A bent rod from a hydraulic cylinder repaired by A1 Hydraulic Engineering reman rod re-rod

Top 4 Reasons Hydraulic Cylinder Rods Bend

A major failure for hydraulic cylinders is when the rod bends or buckles when in operation.

Usually when a rod is bent it also damages the gland, and at times, the piston and bore too. Pretty much have the hydraulic cylinder to catastrophically fail.

Why can the other parts fail?

A hydraulic cylinder has specific engineered tolerances and clearances. The rod, gland, piston, and barrel bore are all ‘straight’ to each other. So when a rod has a bend in it, it’s centre axis is no longer inline or straight with the other component. This puts excessive loads to guide rings and bushes. The piston becomes ‘crooked’ and the gland gets damaged as it becomes a fulcrum for the bend.

Retracting a bent rod into the cylinder does not straighten it again. The machine should be immediately stopped and the failed hydraulic cylinder repaired or replaced.

So here they are…

Top 4 Reasons Why Hydraulic Cylinder Rods Bend

  1. Rod diameter too small
  2. Inadequate rod material strength
  3. Improper cylinder mounting arrangement
  4. Machine misuse/abuse by the operator 

What You Can Do About It

If there are loads greater than the rods ability to withstand bending or buckling, then a new rod should be manufactured with an increased diameter and/or higher material strength.

For reason No.4, it just comes down to operator training and care for the machine or attachment. If they are being used outside the manufacturer’s original design and operational intent then don’t be surprised if the hydraulic cylinders fail and the overall machine uptime and life is drastically reduced.


How to spot a possible bend in a rod

Here are some way you can spot a possible bend in a hydraulic cylinder rod:
  • ‘Juddering’ during operation
  • An audible sound during operation
  • Oil leakage from seals
  • Rod scoring
  • Irregular rod wear patten

What You Need To Do

If you suspect that your hydraulic cylinder has a bend or needs attention, contact us today. 

Getting the cylinder looked at now is far better than putting it off and having catastrophic failure.

Contact us now on 07 3800 8721 and a friendly team member will help you get the best solution.

Written by The A1HE Team

Date: 26.04.2024