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Hydraulic Pump 101: How Do Hydraulics Work?

PVM Series Hydraulic Pump

A hydraulic pump can prove useful for a variety of different purposes, but it is important to first know how they work. Hydraulics is an important component of many types of equipment. If you’ve asked yourself “how do hydraulics work?”, read on to discover the answer.

What Is a Hydraulics System?

A hydraulics system uses compressed fluid to transfer an applied force between two different points. There are quite a few basic parts that make up a hydraulics system, including a cylinder, filter, motor, fluid, valves, hose, pump, and reservoir.

  • Cylinder: A hydraulic cylinder applies unidirectional force, and is considered the muscle of the system.
  • Filter: The purpose of a filter is to remove impurities from the fluid.
  • Hydraulic Fluid: This is extremely crucial to the system’s entire operation; it helps cool the system, drives away contaminants, and transfers energy.
  • Motor/Prime Mover: The motor uses pressure from the fluid and converts it into mechanical energy.
  • Valves: The valves are another critical component of a hydraulics system. They direct where the hydraulic fluid flows.
  • Hose: As previously mentioned, valves direct the flow of fluid in the system. Valves are a component of the hydraulic hose.
  • Pump: Once the motor converts fluid pressure into mechanical energy, the pump converts the mechanical energy into hydraulic energy.
  • Reservoir: Think of a reservoir as the hydraulic system’s septic tank. The reservoir stores the fluid and separates any solid contaminants from the fluid. It is also used for heat transfer.

Common Applications

Hydraulics systems are used in many industries, and they have many applications. The most common applications include:

  • Hydraulic Press
  • Hydraulic Workholding System
  • Hydraulic Excavator

Additionally, the construction industry relies on hydraulics systems for concrete pumping, brick molding, and more, while farmers may need hydraulics systems for their equipment. Another industry that relies on hydraulics systems is the automotive industry; vehicles use hydraulic systems for braking, steering, cooling, and more.

Components of Hydraulics

When it comes to answering the question: how do hydraulics work?, it is also important to talk about the components of a hydraulics system. The major components of a hydraulics system are the filter, hose, motor, cylinder, pump, valves, and reservoir. As previously mentioned, each component is needed to ensure that the entire system operates properly.

For example, the pressurized hydraulic fluid (located inside the cylinder) acts on both the piston and the rod. The cylinder’s strokes take the pressure or fluid power and turn it into mechanical force. When the piston and rod extend, the oil level in the reservoir decreases. The valves are another critical component. The first thing to note about these valves is that there are two primary kinds of valves in a hydraulics system.

The two varieties of valves are pressure relief directional control. The purpose of pressure relief valves is to make sure that the system’s components and plumbing are protected from pressure overload. Pressure relief valves also decrease how much output force cylinders and rotary motors can exert. With directional control valves, as the name implies, they control the fluid’s path throughout the hydraulics system.

Because each component is critical, it’s important to ensure that you regularly maintain the system.

Do Hydraulics Need Maintenance?

Hydraulics do in fact require maintenance; you should make sure to check the filters and fluid levels on a regular basis. You should also replace the filters when necessary.

It is also a good idea for you to regularly inspect the entire system. If you opt for a professional inspection, the person performing the inspection will look for fissures, cracks, and wear. These inspections can help you avoid having to pay for expensive repairs later on. They can also limit the chance that the hydraulics system will seriously malfunction.

Learn More About Hydraulic Pumps From Panagon Systems

Do you still have questions about how hydraulic pumps work? Contact Panagon Systems. We have over 25 years of industry experience, and specialize in manufacturing and supplying hydraulic parts, including pumps and motors. If you’re searching for OEM-quality replacement parts, end your search with Panagon Systems. We offer replacement parts for Vickers, Eaton, Rexroth, and Caterpillar products.

Click here to browse our inventory. If you would like to request a quote, call (586) 786-3920 or fill out our online form today.

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