By Todd Lewis
Hydraulic cylinders power a range of industries, from agriculture to mining to construction and aerospace. Because they must withstand immense pressure, the different materials they're constructed from are solid and durable.
Hence why, for the most part, hydraulic cylinders primarily consist of stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, and chrome. Of course, the exact combination of alloys and hydraulic cylinder materials varies based on the operating parameters.
Therefore, when it comes to the design of a hydraulic cylinder, there isn't an optimal alloy or material. Instead, a selection of commonly used materials is chosen to satisfy different requirements and prolong hydraulic oil life expectancy.
Regardless of what your hydraulic cylinder is made from, Cylinders, Inc. can repair anything!
Lightweight materials resistant to wear and corrosion are ideal for preserving hydraulic cylinder life expectancy.
Below are the most commonly utilized materials used in cylinder servicing and production:
The barrel is a key component of a hydraulic cylinder, typically made from cold-rolled or honed seamless steel or carbon steel tubing. Cylinder tubes hold and contain the cylinder's pressure and house all parts essential for its functioning.
The style of piston rods and glands is influenced by various design requirements, loading, and pressure. The standard material used for the barrel is high-tensile SAE C1026 or St52.3 cold-drawn tubes honed for increased seal life. Other piston rod options include 4140, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Pressure characteristics, durability, operating, and environmental temperatures influence the size and type of rod seal and piston seal used. Materials utilized for a static seal can range from high-performance polyurethane and nitrile rubber to fluoro rubber, ethylene propylene diene, silicone, and resin-bonded fabric composite or polyester elastomer.
Several shaft considerations are needed, such as speed, displacement requirements, retraction forces, loads, and corrosion resistance. Various materials are available, including chrome-plated, chrome-over stainless steel, nitrided, chrome-over-nickel, and high-strength alternatives.
Cylinder mounts are engineered to reduce the amount of friction and wear that would otherwise occur on rod seals and bearings. They are generally made of steel, carbon steel, and ductile iron, offering superior durability and shock absorption, effectively extending the seals' and bearings' lifespans.
Epoxy, polyurethane, and chromic oxide are the three most popular types of paint used to protect hydraulic cylinders. Epoxy paint is corrosion and wear-resistant. Polyurethane paint offers the same protection but is more flexible, whereas chromic oxide paint is preferable for high-pressure applications due to its hardness and wear resistance.
Other common materials used for a hydraulic cylinder service include:
When determining the best material for your hydraulic cylinder, it's essential to consider the operating environment, conditions, requirements, loads, and overall performance levels desired. Given the variables and knowledge needed, most people rely on professional fabricators to fix their hydraulic systems.
We specialize in repairing and rebuilding hydraulic cylinders. Many clients count on us for dependable, cost-effective service. At Cylinders, Inc., we take pride in reducing downtime and bringing your production process back up to optimal efficiency. Rest assured, we'll use the best material for your hydraulic cylinder.
Have a question about our pneumatic cylinder repairs?
Contact Cylinders, Inc. to find out more, or schedule your repair service today!