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Six Points For Cylinder Seal Selection

posted by RAM Industries Inc.    |   December 9, 2021 08:05

Six Points for Cylinder Seal Selection

Seal selection is an important decision in your hydraulic cylinder design. Proper seal selection significantly affects the cylinder performance and longevity.


RAM's expertise in hydraulic cylinders ensures you receive cylinders that meet needs specific to your application. RAM's engineering team works with the experts at your company to fully understand the requirements for your cylinder's operation.


Six points for seal selection include:


1.       Pressure Rating

Selecting hydraulic seals specific to the operating pressure and potential pressure surges is vital. The appropriate seals will sufficiently maintain pressure and help prevent damage or leaking.


2.       Single or Double-Acting

Single-acting seals are designed for cylinders where pressure is applied from one side only. Double-acting seals are used in cylinders where pressure is applied on both sides. The configuration and type of seals on the piston is a factor in ensuring optimal cylinder performance.


3.       Operating Temperature

The cylinder’s operating environment can influence the material selection of your seals. Considerations include the temperature at cylinder startup and temperature during peak operation. Cylinder seals can be optimized from -40 degrees C/-40 degrees F to 200 degrees C/392 degrees F. Some industrial applications such as steel mills, plastic injection molding, and paint lines may require seals that accommodate even higher thresholds.


4.       Medium Used

Selected seals must be compatible with the internal fluid medium to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The most commonly used medium is petroleum-based oil. Other fluids include water-based hydraulic fluid such as water-glycol, bio-based oils such as vegetable oils, and petroleum-based oils with fire suppression additives.


5.       Velocity

Seal response within the cylinder can be influenced by the operating velocity of the piston rod during stroking. Slow cylinders can struggle with "seal stick." Reduced friction seals make them slippery and function more smoothly. High-velocity cylinders need seals that can keep up with the speed and temperature generated from the frequency of use.


6.       Longevity

Cylinder cycle frequency can determine the longevity required from the seals. A cylinder used once a day compared to one used 30 times an hour 24/7 may require more robust seals. Selecting the right seal based on the operation frequency ensures they will work reliably for the expected life cycle.


These factors impact hydraulic seal style, configuration and material composition.


Trust RAM Industries to recommend seal solutions best suited to your application


Contact RAM today!



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