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Water-Based Hydraulic Cylinders

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   June 20, 2022 08:05

Water-Based Hydraulic Cylinders

Identifying sustainable and safe alternatives to traditional petroleum-based hydraulic fluid is critical to many industries including, marine, industrial, and mining applications. Water-based solutions can deliver robust protection under increasingly strenuous operating conditions while still helping improve operational efficiency, sustainability and safety.

Look to RAM Industries to design and manufacture hydraulic cylinders that perform reliably and utilize these environmentally friendly hydraulic fluid options.

Using water as your primary fluid follows the same principles of traditional hydraulic cylinders for power production. The pressurized fluid places force against the piston to extend the cylinder. While there may be some performance differences, there are significant benefits to using this hydraulic medium. Selecting hydraulic cylinders that can properly utilize this fluid is critical!

Cost Savings – Water-based solutions typically contain 95 percent water with only 5 percent of a biodegradable synthetic additive. This means these solutions cost much less per gallon than petroleum-based fluids do.

Environmentally Friendly– Sustainable and biodegradable formulations for hydraulic fluid are increasing in demand as they reduce the environmental impact of leaks, equipment breakdown or spillage.

Safety – For many industries, eliminating harmful risks to the operator(s) and the environment are essential. Water-based hydraulic fluid is non-toxic and non-flammable. Applications with high operating environments of fire risk, such as mining, often rely on water-based cylinders for their fire resistance.

RAM’s expertise extends to all types of hydraulic cylinders. Our engineering team considers all the operational impacts of the cylinder design when utilizing water-based hydraulic fluids.

Material Selection – Stainless steel and nickel-over-chrome are common materials for components and provide corrosion protection.

Seals – Specialty seals are incorporated in water-based cylinders to ensure proper lubrication, prevent leaking, and material compatibility.

Operating Temperatures – Additives such as propylene glycol to the water can depress the freezing point without sacrificing the environmental compatibility of the water. This can be valuable for utility applications such as refuse collection trucks.

At RAM Industries, we always work with your team to clearly understand your fit and performance requirements. This custom approach allows us to design and build cylinders specific to your equipment.

Contact the RAM team to learn more water-based hydraulic cylinders today!



Cylinder Material Selection Made Easy!

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   June 20, 2022 08:00

Cylinder Material Selection Made Easy

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what are the best hydraulic cylinder materials of them all?

While we don’t have a magic mirror at RAM Industries, we have a very experienced engineering team that knows that the answer is specific to your equipment’s technical and performance requirements, as well as the operating temperatures and environment.

Building relationships is essential to RAM’s approach to cylinder design and production. We work with your team's experts to establish the final application's precise requirements and operational expectations. Having clear and detailed requirements helps us recommend the ideal materials for your hydraulic cylinders, ensuring optimal performance.

Mounts - Matching the cylinder mount to your OEM equipment will ensure longevity and prevent failure. Mounts are composed of materials like high-tensile steel, carbon steel and ductile iron, depending on the application.

Shafts - Considerations used in shaft selection include speed, displacement requirements, retraction force, loads, and corrosion resistance. Options available in cylinder shaft design are chrome plated, chrome-over stainless, nitrided, chrome over nickel, and other high-strength material selections.

Barrels – Adjusting barrel materials and thickness ensures they perform under expected force and pressure requirements. Standard barrel material is high tensile SAE C1026 or St52.3 cold drawn tube precision honed for extended seal life. Other material options include 4140, aluminum, and stainless steel.

Pistons & Glands – The design and style of pistons and glands are impacted by the design, as well as loading and pressure requirements. Common materials used are high-strength steel, ductile iron, carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Seals – Pressure characteristics, durability, and operating or environmental temperatures help influence the size and type of seals incorporated. Materials include high-performance polyurethane, nitrile rubber, fluoro rubber, ethylene propylene diene, silicone, resin bonded fabric composite or polyester elastomer.

Paint – RAM’s durable standard paint finish is 2-part urethane; however, high solid epoxy and primer epoxy are available for additional corrosion protection. Zinc chromate and clear dichromate electro-galvanized plating are also available.

RAM Industries stands behind the high quality of our hydraulic cylinders. Mill certifications verify all materials used, and our Engineering team ensures the grades of steel used are selected to match the application of the finished product.


You are the experts in what you need for your hydraulic cylinders, and we are the experts in getting you there.

