Hydraulic Cylinders

What is a hydraulic cylinder?

It seems like such an elementary question, especially considering the depth of fluid power related material on the various WTWH and Design World websites. However, as a person whose job deals with fluid power on the daily, even I can forget how important the fundamental lessens in hydraulics are.

A hydraulic cylinder is a linear actuator powered by hydrostatic energy. A linear actuator is a mechanical device engineered to create force in a straight line, either pushing or pulling. Hydrostatic energy is the motivation behind the cylinder's ability to create linear force, and is created (i.e., converted) by the hydraulic pump. Hydraulic energy is a combination of pressurized fluid and the volume or rate the fluid moves at, which is expressed as pressure and flow respectively.

A simple ram-type cylinder consists of a cylindrical tube (hence, “cylinder,”) and a steel rod inserted and sealed in that tube. Pressurized fluid is pumped into the cylinder, where pressure upwards of 3000 psi or more acts upon the circular bottom of the tube. The force of the pressurized fluid will push the rod out of the cylinder as long as the mass on the rod is less than the force created against the rod by the fluid. It should be noted that force not flow creates motion; the creation of movement due to flow is a popular misconception requiring explanation another day.

Often times, a hydraulic cylinder has a piston attached to the bottom of the rod, and this piston is sealed against the barrel. A piston allows the rod to be smaller in diameter than barrel, opening up area and volume on the rod side of the cylinder. Because hydrostatic energy can act on either side of the piston, it can now both push and pull, unlike a ram which can only push. A caveat with these “double-acting” cylinders is that the rod volume and area is reduced, creating a differential between the rod and piston sides. These “differential” cylinders will retract with less force because of the smaller piston area, but retract with more velocity because of the reduced volume.

Hydraulic cylinders are used on every application requiring linear force, or by taking advantage of levers and booms, they are used on bending, tilting and arcing applications as well. They are used on presses, shears, clamps et al, for industrial applications, and on booms, buckets, lifts et al, for mobile applications. Hydraulic cylinder applications are countless, and because of the benefits of hydraulics, especially on mobile machinery, they will continue to thrive for decades to come.

What are our Hydraulic Cylinders used for?

It is important to know that hydraulic cylinders are actuation devices that is used to presurize hydraulic fluid which creats motion in a linear force. this is used in a variety of transfer applications. With a double action hydraulic cylinder you can move along an x-axis plane aswell as a vertical y-axis plane. and this can be done along any of those motions.

Why is this important to Hydraulic Cylinders?

With TCEF we focus our work in hydraulic cylinders in different types, strokesm and maximum operating pressures. This includes bore dieameters and rod diameters. With our wide variety of stroke lengths we are set for any situation from fractions to millimeters. We also know exactly what is needed for your business and how to fix any issues that may arise.

Contact us today for more information on our services!