4 Ways to Get The Most Life Out of Your Hydraulic Cylinders

Not only do we want to provide our customers with the best hydraulics on the market, but we also want to help you make them last. Storing hydraulics for lengthy periods of time can put a strain on your equipment if you store them improperly. We work with many smaller industrial companies, some of which do not have huge facilities to store their equipment. The only available option for these companies is to store their hydraulic equipment in non-climate controlled buildings or even outside, which is not ideal.

We teamed up with our friends at Sheffer Cylinders to put together these tips on storing your hydraulic equipment in less than ideal locations.

  1. Protect the cylinder components from external corrosion. Use substances compatible with the materials of the cylinder, especially the exposed wiper.
  2. Ensure cylinders are full of hydraulic fluid and fully bled of any air at either end. Especially if using other than mineral-based fluid, ensure that the fluid being used has sufficient anti-corrosion properties to adequately protect the cylinders beyond the amount of time they are being stored.
  3. Keep them out of the sun. When exposed to the sun, the fluid heats up and expands. The heat causes internal pressure that could exceed the working pressure and cause seal failure. Even if the pressures don’t build up to damaging levels, the subsequent cool down causes a contraction pulls moisture-laden air into the cylinder and causes fluid contamination and eventual corrosion. Certain elastomeric materials can also be degraded by UV light and lose some of their flexibility.
  4. Be aware of ‘sagging’ effects on the seals. Especially a concern of very heavy cylinders stored in a position other than vertical, that remain in the same position for an extended period of time, sagging of the rod and piston assembly may cause the seals to take a ‘set’. All elastomeric materials have a ‘creep’ property that allows them to relax when under a constant load after a period of time. If this happens, it may be remedied by cycling the cylinder a few times, but keep in mind they may never return to 100% elasticity. If vertical storage is not possible, then it is recommended to rotate the cylinders periodically at 90 degree increments to help avoid this condition.