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Hydraulic Cylinders: How They Work and Where They’re Used

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Hydraulic cylinders use fluids to create mechanical force in a linear motion and are essential for various industrial applications. If you’re not familiar with hydraulic cylinders, here’s an overview of how they work and where they’re used.

What is a Hydraulic Cylinder?

A hydraulic cylinder is made up of a steel tube with a steel rod sticking out of one side, and it is used to create linear motion in machines. Inside the cylinder is a rod that is attached to a piston. The piston separates the internal rod from the internal cap side of the cylinder. Fluid is then forced into either side of the cylinder, which extends or retracts the piston rod.

The piston rod is the part of the machine that requires motion. This piston rod could be the boom arm on an excavator or a platen on a press. Any application that requires linear application of force is an excellent use of a hydraulic cylinder. No other method of linear motion is stronger or more efficient than a cylinder. Hydraulic cylinders have the ability to extend with forces ranging from a couple of thousand pounds up to thousands of tons.

Hydraulic cylinders come in many different shapes and sizes and can be customized to suit specific applications. Some of the most common types of hydraulic cylinders include tie-rod cylinders, welded body cylinders, and telescopic cylinders.

Where Are Hydraulic Cylinders Used?

Hydraulic cylinders are used in many different applications and are essential for many types of machinery. Some of the most common applications of hydraulic cylinders include:

  • Mobile machinery: Hydraulic cylinders are used in many mobile applications, including dump trucks, loaders, backhoes, and dozers. The mobile machinery industry relies heavily on hydraulic cylinders for linear motion because they can push, pull and lift loads of any description.
  • Machinery industry: Hydraulic cylinders are also used frequently in the machinery industry for excavators, loaders, balers, dump trucks, and many others. The power density of hydraulic cylinders is unmatched, making them great for presses, compactors, injection molding, and more.
  • Manufacturing: Hydraulic cylinders are also used in many different manufacturing processes, including injection mold plants, press composite factories, metal and aluminum casting companies, and automotive suppliers.

Maintenance and Repair of Hydraulic Cylinders

Regularly maintaining and inspecting hydraulic cylinders ensures their continued operation and prevents failure. This includes inspecting the seals for wear and damage, checking the fluid level and quality, and cleaning the cylinder and piston rods. If a hydraulic cylinder is not operating correctly, it may be due to a leak in the system, a damaged seal, or a faulty valve. Troubleshooting hydraulic cylinders requires a thorough understanding of hydraulic systems and the ability to diagnose problems.

When a hydraulic cylinder fails, repair or replacement is necessary. Signs of hydraulic cylinder failure include leaks, reduced performance, and unusual noises or vibrations. Repair options include resealing or rebuilding the cylinder, while replacement options include purchasing a new or refurbished cylinder.

Manufacturing of Hydraulic Cylinders

Design and engineering considerations in manufacturing hydraulic cylinders include factors like load capacity, operating pressure, and temperature range. Materials commonly used in manufacturing include steel, aluminum, and various alloys. Manufacturing processes include machining, welding, and assembly. Quality control and testing are important in ensuring the performance and reliability of hydraulic cylinders.

DNC Hydraulic Cylinders

Here at DNC, we are experts in repairing, manufacturing, fabricating, and modifying hydraulic cylinders. We service cylinders for steel mills, scrap recycling, construction equipment, crane rental companies, injection mold plants, press composite factories, metal and aluminum casting companies, automotive suppliers, and more! We focus heavily on complex cylinders in extreme environments with high temperatures and pressures.

Our team of cylinder techs can build cylinders for a wide range of applications, from 40′ telescopic boom extension cylinders to 30″ bore shear cylinders or steering cylinders off dump trucks. We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality cylinders in the timeframe you need.

If you need hydraulic cylinder services, including repair, manufacturing, fabrication, or modification, call DNC today at (419) 963-2800 to speak with one of our experts or visit our cylinder repair page. We’re here to help you keep your machinery running smoothly and efficiently.