Are you familiar with hydraulic pressure intensifiers? Yes, a hydraulic pressure intensifier (also called a booster) is a mechanical device that generates a higher pressure by utilizing a low-pressure hydraulic power source. This device is mostly used when the pump alone can’t produce the high pressure required for the application. Such applications include presses, jacks, torque wrenches, work holding, die casting, hydraulic power pack, and more. The basic working of this hydraulic pressure intensifier is explained in this article.
Where is a hydraulic intensifier positioned? While system designing, a hydraulic intensifier is positioned exactly between the pump and the working machine. With this design, the hydraulic pressure produced by the pump can be intensified and transferred to the working machine in order to perform the desired tasks like clamping, holding, punching, lifting, and more.
The compact hydraulic pressure intensifier itself includes a hydraulic architecture. With this device, the low pump pressure can be increased to 1000psi or 6000psi, or even between 20,000psi and 60,000psi. In-line models, flange-on models, and cartridge types are different types of intensifiers that can be easily integrated with any hydraulic circuit.
What are the important components of an intensifier? The compact intensifier design mainly contains four elements, which are fixed cylinder, sliding cylinder/RAM, fixed RAM, and check valves, arranged in a proper sequence. The fixed cylinder is the exterior body of the intensifier that receives the liquid with low pressure from the main supply. The sliding cylinder/RAM is a movable part located inside the fixed cylinder that contains high-pressure liquid stored via the fixed ram. The fixed ram is surrounded by a sliding cylinder. The design also contains 4 valves for the input and output of hydraulic pressure which will be explained soon.
So, how does a hydraulic intensifier works? Basically, an intensifier will compress the hydraulic system fluid to a value greater than pump discharge pressure. The intensifier operation begins when the sliding cylinder is located at the bottom-most position, which is considered to be in the rest state. When the intensifier starts working, the low-pressure fluid from the pump will enter and fill the fixed cylinder via a valve (let’s name it as ‘A’). Other valves will be closed during this process. Next, another valve(say ‘B’) opens allowing this low-pressure fluid to enter the ram or sliding cylinder. Then, through another valve (let it be ‘C’) diverts the low-pressure fluid to the exhaust for discharge from the fixed cylinder. When the low-pressure fluid moves out from the fixed cylinder, the sliding cylinder will move upwards due to fluid supply from ‘B’. Once the sliding cylinder reaches the topmost position by filling with low-pressure fluid, the valves ‘D’ and ‘A’ are opened, letting the low-pressure fluid to enter the fixed cylinder through valve ‘A’. This pushes the sliding cylinder downwards, generating high-pressure fluid in the sliding cylinder. The produced high-pressure fluid comes out through valve ‘D’.
What are the advantages of hydraulic intensifiers? This compact device can be easily mounted with any hydraulic machinery. Also, this energy-saving and affordable device will deliver constant force and pressure throughout the process. Other than, high performance and longer life, the most important benefit of a pressure intensifier, is the capability to adapt the required intensification ratio. Also, this delivers consistent power and weight throughout the working process.
Every machinery will be having some drawbacks. The disadvantages of hydraulic intensifiers are high maintenance, fluid leakage, and related safety hazards, corrosion if incompatible fluid is used.