Used in several areas of daily life, the jack is a device that transforms hydraulic energy into mechanical energy. It is made up of parts that move relative to one another, and that can be subject to malfunctions.
Below, discover all the uses of jacks, their most frequent failures, and of course, the different possibilities to correct them.
What is a hydraulic cylinder and what is it for?
In mechanics, a hydraulic or pneumatic cylinder is a device in the form of a cylinder comprising a hydraulic fluid and a mobile piston which by linear or angular force separates the volume of the cylinder into 2 chambers isolated from one another. The movement of the piston in the cylinder compresses the fluid and creates hydraulic energy which sets in motion (mechanical) a rigid rod emerging from the cylinder.
More specifically, the jack is used in heavy industry in construction site machinery, agricultural machinery and transport vehicles. It can for example be used to stabilize a motorhome, operate a backhoe loader, hydraulic brakes on a bicycle, etc …
What are the most common breakdowns?
In general, the frequent failures that occur on the cylinders relate to the rod, the hydraulic fluid, the mechanical failures and the obsolescence of the cylinder. Indeed, the cylinder rod, if it is subjected to too much resistance, can twist. Even if the twist is slight, it is a dysfunction that must be corrected immediately.
Regarding hydraulic fluid, it may happen that it leaks. The leak can be external or internal, and in the latter case, it is difficult to detect. The leak is very often caused by the age of the rod or the seals which lose their seal.
Cases of mechanical failure are rare and not very alarming. They occur during an external shock on the site where the jack has been splashed with debris: we speak of material damage. As for the obsolescence of the cylinder, it most often concerns the seals. It’s natural: the cylinder wears out with use.
How to remedy these various failures?
First and foremost, note that the best maintenance is preventive maintenance and check-ups. You should therefore constantly check your cylinder and make sure it is functioning properly. When you have noticed a fault on your cylinder, it must be corrected as soon as possible, especially if it involves heavy construction machinery. To correct them, always call in a cylinder specialist.
In the event of a rod bending, if it is slight, you can straighten the rod, but if not, it is better to replace it. For leaks, if they are internal, corrective maintenance consists of dismantling all the components, then plugging the holes.
For mechanical breakdowns, it suffices to repair the damaged part or, if necessary, to replace the entire cylinder. Finally, the worn seals of the cylinder must be systematically replaced.