We may sometimes wonder how cranes, backhoes, and all other heavy equipment or machinery works, as we see them being used in construction, landscaping, and all other large projects you see while you drive. Come to think of it; you might also wonder how brakes and clutches work and what’s the use of all the fluids in your car like the clutch and brake fluids.
It all boils down to the application of hydraulics. These massive pieces of equipment have hydraulic systems installed, which are considered one of the essential parts of the machinery. Without these hydraulic systems, heavy equipment won’t be able to lift and transfer anything, and the brakes on your car won’t work.
And, as we are giving importance to hydraulics, why don’t we discuss how it works, and tackle the significant parts that comprise a standard hydraulic system.
Origin of hydraulics:
Hydraulics, as it may sound, came from the Greek word Hydraulikos which means “water pipe”. It uses liquid to transfer energy by applying pressure to a small surface area, say a pipe, in order to lift a larger surface area.
Since liquid is considered an incompressible fluid, the force applied on a small pipe translates to a much larger force when transferred to a large pipe, enabling any heavy equipment to lift, carry, and move heavy materials from one place to another, or in the sense of cars, the moment you step on the brake pedal, the brake fluid is compressed making the disc brakes engage.
Major parts of a hydraulic system:
A hydraulic system comprises the following parts:
- it’s a vessel or reservoir used for storing the hydraulic fluid. It’s where an operator monitors the actual level of the fluid and top-ups or replenishes the tank when needed.
- Motor pump. It acts as the driver of the hydraulic unit that draws the hydraulic fluid from the tank. An example of a type of motor pump is an HPM mini-pack.
- Since hydraulic fluid is prone to contamination (solid, metal, water, etc.), it’s important to have screens to strain unwanted particles that may damage the system.
- They act as the prime mover of the system as they translate the transferred energy of the compressed fluid to the application.
- Tubing or pipes. Of course, the system won’t be connected all in one accord without the use of tubes or pipes, right?
- Heat exchangers. Since the fluid is running the system, it is also prone to overheat, which is why coolers are very important to maintain the temperature of the system.
- Process controls and instrumentation. This includes isolation valves, pressure relief valves, directional valves, accumulators, temperature and pressure sensors and gauges, switches, and all other instrumentation needed for the safe operation of the equipment.
Now that you know about the major parts of the hydraulic system, it’s about time that you understand the way how it works and what is it used for.
Why are hydraulic power packs used?
Hydraulic power packs work wonders for engineers and non-engineers as well. There are many benefits of using hydraulic power packs and they are:
- It helps in easing out and controlling the accuracy with the use of simple levers and push buttons. It becomes easy to start, speed up, slow down and stop the machine with the help of this system
- It is simple and safer than other methods, it also increases the amount of productivity.
- Hydraulic power packs provide constant force and torque which remains efficient regardless of changes in speed.
How are hydraulic power packs used?
Using hydraulic power packs is very simple and cost-effective. There are many ways where these power packs come in handy for jobs such as:
- It is used for delivering reliable power for hydraulic systems.
- It can be used for rotating a hydraulic motor.
- Or it can be used during the operation of the cylinder.
- Hydraulic power can also be used for other auxiliary application including pumping fluid.
That’s all you need to understand about a hydraulic system and how it works. As you’re driving along the road, you’ll have a different approach to how you look at heavy equipment piling up garbage or transferring soil from a construction site. You might even look at how you press your brakes quite often.