Contact RAM today!



Confidence Under Pressure

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   April 29, 2022 08:05

Confidence Under Pressure

Are you confident your cylinders are sufficient for the hydraulic pressure rating of your equipment? Off-the-shelf cylinders are typically designed to industry standards, but they cannot anticipate the operating conditions of all equipment. All internal componentry and critical points in your cylinder will face significant pressure. By working with our team, you can be confident your RAM hydraulic cylinders will perform reliably under pressure every time!

PSI, which stands for pounds per square inch, indicates the pressure rating for the hydraulic system. To calculate the pressure rating, you need to divide the force by the total surface area to get the system pressure.

The industry standard for pressure ratings has evolved over the years to 3000 PSI, although each industry and application may vary. RAM Industries designs and builds cylinders to match your particular equipment's pressure rating. RAM can manufacture cylinders with a rating up to 7500 PSI.

All components in the hydraulic system must be rated to the same PSI or higher. For a cylinder to be rated as 3000 PSI, all integrated parts and materials must also be at least 3000 PSI. For example, an integrated 2500 PSI counterbalance valve would not work for a cylinder to be 3000 PSI rated.

Communication is a valuable part of the relationship RAM builds with customers. Letting us know your desired system pressure and pounds of force, or your preferred bore size, helps our team provide a suitable solution for your machinery. The experts at RAM review every aspect of your hydraulic cylinder design to verify your cylinders will achieve optimal performance. As part of our full-service approach, the RAM team provides recommendations considering your equipment's operating environment to ensure safe and efficient operation.

RAM creates a design plan with the criteria and componentry for each cylinder we make. A standard template of engineering calculations takes all criteria from the design plan and performs safety calculations for all critical points in the cylinder. This template provides output with the safety factor as a percentage of equivalent force. Ensuring your cylinders meet the required safety rating is essential, especially where human safety is directly involved.

At RAM, we test every hydraulic cylinder at a higher pressure than the designated PSI to ensure reliable performance during pressure surges or spikes. Static systems may experience constant pressure, unlike dynamic systems with fluctuations or shocks to the equipment. Customers may request testing at higher ratings, such as one and a half times the operating pressure. We make sure all internal components match the test pressure so your cylinders can withstand the pressure on the field.

With half a century of experience, rely on the RAM name to manufacture hydraulic cylinders you can trust!

Contact RAM today for cylinder solutions that work under pressure!




Large Bore Cylinders for Your Largest Loads

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   April 29, 2022 08:00

Large Bores for Your Largest Loads

Large bore cylinders can achieve the power and pressure required for your equipment to move the heaviest loads. These heavy-duty cylinders are robust and often necessary for machinery that operates in tough working environments. With bore sizes over 8 inches and up to 24 inches, RAM’s large bore cylinders are up to the task!

The bore size, along with the desired operating pressure of the cylinder determines the force output available. The bigger the bore, more force the cylinder can develop. Knowing the load your application needs to move, and the hydraulic system pressure rating, will help determine the optimal bore size of your cylinders.

We are well-versed in the latest technologies in materials, cylinder componentry, cylinder design and manufacturing methods to ensure your cylinder functions exactly as required. These RAM large bore cylinders are custom designed and built to accommodate rough and rugged work environments and frequently need bolted construction to maintain cylinder integrity under heavy loads.

With the increased cylinder size, the experts at RAM take every precaution to recommend internal componentry that will meet the performance requirements and the external operating conditions. Our priority is developing complete cylinder solutions that produce quality performance.

Customized options include:

  • High strength materials such as 4140, QT100, AR (Abrasion Resistant) and other high yield strength carbon and alloy steels
  • Increased shaft protection through induction hardened rods, thicker chrome, chrome over nickel and other material alternatives
  • Leading edge large bore seal technologies for heavy duty use, high wear environments, and abrasion resistance
  • Expanded seal sets to resist shock pressures
  • Bellows for external shaft protection
  • External guards for ports, hoses and oil lines
  • Bolt in glands for added strength
  • Hardened pins for added durability
  • High pressure ports (SAE Code 61/62 4 bolt flange designs)
  • Integrated valves (relief, counterbalance or PO check) to protect the cylinder, maintain position, and control the rate of extension and retraction to counteract external forces.

RAM’s modern facilities utilize large capacity cranes and specialized equipment capable of accommodating the weight and scale of the materials used to manufacture these cylinders.

