Seals 101: Factors to Consider While Picking Hydraulic Cylinder Seals 


No matter the size of your hydraulic pump or the super–fast speed of the pistons, without the right seals, everything is useless. That is why you must take into account more factors than just the material in picking the best hydraulic seals

Keep reading for the ultimate list of questions you should ask yourself before you decide which hydraulic seal to buy: 

Where are you going to use the cylinder? 

Depending on how extensively you are going to use the cylinder, you need to pick out a seal for your hydraulic cylinder. The cylinders can be divided into different categories for your convenience, such as light, medium, and heavy duty. The higher the intensity and frequency of usage, the more robust the resistance of seals needs to be. 

For instance, nitrile butadiene rubber works best in heavy-duty cylinders due to its resistance to grease and other fluids used in the cylinder.

What will be the temperature during operation and at rest? 

The longevity of the seals in hydraulic systems is directly related to the temperature variation during and after its usage. Cold temperatures can cause more brittleness in your seals, leading to easier breakage. At the same time, extremely hot temperatures will break down the seal compounds quickly. 

The best way to avoid damage to seals is by opting for the most compatible choice, such as silicone, for very high temperatures. 

Which hydraulic fluid will you use? 

A range of hydraulic fluids is available which are used in cylinders. Each fluid carries a unique compound profile that behaves differently during certain temperature fluctuations. Additionally, the viscosity of the fluids also impacts the durability of the hydraulic cylinder seals. 

That is why it’s wise to consider the fluid component beforehand to ensure more prolonged usage of hydraulic cylinders. 

What are the measurements of your cylinder? 

The size of your cylinder impacts the wear and tear of these seals. In order to get the most appropriate seal type, you must consider the exact measurements of your hydraulic device. 

To do so, you would have to check for rod diameter, overall length, bore circumference, and stroke length. 

What pressure and speed will the seals face? 

The peak value matters the most in both speed and pressure for picking a suitable sealing option. The faster your cylinder operates, the quicker the rise in the internal temperature will be. Add pressure to this equation, and you need high-performing hydraulic sealsto handle such strenuous circumstances.  

For such equipment, you can choose high-pressure rotary sealing options. These seals are made with a cross-sectional design to counter extreme pressure. 

Do you need to customize your sealing options? 

Not all hydraulic cylinders operate in the same manner. Depending upon your requirement, you can combine multiple cylinder variants into one, such as double acting with tie-rod designs. Based on the personalization you incorporate in the cylinder, the sealing options vary as well. 

To be precise 

Hydraulic seals are the determinants of optimal performance and excellent ROI. Picking the correct seals ensures not only the longevity of the cylinders but also reduces the overall operational costs. By keeping these questions in mind, you can increase your revenue by choosing the right sealing option for your hydraulic cylinders. 

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