Hydraulic Cylinders! If your business or hobby relies on the use of hydraulic-based systems like piston motors, you know how expensive hydraulic components are. It doesn’t matter how many spare parts you have in your inventory, if they aren’t stored correctly, they are sitting there deteriorating. Here are a few pointers for making your long-term storage efficient and safe for the integrity of your cylinders.
Have a Clean, Dry Area
While this may be the most obvious tip, the size of cylinders could make this more difficult to achieve. It is a lot easier to store tiny or compact parts like valves, pumps, or a motor. It is much easier to locate enough room in the warehouse to store long or oversized cylinders. This is why you will often see them stored outside and covered. It is best to keep them indoors if at all possible.
Keep Exposed Parts Protected
There are several parts to a cylinder that aren’t covered when they are disconnected from the motor. You can carefully protect these by smearing the internal surfaced of the bearing or clevis bushes/cylinder eye with grease. Use an oil-rich tape like Denso tape to thoroughly wrap motor drive and pump shafts.
The cylinder rods have exposed chrome, and this should be covered as well. You can use the same Denso tape to cover the rod, but make sure that the rod is fully retracted before applying. If you skip this step, when you retract the rod after application of the tap could lead to damage on the rod seal.
Use Quality Parts
When cylinders are kept in storage, you need to have the port connections plugged. Though plastic plugs are cheaper, they don’t provide the same sealing integrity as a metal plug. Plastic ones are also come dislodged more easily. If these situations happen, it can lead to contamination with the cylinder. Use a steel blanking plate or plugs for the most effective seal.
Use Clean Hydraulic Fluid
For some of the larger, more expensive cylinders or components, you may want to consider filling it with clean hydraulic oil. You could fill it through the case drain port or service port, and this technique may be good for high-pressure pumps, motors, or large-diameters cylinders and components. There could be complications from this method, and it best to check with the manufacturer for proper storage suggestions.
By taking care of how you store your hydraulic cylinders, you can protect your inventory. Improper storage can lead to an expensive replacement and costly downtime.
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