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VIDEO: Hydraulic fluid film management

The history of hydraulic systems for industrial use is a long and complicated one, with many pioneering figures said to have created the very first one. The truth is, realizing the power that fluids can have in generating energy was a team effort over centuries.

Nowadays, hydraulic cylinders are common in heavy industrial environments. Workers in construction, mining, drilling, shipping, and manufacturing all rely on them to carry out their daily activities. But in turn, hydraulic cylinders also rely on fluids to transfer power across the system, keep them cool and lubricated, and to clean them by filtering out contaminants. Using an appropriate lubricant is therefore the number consideration.

Managing fluid film distribution in a hydraulic cylinder is key to long-lasting productivity. That means that an adequate amount of lubrication should be spread across the rod at all times. Too little, and the seals will eventually burn away, causing the rod sealing system to lose its ability to seal properly. This can be just one cause of hydrodynamic leakage. That being said, too much fluid can cause leakage too.

Ensuring the sealing edge of the wiper seal isn’t too sharp and that the rod seal has been chamfered correctly can also help to minimize the likelihood of hydrodynamic leakage. This is why choosing the right combination of seals with a compatible sealing material can be make or break for hydraulic equipment.

In this animated video clip created by SKF, you see how a balanced sealing system – focusing on rod seals and wiper seals – plays a key role in fluid film management. That said, given the complex tribological behavior within a hydraulic system, it’s always wise to consult your seal distributor when designing or preparing to build hydraulic equipment!

Watch the animation below:

For an in-depth look at SKF’s range of hydraulic sealing solutions or to discuss fluid film management with one of our experts, you can visit our website.