Car Lift Repair Orlando Hydraulic experts estimate that contamination is responsible for 65% to 90% of hydraulic system failures, posing a significant concern for fluid power engineers. Despite advancements in filtration technology, hydraulic equipment remains vulnerable to contamination, shortening its operational lifespan.

Causes of Contamination

Contamination in Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic systems stems from four primary sources: residual particles from manufacturing processes, inadequately filtered oil upon entry into the system, intrusion of particles and water vapor through seals or openings, and the generation of particles due to component wear.

Component wear is induced by various mechanisms:

1. Abrasion occurs when lubricated surfaces make contact or when particles of clearance size abrade surfaces.

2. Adhesive wear, also known as friction welding, involves the removal of material from a surface due to frictional forces.

3. Fatigue, or point loading, results in the elastic deformation of a component’s surface.

4. Erosion arises from the formation of an abrasive slurry by silt-sized particles in the fluid, causing surface erosion.

5. Cavitation is caused by the collapse of vapor or air bubbles under pressure, leading to the erosion of metal parts.

6. Corrosion is initiated by chemical byproducts, such as acids, which attack certain metals when hydraulic oil undergoes degradation due to water or heat.

Regardless of the wear mechanism, effective seals can mitigate or prevent contamination from internal sources within the system or external ingress.

Seals play a vital role in safeguarding hydraulic systems, and they can be categorized into four types: hydraulic seals, wiper seals, wear rings, and static seals.

Car Lift Repair Orlando Hydraulic seals are primarily tasked with preventing leaks. They also contribute to managing internal contamination through Lubrication Management, a technique employing specialized seals to regulate lubrication between primary and secondary seals. This not only reduces heat generation and wear but also extends the service life of components. Moreover, by minimizing heat, hydraulic fluid degradation is slowed, and the generation of particulates from seals and their mating surfaces is reduced.

Car Lift Repair Orlando Wiper seals are equipped with an outer scraping lip designed to fend off external contaminants. Positioned on dynamic surfaces exposed to various debris common in hydraulic environments, such as water, dust, and mud, they ensure that contaminants adhering to the rod’s external parts are consistently dislodged. Bi-directional wipers are often employed to enhance control over oil film.

Properly specified wipers prevent mistaken leak indications caused by poorly regulated oil films and mitigate the risk of debris accumulation on the rod, thus reducing the likelihood of contamination.

Wear rings are integral components in hydraulic sealing setups, absorbing transverse forces and preventing metal-to-metal contact, a key source of internal contamination. By preventing misaligned parts from rubbing against each other, wear rings help avoid the release of metal particles into the hydraulic system, which can lead to component wear and fluid passage blockages. Tailoring wear ring configurations to expected loads is crucial in preventing such issues.

Car Lift Repair Orlando Static seals serve as the final barrier against internal leaks and external debris intrusion in hydraulic systems, often positioned near threaded components. Therefore, it’s essential to handle them delicately during installation to avoid damage. In high-pressure scenarios, hardware expansion may occur, increasing the gap between metal components. In such cases, specifying the appropriate squeeze is vital to ensure that the seal maintains sufficient sealing force to operate effectively.

Material selection for seal components is a crucial yet intricate process. The primary consideration is chemical compatibility with the hydraulic fluid and other media. For instance, materials like ethylene propylene (EPM) and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) are resistant to acids, ketones, and alcohols but are unsuitable for petroleum or mineral oils. Similarly, nitrile rubber (NBR) is suitable for hydraulic fluids but not for systems containing chlorinated hydrocarbons or ketones.

Temperature also plays a pivotal role. To ensure optimal seal life, the sealing materials must align with the hydraulic system’s maximum and minimum operating temperatures. Additionally, for dynamic seals, frictional heat must be taken into account as it can elevate the temperature at the seal interface above the bulk fluid temperature.

Car Lift Repair Orlando System pressure is another critical factor, as high pressures can cause the seal material to flow into gaps in the hardware, potentially leading to breakage. This risk can be mitigated by designing the hardware with tighter gaps.

In situations where heavy internal contamination or ingress is anticipated, selecting a durable, abrasion-resistant seal material can minimize damage and prolong the system’s lifespan. Collaborating with an experienced seal supplier at the project’s outset ensures that all seal elements are appropriately chosen based on specific working conditions.

Seal Storage

Extended storage or improper storage conditions can cause seals to harden, soften, or crack. Seal suppliers can offer guidelines on storing elastomers and specify shelf-life limits for particular materials to ensure they are used before degradation occurs. It’s crucial not to utilize seals beyond their shelf-life date.

Elastomer seals should ideally be stored individually in sealed envelopes or corrugated boxes at temperatures below 77°F with relative humidity below 70%. Sealed envelopes provide protection against light and ozone-generating equipment, both of which can degrade seal materials. Additionally, they prevent contact with liquids, metals, and dusting powders that may weaken the seals.


Standard seals typically come with installation instructions from suppliers, while custom seals require application-specific installation methods. During seal design, engineers should consider installation procedures that minimize seal damage, avoiding sharp edges, for instance.

Maintain a clean, well-organized, and well-lit assembly area.

Ensure all necessary installation tools, fixtures, and materials are readily accessible.

Clear away machining residues, such as chips, dirt, and foreign particles.

Deburr and chamfer sharp edges.

Cover the tips of screw threads.

Ensure installation tools are free of sharp edges.

Ensure cylinder bores and rods have appropriate lead-in chamfers or utilize a calibration sleeve.

Given that Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic systems rely on fluids for power transmission, amplification, and lubrication of critical components, it’s essential to address potential contamination and wear issues during seal design for hydraulic systems.