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The Simple Design Of Hydraulic Cylinders

Where you’ll find large scale, or even smaller sized, mechanical equipment, chances are you’re also going to find hydraulic cylinders. These ubiquitous pieces of equipment haven’t changed much since their introduction in the seventies due to the simplicity of their design; and the fact they work!

What Are Hydraulic Cylinders Made Up Of?

If you’re new to the world of hydraulics, or are simply in need of a refresher on how hydraulic cylinders work, here’s a handy guide. Essentially, these cylinders provide power for a huge number of pieces of machinery. They rely on the basic principle of fluid under pressure like all hydraulic components.

These cylinders are made of five constituent parts:

  • The outside casing – also known as the barrel.
  • Piston
  • Rod
  • Gland
  • Butt

The piston is located in the interior of the cylinder and rotates. The larger the diameter, or bore, of the cylinder means it can harness more power. Pistons are an integral part of hydraulic cylinder design because it gives the cylinder force.

The piston is attached to the rod. The rod itself is a long, depending on the size of the cylinder, piece of strong steel. This is exposed to the fluid path and, due to the very nature of its purpose, has to be extremely resistant to corrosion. The rod extends and retracts through the gland (the front part of the cylinder).

Finally, the butt is located at the base or end of the cylinder. This is the part that usually attaches to the other parts of the machine to make the overall hydraulic system. Typically, these include pumps, valves and motors.

So How Do They Work?

Oil, integral to every piece of hydraulic equipment, is held in a reservoir. When the system is active the oil is shot through the cylinder at great pressure. This pressure forces the rod to move back and forth in a linear motion. Because the rod is attached to the piston it also begins to move.

Whatever piece of the system that the cylinder is attached to rod will begin to move too. So the process is remarkably simple: the liquid starts off the movement and this is then transferred to the rod, then the piston and so the machinery or vehicle itself starts to move.

Common Types Of Hydraulic Cylinders

In general, there are two main types of hydraulic cylinders in use today. These are welded body and tie rod. Tie rod cylinders feature rods that are attached to both ends of the cylinder. These are very powerful and are mostly used in heavy-duty industrial machinery that requires lots of strength.

A welded hydraulic cylinder does away with the normal conventions by removing the rod. Instead, it is attached directly to the machinery that needs to be moved.

The same basic principles of hydraulic cylinders haven’t changed much since their initial conception. Likewise, the size of the cylinder will rarely affect its basic operational methods either.

Find An Amazing Range Of Hydraulic Cylinders At Flowfit

If you require hydraulic cylinders for a variety of applications, make sure you head to our online store today. We have an extensive collection of cylinders in different sizes and pressures up to 300 Bar for you to choose from. All technical data is available for free too at Flowfit.

We’re committed to customer service. All our hydraulic components come with a 12 month guarantee as standard. Should any faults occur, we’ll replace your cylinder free of charge, repair it or offer you a full refund. Order your hydraulic cylinders from Flowfit today.

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