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Preventing Rust on Your Hydraulic Cylinders

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Vehicles and many other pieces of equipment usually have hydraulic cylinders. If you own any machinery, motor vehicles, or equipment that has a hydraulic cylinder, one of the things you should be concerned about is pitting and corrosion of your rods. If your hydraulic cylinder rods are exposed to conditions that favour pitting or corrosion, for instance, if an equipment with a hydraulic cylinder is rarely used or if it's stored outside, the rods could corrode and getting them back to their condition by re-polishing won't be easy. Since corrosion and pitting leads to reduced efficiency and pollution of the hydraulic cylinder seal, your solution would be to replace the rods, which can be expensive. Fortunately, the rusting can be prevented and here is how you can do that.

Retracting the Hydraulic Cylinder Rods before Storage

You may want to retract the hydraulic cylinder rods when storing your equipment. When you retract the hydraulic cylinder rods, it means that the rod's plated surface, which is vulnerable to corrosive elements, will be inside the hydraulic cylinder. Being inside the hydraulic cylinder, it will be fully immersed in the hydraulic fluid, which will prevent it from being affected by corrosion or pitting agents.

However, retracting your hydraulic cylinder rods may not be just a piece of cake because you might need to extend the cylinders to unhitch or park your equipment in some cases. In such a case therefore, you can try the alternatives below.

Parking/Storing Your Hydraulic Cylinder Equipment Indoors

If retracting the cylinder rods proves difficult, this a simpler alternative you can consider. You can move the equipment into a storage shed to reduce the chances of pitting and corrosion. However, keep in mind that some indoor conditions, such as condensation or high levels of humidity, may still create a favourable environment for pitting and corrosion. Therefore, make sure that you store your hydraulic cylinder equipment in a clean, cool and dry area.

Coating the Rods with Heavy Grease When the Equipment Is Not In Use

If you are not planning to use your equipment for a few weeks and you don't have an indoor place to store it, consider coating exposed pensions of the hydraulic cylinder rods with very heavy and sticky grease. Heavy and sticky grease is preferred because it can offer protection for long. You may want to consider a wheel bearing grease instead of general chassis one that might be less sticky. Protection with heavy grease is ideal for equipment used seasonally or perhaps just once yearly.