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5 Potential Causes Of Hydraulic Seal Failure

What are hydraulic seals? They are soft, non-metallic rings that are created to contain as well as prevent fluid leakage between various components. Hydraulic seals are designed to be extremely durable. Unfortunately, when these seals are not used properly, you may find that you have serious problems with your equipment. Here are a few causes of failure with hydraulic seals that you should familiarize yourself with.

Improper Installation

There are a variety of problems that can occur if hydraulic seals are not installed properly, and as a result, the life span of the seals is shortened. Some examples of these issues include incorrect sizing and unsafe handling. Ultimately, this can be prevented by making certain that the hydraulic seal that you are using is built according to size prior to the sealing process.


Any time that there is a burn, crack, or break on the dynamic side of the seal, a fracture can potentially occur. Fractures are generally the result of low-quality materials being used throughout the manufacturing process or high-pressure shocks.


The life span of a hydraulic seal can be significantly decreased when it is exposed to extremely high temperatures. Heat causes hydraulic seals to melt and then re-harden, resulting in erosion and cracks. This can easily be prevented, though, by buying rings that are crafted from heat-resistant material.

Chemical Erosion

This problem tends to occur when the hydraulic seal is exposed to an assortment of types of materials that may result in degradation of the seal. Thankfully, you can prevent this from occurring by ensuring the seal material is a solid match for the types of materials that are used in your application prior to bringing the seal into your environment.


Contamination tends to happen when external jetsam and flotsam are introduced into the hydraulic rod. Then, the hydraulic piston is covered with mud and dirt, allowing it to make its way to the hydraulic seal. When the seal gets dirty or contaminated, it is unable to keep the contaminants from seeping into the piston area. For that reason, it is imperative that the seal is clean and free from dust and other debris, particularly during the installation process.

By keeping the above information in mind, you can reduce the potential damage that can occur to your hydraulic seals. When the time comes that your hydraulic seals or other hydraulic components need to be repaired or replaced, contact a local industrial supplier of these hydraulic parts.