydraulic cylinders, is one that can leave you with major damages to your equipment. Here is a look at some of the more common reasons for hydraulic cylinder implosion. 

Hydraulic cylinder implosion can be caused by overheating. 

Excessive heat inside of an encapsulated space changes the overall pressure in that space. Think about what happens when you put a tight-fitting lid on a boiling pot of water. As the temperature rises in the pot, the pressure becomes too much and the lid will pop off. The same thing can happen inside of a hydraulic cylinder. This is why it is critical to ensure you are operating with the right level of hydraulic fluid and you are mindful of components that seem to be overheating. 

Hydraulic cylinder implosion can be relative to cavitation inside the cylinder. 

Cavitation is what happens when air bubbles form inside of the hydraulic cylinder. These pockets of air can expand and increase the pressure inside of the cylinder. Air pockets can be caused by several different things, including improper fluid levels, improper adjustments during maintenance, and even from fluid that is the wrong viscosity. Cavitation is hard to detect, but it can be easily prevented if you are following the proper maintenance routines with your hydraulic equipment. The implosion that is caused by cavitation can be less severe, but still enough to cause some damage to the internal components of the unit. 

Hydraulic cylinder implosion can be relative to low-quality or contaminated hydraulic fluid. 

There is a good reason why a well-trained hydraulic repair technician will be so adamant about using the best hydraulic fluid during maintenence; the fluid quality has everything to do with how well the unit performs as a whole. If you are using low-quality fluid in your hydraulic cylinders that is not thick enough, too thick, contaminated with particles, or contaminated with water, it can alter the pressure inside of the cylinder and cause an interior implosion. 

To learn more about hydraulic cylinders, contact companies such as RNL HYDRAULICS SALES & SERVICE.