What makes the hydraulic system more adaptable than other power transmission methods? This will be a question in the mind of every hydraulic industry beginners. You can find a solution for this query after reading this article.
Hydraulic systems use incompressible fluids as a medium to transfer energy from one part to another part. These systems have a broad range of large and small applications. Hydraulic systems are simple, safe and economical. This power transmission method has many advantages like control accuracy, quieter operations and ease of control. Open loop and closed loop are the two types of hydraulic systems. In a closed loop system, the fluid will pass continuously between the pump and actuator without entering into the reservoir. But in an open loop system, fresh fluid enters into the pump from the reservoir and the fluid from the actuator is passed into the reservoir.
In your daily life, you will find varieties of hydraulic systems performing entirely different applications. The working of hydraulic brake in cars, the landing gears of aircrafts, the hydraulic lifts in buildings, earthmoving machinery in construction, robotic arms, etc.. belong to different industries but the basic hydraulic principle used is same.
Also Read: How do Hydraulic Lifts Work
The basic hydraulic principles are depending on the fluid properties like incompressibility, the ability to obtain the shape of a container it was stored, the ability to transmit pressure in all direction, etc. Every hydraulic system work using Pascal’s principle. This principle states that “A change in pressure at any point in an enclosed fluid at rest is transmitted undiminished to all points in the fluid.”The working of a simple hydraulic system starts with a pump that sucks pressurized hydraulic fluid from the reservoir and ends at the motor/cylinder. The two ends will be connected using hoses/tubes/pipes. Due to flexibility and ease of maintenance, most of the systems will use hydraulic hoses. There are different types of hydraulic fittings available for connecting these components.
A basic hydraulic circuit is an interconnected set of discrete components through which the fluid will flow. Some of the important hydraulic components are discussed here.
Hydraulic Fluid: A hydraulic system require fluids for energy transmission, heat removal and lubrication. They are classified into mineral oils and synthetic oils. Mineral oils are natural oils produced from crude oils and synthetic oils are those prepared from the laboratory.
Hydraulic Pump: Hydraulic pumps are used for raising, compressing or transporting fluids from one part to another. They are categorized into vane pumps, gear pumps, and piston pumps. Among these, piston pumps will provide maximum performance in high-pressure applications. Also, they convert mechanical energy to hydraulic energy.
Reservoir: The fluids are stored in the reservoir/tank. The size of the reservoir is calculated 11/2 times the GPM of the pump.
Actuator: Actuators will convert hydraulic energy to mechanical energy. Hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic motors and oscillating motors are the categories of actuators. Hydraulic motor will convert hydraulic energy to rotational energy.
Valves: Directional control valve, pressure control valve, and flow control valve are the three types of hydraulic valves. They play an important role in directing the flow of fluid, controlling the pressure and flow rate.
Filters: A hydraulic system use filters to remove the contaminants present in the fluid. They are classified as reservoir filters, line filters, off-line filters and other cleaning equipment.
Accumulators: Accumulators are used for storing energy and absorbing pulsations and shocks. Bladder type, diaphragm type, piston type, spring type, and weight loaded type are the different categories of accumulators.
Heat Exchangers: Continuous working of hydraulic system will increase the temperature of the fluid and this will damage the system components. So, coolers and heaters are used for avoiding this issue.
Seals: Hydraulic system use different varieties of seals for avoiding the leakage and entry of air into the fluid.
Pipings: The pipings can be hoses/tubes/pipes. A hose is more flexible than tubes and pipes. These pipings will connect different components and pass hydraulic fluid through it.