Hydraulic Cylinders

What Are Hydraulic Cylinders?

A hydraulic cylinder is a mechanical actuator device used to provide a linear force through a unidirectional stroke. Hydraulic cylinders have many applications, notably in construction equipment such as excavators, manufacturing machinery such as turning machines, and civil engineering. In the machine tool industry, chucks and hydraulic cylinders are normally installed beside the headstocks and the gearboxes, one of those components that can be seen in plain sight. They are normally used to offer a constant and powerful clamping force to the work piece.

Working Mechanism

Hydraulic cylinders work through a series of movements. They are powered using pressurized hydraulic fluid, which is typically oil. A Hydraulic cylinder consists of a cylinder barrel, and a piston connected to a piston rod that moves back and forth.

The barrel of the cylinder is closed on one end by the cylinder bottom, which is also called the cap, and the other end by the cylinder head where the piston rod comes out of the cylinder. The piston has sliding rings and seals, and divides the interior of the cylinder into two chambers, one of which is the bottom chamber, and the other is the chamber where piston rod resides. 

Besides the pistons, components such as flanges, trunnions, clevises, and lugs are all integral parts of a hydraulic cylinder and are the common mounting options. The piston rod would have mounting attachments to connect the cylinder to the object or machine component that it is doing the movements of pushing or pulling.

The role of a hydraulic cylinder resembles the actuator of the system, and the generator side of the hydraulic system is the hydraulic pump. The hydraulic pump delivers a fixed or regulated flow of oil substance to the hydraulic cylinder so that they move the piston, and that is what we are talking about the piston working mechanism.

Applications of Hydraulic Cylinders

Hydraulic cylinders are primarily used in mobile applications, such as excavators, loaders, graders, dump trucks, back hoes and dozers, just to name a few. Their use is so prevalent and spans across the industries that it is impossible to give you a complete list of their applications. The mobile machinery industry relies so heavily on hydraulic cylinders that operations such as the pushing, pulling, and lifting of loads of any description are all part of their jobs.

Hydraulic cylinders are also used heavily in the industrial machinery industry. The unparalleled power density makes them a great candidate for compactors, injection molding, presses, forging presses, etc. You also see them in more advanced applications such as flight simulators or fatigue testing. In fact, you can easily find hydraulic cylinders being used as long as linear motion applications are involved.

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