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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!