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Damaged piston rods or rod bearings in hydraulic cylinders

Author : Andrew Delaney Marketing Communications Manager - Parker Cylinder Division Europe

01 October 2012

Damaged piston rods or rod bearings are the most common cause of rod seal failure.  The usual causes of such damage are poor alignment between the cylinder and its load, which results in side loading: or a bent piston rod, resulting from the use of an undersized rod in a thrust application.

Cylinders are designed to provide linear force and motion to a guided load.  The path which the guided load travels must not impose a significant eccentric load on the rod or the piston rod bearing, or the bearing surfaces will be damaged and fluid leakage and reduced bearing life will result.

The maximum thrust force which a cylinder should provide is limited by its rod diameter and overall length.  In long stroke cylinders, care should be taken to ensure that the piston rod is capable of handling the thrust forces generated in the application and that the cylinder is adequately supported.  Note also that a head mounting style will provide greater column strength than a cap end mounting due to the smaller distance between mounting points.

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