Three Types Of Seal Failures And How To Fix Them


One of the most important parts to make a hydraulic cylinder work properly is a part called the seal. This is the part of a hydraulic cylinder that ensures there is no fluid leakage between different the components. There are different types of seals including buffer seals, rod seals, piston seals, wiper seals, and lip seals. Unfortunately, no matter what kind of seal it is, there are times they fail to work properly.

Here are three types of seal failures and how to fix or prevent them.


This type of seal failure can be identified in the following ways:

  • There is missing material on the dynamic side
  • The pressurized surface is broken
  • There is cracking or splitting in the V portion

Fracturing can be a result of different things, including a breakdown of the material or fluid, or the temperature is too low when the cylinder starts up. Fixing a fractured seal largely depends on the reason for the seal failure. But some common fixes include bleeding air from the system, ensuring adequate amounts of fluid, and increasing the startup temperature.


If seals are not installed with the right tools, it can cause dents, scratches, and cuts in the seal which leads to scarring. Scarring can also be caused when the rod is damaged or when there are foreign materials in the fluid.

Some of the best ways to prevent scarring is by making sure seals are stored properly before they get used. Storing them in plastic bags and placing those bags in a cardboard box is the recommended storage method. The tools that are used to install the seals should have smooth edges and contaminants should always be flushed from the system.

Excessive Wear

When the dynamic side of the seal is as smooth as glass or the lip has a rounded egg shape, it can indicate excessive wear. In both of these instances, wear can be caused by not having enough lubrication or the rod and cylinder bore are off-center. Any wear on the dynamic side of a seal can cause a lot of damage.

This problem can be fixed by doing the following:

  • Always replace worn bearings
  • Ensure the correct viscosity of oil is used
  • Always replace worn rods and cylinders

While these are some common fixes to different types of seal failures, it's important to know that seals will not last forever and will eventually have to be replaced. Contact a service, like Accurate Products Inc., for more help.


26 February 2018

Learning About Safety Equipment for the Industrial Field

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