When it comes to OEM equipment with heavy-duty load requirements, trust the experts at RAM Industries to develop cylinder solutions that will perform under pressure.

Contact RAM Today!




posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   March 31, 2022 08:05

Endless Stroke Lengths

Whatever stroke length you require, RAM’s cylinder stroke options are endless! RAM Industries produces hydraulic cylinders with lengths that meet your precise needs, from extremely long to very short.

The difference between when a cylinder is fully open (extended) and in home position (retracted) is the stroke length. When determining the stroke required for your equipment, it’s important determine the max retracted center to center distance for your application. That will help identify if you have enough room to get the movement needed to get to the required extended length.

Many industries benefit from the length hydraulic cylinders can support. Some examples of equipment applications that utilize longer cylinders include axle moving cylinders in transportation, scoping cylinders, pump jacks or dog houses in oil & gas, and deploying slides on camper trailers.

Once you define the stroke required, consider the bore size to ensure the proper combination. This combination defines how far the cylinder moves and how much force it can produce. Cylinders with a bore size greater than 9 inches can support lengths up to 130 inches. If the bore size is over 20 inches, the stroke length is limited to 14 inches.

Designing your cylinder to precise stroke measurements helps reduce potential issues, such as:

  • Stroke length lengths too long? Overtravel can cause interference with other components.
  • Stroke lengths too short? Equipment can’t produce the required movement.
  • Improper bore-stroke combination? Force production can be inadequate.

When there are restrictions on the closed length, RAM’s Telescopic and Piggy-back cylinder designs can help meet your needs to achieve the stroke required with a compact retracted length.

As a custom manufacturer, RAM establishes a close technical rapport with every client to share ideas and gather information regarding cylinder fit and performance requirements.

Custom cylinders allow you to define the necessary stroke value. RAM Industries ensures the cylinder design is specific to your movement requirements to provide reliable force and control.

In addition to the stroke, RAM always considers the working environment, seal selection, and material recommendations to ensure your hydraulic cylinders perform to your quality standards.

Contact the team at RAM to discuss your stroke requirements today!




posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   March 31, 2022 08:00

Designed To Stabilize

Making your equipment secure and level in any environment is critical when the center of gravity of the combined load and vehicle is outside the support base of the vehicle. These versatile levelling cylinders are used in various applications in transportation, oil & gas, and aggregate industries, including mobile cranes, communication towers, service trucks, aerial trucks, drilling rigs, crushers, screen decks, and conveyors. RAM's Stabilizer cylinders can help distribute a load's weight, increase the lifting capacity, ensure safety, and provide fast, reliable operation.

RAM Stabilizer cylinders enable quick deployment and are easy to modify after placement. These unique cylinders provide infinite adjustments to the finished height over the full range of the stroke. Instead of a pin, a threaded engagement locks the stabilizer in place. Utilizing RAM mechanical or hydraulic locking stabilizer cylinders ensures that your equipment will perform safely and reliably.

RAM's designs focus on two primary mechanical locking methods, split or locking nut designs. These positive locking features provide assurance there will be no creeping from the desired settings.

  • A split locking nut design features an external split ring mechanism easily removed and replaced to lock the Stabilizer in position once deployed.
  • A solid locking nut design is fixed to the equipment and is rotated to lock the Stabilizer in position.
  • Hydraulic locking can be incorporated with hydraulic valves such as PO check, counterbalancing and thermal relief valves. 

Standard designs feature cross-pin and ball ends.

  • Cross-pin ends provide quick and easy functionality with some ability to pivot.
  • Ball ends are a unique design that provides 360-degree stability with angular interaction with the ground to match any slope.
  • Custom jacking pads or feet ensure the cylinders will stabilize your equipment precisely as needed.

RAM designs can easily incorporate many mounting options from hole patterns and sizes to positions such as side, top, pass-through, and flange mounts. Custom mounting offers placement flexibility specific to your equipment design.

RAM’s success has been built on the extensive engineering expertise and manufacturing capabilities we offer OEM customers. Our team implements high standards to produce dependable, high-quality cylinders. RAM puts quality at the core of what we do to ensure your stabilizing cylinders will provide long-lasting performance.

Contact the RAM team to configure a stabilizing cylinder solution today!



