Hydraulic cylinders sometimes continue to work with an operating fault; however, they lose some efficiency. For example, if you have a cylinder that has suddenly started to work more slowly than usual, then you have a problem that needs repair.
Why do hydraulic cylinders sometimes lose operating speed?
1. Fluid Problems
Your cylinder relies on a constant flow of fluid to operate at optimum speed. This fluid affects how the cylinder can work. If you have a fluid problem, then it is likely to slow down.
Sometimes, you simply have a leak in your cylinder or in one of its connecting parts, such as its actuator, hose, or valve. The leak reduces the volume of fluid that should run through your system. The fluid you do have left loses pressure. This affects the cylinder's ability to run at a normal speed.
Viscosity problems can have the same effect. If a hydraulic fluid becomes too thick, then it can't run through your cylinder at the right rates. This starves the cylinder of the fluid it needs to build up to standard operating speeds.
Your system will also run slow if you have a blocked supply hose or line. If fluid can't get through its supply pipe, then your cylinder can't work at speed.
2. Air Problems
Hydraulic cylinders can slow down if too much air gets into their parts or their fluid. The air reduces the viscosity of the fluid and its ability to give complete internal coverage.
Aeration problems put too many air bubbles in your system. This can be a sign that you have a damaged hose or line that has become too porous. It allows air into your cylinder system.
Cavitation is a similar problem. Here, you have too many vapor bubbles in your system because your fluid levels are too low.
Air problems are relatively easy to spot. As well as slowing down your cylinder's operating speed, the bubbles make loud knocking noises when they pop.
3. Bypass Faults
Your cylinder controls where its fluid goes. If fluid gets in the wrong places, then your cylinder loses operating speed. This is known as a bypass fault.
These faults have various causes. For example, they can happen if a holding seal or gland breaks or gets damaged. Fluid can also get into the wrong places if the interior wall of the cylinder or one of its pistons is damaged.
To find the source of your cylinder's slow speed and to get it working correctly again, contact hydraulic cylinder repair specialists.