How To Minimize the Risk of Hydraulic Cylinder Contamination

Keep Your Equipment Running Longer

In the world of hydraulics, hydraulic cylinder contamination can leave a business in a bad place. Contamination can cause hydraulic cylinder failure, putting an abrupt stop to any work that had been getting done and maybe even stopping your operations as a whole. There are many causes of hydraulic contamination and even more reasons to do your best to prevent it from happening right away. Most hydraulic equipment owners understand the importance of keeping their hydraulic fluid clean and clear of debris to reduce the chances of premature failure of their equipment, yet hydraulic contamination still remains to be a big issue for many business owners. Read on to learn some of the ways that you can minimize the risk of hydraulic cylinder contamination and keep your equipment running longer and more efficiently.
First thing is first when it comes to minimizing the risk of hydraulic cylinder contamination it is important to identify all the different ways that your hydraulic cylinders can become contaminated. This will hopefully help you understand contamination as a whole and how each different contaminant can affect your system.

Forms of Hydraulic Cylinder Contamination

Hard Particles

Hard particles include metal, dust, & dirt that can cause some serious contamination when it comes to your machines. Some of them can be created during grinding, welding, or machining and others such as dust and dirt can just become an issue from a dirty environment (which cannot always be avoided) These hard particles can cause abrupt and serious damage to your machines because they are known to clump up within the oil. They also can cause cuts and destruction to seals which can be a serious issue.

Soft Particles

Soft particles can cause contamination by blocking passageways or clogging certain parts of your machine. These particles are most generally from seals that have broken down a little bit, composite bearings, or cloth fibers. This contamination is a little less common but still as serious as any other issue. When soft particles cause issues within a machine it generally ends in machine failure and a lot of unexpected down time for the business.

Hydraulic Cylinder Reseal


Water and hydraulics don’t mix well. Hydraulic cylinders are powered by a hydraulic fluid such as oil, and if you have ever tried to mix water and oil, you know that the two don’t mix well. Water can contaminate your hydraulic cylinder when your machine is in a humid environment or when parts are not fully dry after they have been taken for cleaning. These small things can cause big issues such as corrosion within your cylinders.

After understanding the different types of contamination that are most common, it’s important to be aware of contamination and where the source is so that you can do your best to prevent it. Within the assembly process, there are obviously processes that are necessary and the chances of contamination are higher, but there are certain ways to minimize the risk of contamination.

– Keep work and storage locations clean
– Parts, once cleaned should be kept in sealed containers to keep dust, dirt, and particles off before reassembly
– Be intentional with air filters and keeping your area climate controlled
– Invest in lint-free rags and other tools to keep your shop as particle free as possible

Hydraulic Cylinder Contamination: Conclusion

If you are only a hydraulic user, utilizing filters within your hydraulics will be one of the most important things that you can do to prevent hydraulic cylinder contamination. There are various filters that can and should be used to help minimize the risk of your hydraulics becoming contaminated. Filters help sift through the hydraulic fluid in your components and catch any debris that could cause an issue in the future. They are very important to use and utilize correctly.

All in all, hydraulic cylinder contamination isn’t something that can always be avoided – but there are ways to minimize the risk, and help your hydraulics run for longer through specific care & instructions. If you are interested in learning more about All Phase Hydraulics and how we manufacture and repair hydraulic components, please, contact us today! Our team is happy to help you in any way that we can.

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