5 Cylinder Solutions for Tight Spaces

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   February 10, 2022 08:05

5 Cylinder Solutions for Tight Spaces

The position of each component on your equipment is critical to ensure optimal safety and performance. When space is limited for your hydraulic system, turn to the experts at RAM Industries!

RAM’s custom approach enables you to fit your machinery with hydraulic cylinders that will not only maximize your performance but will perfectly meet the specific space requirements on your machinery.


Many cylinder designs help maximize motion achieved in constrained spaces. RAM Telescopic cylinders and Piggy-back cylinders are two of the most common cylinders that provide space-saving benefits. RAM can also incorporate other unique cylinder design elements for your cylinders to save space on your equipment.


  1.  Telescopic cylinders provide a long stroke from a very compact retracted length. RAM manufactures telescopic cylinders with up to 5 stages. Depending on how gravity impacts your retraction, RAM can incorporate single-actingdouble- acting, or hybrid designs to ensure efficient performance.

  2.  Piggy-back cylinders have two cylinders welded or yoked together in opposite directions. This cylinder design can double the stroke available while maintaining consistent force for the full extension and retraction.

  3.  Increasing system pressure from 3000 PSI to 5000 PSI can provide better force production with higher pressure with a smaller cross-section.

  4.  Incorporating exotic metals can provide higher strength allowing a smaller cross-sectional size for mounts and barrels for larger diameter cylinders. Using stronger metals can allow savings on the overall diameter of your cylinder.

  5.  Utilizing unique internal components is another way to reduce cylinder length. Using a thread-on piston instead of a bolt-on piston can help you save on the overall length while maintaining strength.

RAM Industries always considers your overall application to ensure that cylinder strength is not compromised. The RAM engineering team has the expertise to work with you to find the right solutions that perfectly meet your fit and function requirements and maintain the reliability and integrity you expect.


Contact RAM today to discuss your cylinder needs!




Lightweight Aluminum Cylinder Solutions

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   February 10, 2022 08:00

Lightweight Aluminum Cylinders

If weight savings are critical for your application, RAM's Lightweight Aluminum cylinders might be the perfect solution for your equipment. RAM Aluminum cylinders are a durable and lightweight alternative to steel hydraulic cylinders. They are well suited for industries that require robust cylinders that are resistant to corrosion and rusting.

RAM's Lightweight Aluminum cylinders provide value for a wide range of industries. You will often find aluminum cylinders used in transportation as they offer weight savings and perform reliably on various trailer applications. Manufacturing companies often utilizes aluminum cylinders in production automation due to their high performance with frequent cycles. Recreation vehicle slides and their levelling systems also rely on lightweight cylinders.

Aluminum cylinders are designed to industry-standard dimensions, making them easy to exchange with existing cylinders on your equipment. RAM's standard aluminum cylinder designs include features that maximize functionality and performance: 

  • High-quality aluminum body and internal parts are lightweight and resist rust.
  • Hollow high-strength chrome-plated steel rods provide weight savings and allow for an internal feed tube.
  • Base fed ports with integrated oil lines save space and reduce the need for exposed hoses.
  • Thread-locker used for all critical connections ensure dependability and ease of serviceability.
  • High-quality urethane piston, rod, and wiper seals provide extrusion resistance.
  • High-strength nylon wear bands help maximize performance and prevent premature system wear. 

RAM's specialty is customizing cylinders to meet your specifications. Other unique features RAM can incorporate into our lightweight aluminum cylinders include:

  • A pilot-operated check valve can lock the cylinder by preventing any oil flow. This unique feature offers additional safety in the event of a line failure.
  • In-line or 90-degree mounting options provide flexibility and ensures optimal cylinder fit for any application.
  • Alternative finishes such as nitrided or induction hardened shafts provide additional corrosion protection and extended shaft life in harsh environments. 

Contact the RAM team today to discuss integrating RAM Lightweight Cylinders into your application!




Cylinder Port Flexibility

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   January 13, 2022 08:05

Hydraulic Cylinder Port Flexibility

Selecting a cylinder with proper ports and port placement is important to prevent stress on the cylinder during operation. Trust the experts at RAM to ensure your cylinder designs incorporate the right ports and port locations.

Hydraulic cylinder ports play a critical role in accommodating the fluid flow between the cylinder and the equipment. Ports allow fluid both in and out of the cylinder to achieve the linear motion produced by the cylinder. Restricted fluid movement through improperly sized ports or hydraulic hose binding can lead to pressure resistance.

