Nowadays, hydraulic systems are no longer the concern of engineers only; whether people like it or not, these products are part of our everyday lives, and are present in many mechanical products in use today. So, understanding such hydraulic systems is both necessary and practical.
In a general sense, hydraulic systems operate through the resistance that occurs when a liquid is forced through a thin tube, and usually comprise at least two pistons, a connecting pipe, and an incompressible liquid. Hence, when a force is applied to one piston, it will make the other one move, and vice versa. Complex systems may have more pistons and have the appearance of a fork. One of the cylinders will serve as the “master”, which drives the “slave” cylinder.
The basics of hydraulic system function
In terms of the fundamental principles behind the functioning of hydraulic systems, we can trace the origins back to Pascal’s law. This law states that a pressure exerted anywhere in an enclosed liquid transmits an undiminished level of force in all directions within the container’s interior. In other words, when a certain amount of force is exerted on a cylinder, the same amount of force is applied on others connected through the enclosed liquid container.
This principle makes it possible to produce a large force with little effort. For instance, when a five-pound force is exerted on a one-inch-square area of a hydraulic system, it will create a an internal pressure of five pounds per square inch (psi). When this level of pressure is applied to a ten-inch-square area, it will develop 50 psi. In this case, the effort exerted multiplies to ten times the force.
What are the different uses of hydraulics?
This type of system has seen many applications over the years. Among the most common include steering or control systems for airplane rudders; deck machinery such as anchor windlasses, capstans and winches; masts on submarines; and even in weapons systems for loading and launching. We can also use this technology in elevators and presses.
Different Hydraulic Products
Since these hydraulic systems have many uses nowadays, more and more products are being developed and released onto the market. There are at least five major classifications of these products: pumps; valves; power units; cylinders; and accessories.
In the pump category, there are various types, such as vane, low-noise triple, piston, PAL, as well as pump-motor and other cartridge kits. The hydraulic pumps are offered in different varieties including double pumps, low noise single and double pumps, as well as variable displacement pumps.
In the valve category, products could be in the form of pressure, flow, direction, modules, logic, as well as proportional and mobile controls. The hydraulic valves control the flow of liquid through the mobile equipment and allow manipulating the flow from 0.020 lpm to 1200 lpm.
Power and donut power packs come under the power unit category. Moreover, among the most common hydraulic system accessories are accumulators, coolers, pipe flanges, as well as ball valves and pressure gauges.
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What is the definition of hydraulic system?