When building any type of hydraulic system, you’re going to need an actuator. It’s the actuator that makes it possible for the hydraulic system to convert hydraulic power into mechanical power. There are many types of actuators, some of which create torque, also known as a twisting force, while others create a linear force (straight line force). When you have an actuator that creates a linear force, this is known as a hydraulic cylinder.
What Do Hydraulic Cylinders Do?
Hydraulic cylinders work by allowing a hydraulic system to convert the energy found in the hydraulic fluid into a straight-line force, or as mentioned above, into a linear force. This takes place as pressurized hydraulic fluid causes the piston of the cylinder to move in a straight line. As a result, this moves the rod that is connected to the load. Ultimately, this allows the energy in the fluid of the hydraulic system to convert itself into a power that can be controlled, therefore meaning it can be leveraged for useful work.
What Are the Key Components of a Hydraulic Cylinder?
There are several key hydraulic cylinder parts:
- The piston that creates two chambers
- The main body is comprised of the barrel, base, and head
- Rod that is connected to the machine component of the system that does the work; usually mounted on one side of the piston
- Seal gland along with seals to keep the hydraulic fluid from leaking
Are There Different Types of Hydraulic Cylinders?
Yes, there are several types of hydraulic cylinders, and the type you use determines the hydraulic cylinder parts that you’ll need to create the hydraulic system. Some of the most common types of hydraulic cylinders are:
- Single-acting: this types operate in only one direction and has a single port on one of the ends of the cylinder
- Double-acting: this type can push or pull (unlike a single acting hydraulic cylinder that can either push or pull)
- Telescopic: contains a series of rams found inside one another, making it simple for the cylinder to make long strokes when all rams are extended
- Tandem: this type has two interconnected cylinders, easily allowing the system to create an optimal force
Why Should You Study Hydraulic System?
Understanding how hydraulic cylinders and systems work is paramount to operating a company that uses industrial machines or creates hydraulic engines. With the right hydraulic cylinder parts and systems, it becomes possible to form metals along with various other types of materials using very high force but with only a relatively small amount of highly-pressurized fluid.