By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor No matter how well engineered or manufactured, no product has infinite reliability, including hydraulic valves. Valves are critical components in hydraulic systems, responsible for controlling the flow, direction, and pressure of the hydraulic fluid circulating to transmit work. When a valve fails, it can cause system downtime, decreased productivity, and […]
How are encoders used in hydraulic actuators?
By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor Encoders are electronic devices manufactured to relay movement and position. For example, for fluid power applications, the decoder relays an electronic signal to a PLC or other electronic device for the positional measurement of hydraulic cylinders or motors. In most cases, encoders use a light shone through a coded plate […]
Piston pump technology ensures power and efficiency
By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor A hydraulic pump is literally the heartbeat of your hydraulic system. If you’re new to hydraulics, you’d be surprised at how many ways you can push fluid under pressure. The rotating and/or reciprocating of gears, vanes or pistons offer a designer constrained by any performance or budget envelope the options […]
Where are compact hydraulic power units used?
By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor Hydraulic power units are both the source of hydraulic energy and fluid conditioning. The hydraulic reservoir provides a mounting surface for the hydraulic pump and its prime mover while offering up real estate to mount filters, coolers, valves and accessories. In addition, the reservoir stores the hydraulic fluid, providing a […]
Pressure makes it go
By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor Do me a favor — stand up near a wall just out of arm’s length reach. Now raise your arm with your palm facing the wall and very slowly move toward the wall. Without yet touching the wall, tell me where the force comes from to move your body close […]
Avoid this one piston pump mistake
Hydraulic pumps are primarily designed to convert incoming prime mover energy into hydraulic energy, manifested as pressure and flow. The term hydrostatic refers to a state of pressure equilibrium, especially in a confined space. All traditional hydraulic applications are hydrostatic, and in most cases, if you shut down the pump, physical loads should hold fast […]
What are the different types of hydraulic valves?
Hydraulic valves, used in conjunction with actuators, help make hydraulics unique in its control of force, torque and motion. Valves govern the direction, pressure and flow of hydraulic fluid, enabling smooth, safe control of actuators. A valve’s purpose may be as simple as relieving pressure to protect your pump and actuator or as complex as […]
How do hydraulic brakes work?
Braking systems take advantage of the textbook offerings given by hydraulics — power, controllability and safety. Hydraulic brakes are fairly simple on the cover, requiring a hydraulic pump and a brake actuator. Vehicle braking systems may get by with only what are essentially two cylinders, one at the pump and the other at the brake. […]
What type of flow divider is best for my application?
By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor Flow dividers provide a unique solution to a specific problem in hydraulic applications — splitting flow while limiting its tendency to take the path of least resistance. Without a flow divider, any time you wish to split flow to two or more downstream subcircuits, the path with the lowest pressure […]
What is pressure compensation in a hydraulic system?
By Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor Pressure compensated pumps, pressure compensated flow controls or even just straight-up pressure compensators – these terms are thrown around constantly. But unless you’re a hydraulic specialist, you may not know what these are, let alone what they do. Of course, you’ve probably heard of systems analysts and cartographers too, but […]