Monthly Archives: August 2014

How do hydraulic cylinders work?

How exactly do hydraulic cylinders work?

hydraulic cylindersHydraulic cylinders are a complicated technology; they work from a mixture of pressure and movement in the cylinders themselves, which gives the energy of motion. Pressure is formed in the cylinders through hydraulic fuel, which stores the pressure under the cylinders. The energy in the oils are converted to motion through this process. In a hydraulic system, a motor consists of at least one hydraulic cylinder, but there are usually more. A pump is used to control the oil-flow in the system, which is part of the generator in the hydraulic system.

A hydraulic cylinder is built from a barrel, piston and piston rod. The piston itself is put into position inside the barrel, being connected to the piston rod. The base of the cylinder, and the head, are responsible for the closure of the head and base of the barrel. The bottom of the cylinder and the piston rod are then mounted through brackets. The piston in the cylinder consists of a number of seals and rings.

The process begins with the piston rod moving outwards, which builds in motion as the hydraulic fluid enters the base of the cylinder. A reversal of this is possible, where hydraulic fluid goes back into the reservoir from being pushed by the piston.

Varying classifications of hydraulic cylinders:

Single Acting Cylinders:

In single cylinders, the process is rather simple: the fluid is pressurised from one side in both the expansion and retraction process. A spring is used to return the cylinder to its original position.

Double Acting Cylinders

In double acting cylinders, any pressure generated from the fluid can be applied in both directions, which gives more power compared to single cylinders. The springs used in single cylinders aren’t used in stroke applications that require a large process, as there are problems associated with the spring.

hydraulic cylinder

An example of a hydraulic cylinder

What should you consider when buying a hydraulic cylinder?

These specs will need to be classified, yet here’s what you should be looking at:

  • Stroke
  • Bore Diameter
  • Cylinder Type
  • Rod Diameter
  • Operating Pressure Levels

For more on hydraulic cylinders, how they work and what they’re used for, please visit our website here.