Wear rings provide the bearing function between the metallic components of the unit during the stroke movement and in static conditions. They prevent metallic contact between pistons and cylinders or rods and glands, where forces act perpendicular to the direction of movement. The wear ring design shows a circular but open preform, and therefore lends itself to easy assembly.
Where should the wear ring be installed relative to the seals? Wear rings should always be installed on the lubrication (wet) side of the seal for best performance. For rod glands, the wear ring should be on the pressure side of the rod seal. For pistons, if only one bearing is to be used, it should be on the side of the piston opposite the rod. This arrangement keeps the piston wear ring further away from the rod wear ring. This becomes critical when the rod is at full extension and provides better leveraging of the two bearing surfaces.
Which end cut should be used? There are three types of end cuts available: butt cut, angle cut and step cut. The butt cut is the most common and most economical cut. Angle cuts and step cuts provide added performance by ensuring bearing area overlap at the wear ring’s gap. In certain applications, step cut wear rings can be used as buffer seals, protecting the seal from pressure spikes.
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