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Cincinnati, OH 45215

A Brief Guide to Avoiding Piston Rod Failure  June 26, 2020

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A Brief Guide to Avoiding Piston Rod Failure , Woodlawn, Ohio

A mechanical component that’s used to move and control construction and industrial equipment, hydraulic cylinders are generally powered by oil. Each cylinder is made up of many parts, including a piston and a piston rod. The latter is responsible for connecting the hydraulic actuator to the industrial component that moves the equipment, and it serves as a seal to prevent leakage. When improperly maintained, your piston rod will fail and cause expensive damage. The following will help you understand what causes piston rod failure and how to avoid it with solutions, such as hard chrome plating

What Are the Common Causes of Piston Rod Failure?

When there’s oil contamination, the piston rod can become scored, leading to failure. Additionally, the rod may become bent and ineffective if the hydraulic cylinder is overloaded. This typically happens when there’s some sort of collision, or the system is used for an industrial process it wasn’t meant to handle.  

Metal fatigue also results in rod failure. A small scratch on its surface can grow into cracks and fractures; eventually, the rod might break. Typically, rods are smoothed by machines, but wear and tear can lead to imperfections. 

How Do You Avoid Piston Rod Failure?

hard chrome plating

One way to avoid piston rod failure is upgrading to hard chrome plating. Due to its corrosion resistance, it’s less likely to incur structural damage that will impact other parts of the system.

Also, hard chrome plated pistons are highly durable and long-lasting. The plating makes them easier to wash and keeps them free of those nicks and scratches that grow into larger problems. To keep the hard chrome plated surface area clean and grit-free, utilize soap and water regularly.

Hard chrome plating has a low coefficient of friction—around half of steel’s coefficient. With reduced friction, your piston rods will last longer, as will other parts that are plated; also, you’ll be less concerned with overheating if you increase the speed or power of your operations. Hard chrome plating is also versatile; it adheres easily to copper or steel pistons but can also be shaped to a range of essential components in your machinery. 

Finally, never overload or exceed the weight limit or capacity of the hydraulic cylinder to avoid bent piston rods. 


Go to the skilled professionals at R.A. Heller Co. in Cincinnati, OH, to upgrade your piston rods with hard chrome plating. They can serve a range of industries—from paper to steel—thanks to their sizeable facility and experienced staff. Their Tri-State Tooling & Manufacturing Association membership guarantees quality and affordable industrial solutions. For a team that has over 60 years of experience in machining services, call (513) 771-6100. Go online to learn more about their hard chrome plating services. 

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