4 Tips to Consider Before Selecting a Hydraulic Cylinder

Hydraulic Cylinders are a critical system to have in place for a range of applications in your business. Making sure that you’re selecting the correct specific unit, like a lift cylinder for your industrial heavy machinery can ensure that your system is working smoothly and efficiently, with little worry about damage or wear.

Choose the Right Cylinder Type

The two most common models used for industrial applications are tie-rod and welded cylinders. Both of these cylinders have specific operating requirements that will differentiate which model you need for your specific application.

Tie-rod cylinders will use high-strength steel tie rods on the outside of the cylinder housing for additional strength and stability. These cylinders are a general standard because of their NFPA standards which allows them to be used interchangeably with any other cylinder built to that same standard.

Welded cylinders have a heavy-duty housing with a barrel welded directly to the ends of the caps, they also don’t require tie rods. They’re generally preferred in more rugged applications like steel mills where your cylinders will be exposed to harsh environmental settings. Welded cylinders can also typically be used in most general industrial applications.

While these two cylinders are the most common models used across a range of applications it’s also important to remember that many hydraulics are customised by engineers to deviate from normal standards with special mountings and configurations to suit a specific output and industrial environment.

Select the Proper Mounting

Mounting methods also play an important role in your cylinder’s performance. The mounting method of your specific model will depend on whether your cylinders body is stationary or pivots.

For stationary cylinders, fixed mounts are better suited for straight-line force transfer and minimal wear. They’re strong and rigid but have a low tolerance for misalignment. It’s recommended to use cap-end mounts for thrust loads and rod-end mounts for pull loads.

Centreline lug movements absorb force on the centreline but also require dowel pins when operating at high pressures or under shock to prevent movement and secure the system’s lugs.

Choosing the Right Pivot Mountings

Pivot mouths will absorb any force on the cylinder centreline and allow your system to change alignment in one plane. Common types include clevis, trunnion and spherical-bearing mounts.

Clevis mounts can be used in any orientation but will generally be used with spherical bearings over those with plain bearings as they allow for more alignment and are generally more forgiving to the high-pressure settings they’re used in.

Size Considerations

For all types of cylinders, important parameters include stroke, bore diameter, rod diameter and pressure rating.

You should always choose the rod size first before continuing backwards to determine your bore size and pressure etc. By choosing the wrong piston size you can make your cylinder more prone to stress, wear, and operation failure. In push application it’s extremely important to size the rod diameter correctly to avoid buckling and bending.

Contact Motus Today

If you need a custom hydraulic cylinder or have any questions on how to choose the right off-the-shelf model for your business contact our team at Motus today. Or browse our products online to find the perfect solution for your business.


Hartley Currie – General Manager

Bob Kerins – Sales & Marketing

Ryan Carrol – Sales