How Hydraulic Systems Work

Posted: June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

Hydraulic systems work by means of a simple principle, which states that pressure applied to a fluid that is confined will be transmitted throughout that fluid and will act on all parts of the vessel that enclose the fluid. This principle translates into a tremendous capacity to do work in a simple, efficient manner, without need for the intricate mechanical gearing, transmissions, and linkages you might otherwise require to accomplish the same amount of work.

hydraulic systemsForce Multiplier

Hydraulics work as a force multiplier. You put a certain amount of pressure in, then you get much more power out than you originally put into the system. The reason hydraulics work is due to the properties of liquid, which for practical use in hydraulic systems are usually a kind of oil. The fluid is virtually incompressible, which means that any force applied is transmitted throughout the fluid and that the transmitted energy can then be harnessed to accomplish a wide variety of tasks. The smaller pressure that is initially applied gets multiplied into a considerably larger force.

Components of a Hydraulic System

A basic hydraulic system has four components. The first is the reservoir, which contains the hydraulic fluid. The reservoir must also allow the settling of any contaminants and help to release moisture or air from the fluid. The second component, the pump, is where mechanical energy, provided by the motion of the hydraulic fluid, becomes hydraulic energy. The third component is comprised of the valves, which control the flow of the fluid. The final component, the actuators, is the place in the system where the hydraulic energy is transformed back into mechanical energy.

Practical Applications

Just imagine all the gearing and the transmission systems you would require to raise a bucket on a bucket truck if the vehicle were not equipped with a hydraulic system. The practical applications of hydraulic systems can be found in the raw power and work potential they provide to real world needs. The force multiplier aspect of hydraulics is a big part of the reason why the weight of a person’s foot on a brake pedal can bring a 3,000 pound car to a screeching halt. The principles of hydraulics make it simple to adjust the components of the system in order to obtain the power that is required for a particular machine or application.

When used on vehicles like bucket trucks to do load-lifting work, hydraulic systems have distinct advantages. They offer tremendous power, maneuverability, and flexibility, making them excellent systems for use in many applications across numerous industries.

Hydraulics In Action

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