Single-acting cylinders typically have one connection port at the lower portion of the cylinder body. This allows the oil to advance the piston rod and allow the oil to flow back into the hydraulic pump's reservoir when it retracts.

Double-acting cylinders perform with hydraulic fluid on both sides of the apron portion of the piston. They are equipped with two connection ports, one at the lower part, the other at the top part of the cylinder body.

RAM specializes in working alongside every customer to share ideas and gather critical information regarding each application's hydraulic cylinder fit and performance requirements. This collaboration ensures your cylinder design incorporates the ideal port type, size, and position.

Port Type

Ports contain standard thread dimensions to accept hydraulic fittings and hoses. There is a range of common port types available. The most commonly used ports include ORB or SAE (O-Ring Boss or Society of Automotive Engineers) and NPT (National Pipe Thread) ports. These ports are readily available in a large variety of sizes, shapes and materials.

Additional ports include JIC (Joint Industry Council), Code 61, Code 62 and Sandwich Plate. The application will often indicate which port option is best; however multiple port options may be suitable. For example, Code 61 and Code 62 ports are used in more robust and high-flow applications.

Port Size

Cylinder port sizes often range from 1/4 inch to 3 inches. They are typically referred by numbers from #1 to #48. In addition to cylinder size, the port size is essential to ensure an efficient flow rate from the hydraulic hose to the cylinder. The more fluid that needs to flow through, the bigger the port required. Using the correct sized port will prevent pressure resistance. The most common sized port used is #8, which is the equivalent of 1/2 inch hydraulic hose size.

Port Location

Cylinder port locations can be on any side of the cylinder head and cap end cover. Considerations for the ports' position include aligning the cylinder with the equipment design, ease of installation and servicing, ensuring optimal plumbing, and preventing binding or breakage points for hydraulic hose protection. Custom port manifolds can include specific hose locations on a cylinder or tie into the cylinder with additional control valves such as counterbalance valves.

With over 45 years of experience, you can trust the team at RAM to provide the optimal cylinder solutions specific to your equipment. RAM knows the ports on your cylinders can significantly impact the function and longevity of your cylinders and your equipment.

Contact RAM today!



Mast Raising Cylinder Solutions

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   January 13, 2022 08:00

Mast Raising Cylinder Solutions

Hydraulics play a significant role in derricks and masts used in oilfield drilling rigs to support the crown block and drill string used during a wellbore. Hydraulic cylinders enable rapid rig deployment while maintaining precise control and a safe operating environment. Telescoping cylinders are often used to deploy the equipment and to raise, set and lock the drill floor and mast in the operating position.

RAM Industries provides a wide range of hydraulic cylinder solutions for the oil and gas industry, including RAM Mast Raising cylinders. When deployed, most masts do not have an even center of gravity. RAM Mast Raising cylinders are a unique hybrid of single and double-acting designs. The first stages of the cylinder are single-acting, with the last stage being double-acting to pull the weight of the load back over the center.

RAM’s standard mast raising cylinder designs are frequently used on smaller service rigs. These cylinders comply with industry standards and offer a 60-inch retracted length and 8 1/2 inch base bore size with 2500 PSI operating pressure. RAM ensures these cylinders are well supported internally to withstand the loading demands during deployment. The default mount includes tang mounting on the rod and base with standard grease zerks to provide lubrication to the joint.

RAM also has experience producing larger or even smaller mast raising cylinders. Our engineering expertise ensures RAM hydraulic cylinders will specifically meet your performance requirements. Incorporating design options to optimize your cylinder performance is our specialty.

Some of the common features incorporated into RAM Mast Raising cylinders include:

  • Full single-acting or double-acting designs in addition to our hybrid format
  • Operating pressures up to 3000 PSI
  • Up to 5 stages to accommodate the extended lengths required on larger rigs
  • Large bore sizes up to 18 inches to match the force required for the specific application
  • Valve options like counterbalance or pilot operated check valves to provide additional safety
  • Wide range of mounts specific to your equipment, including the most common cross tube and clevis mounts 

RAM Industries has significant experience designing and manufacturing hydraulic cylinders that are used in the oil and gas industry all around the world. RAM knows you require dependable performance in any conditions. You can trust that RAM Mast Raising cylinders will reliably support your equipment.

Contact RAM Industries to discuss your mast raising cylinder needs.