A hydraulic system typically consists of hydraulic cylinders, pipes, and hydraulic fluid. The system, which can be used to lift heavy objects with ease, works on a very simple principle. When you apply force at one point of the system, it gets transmitted to another point through the hydraulic fluid. Normally, hydraulic cylinders come in pairs and are connected through a pipe. The cylinders, which should ideally stand perpendicularly to the pipe, have different diameters. The cylinders are partially filled with hydraulic fluid with oil being the most common option.

The empty space in the partially-filled cylinders allows the pistons to function. One cylinder will have a piston that will be larger than the piston in the other cylinder. At first, fluid is pushed into the compartment of the small piston and after the application of force, the fluid, which is incompressible, is pushed into the compartment of the big piston. This process promotes the movement of the big piston. Because the pistons are of different sizes, the effect of the motion of the small piston will be magnified. For example, if you apply a downward force of 100 lbs on the small piston, the big piston will witness a force as high as 900 lbs.

Hydraulic cylinders facilitate the transmission of force between two points while eliminating the requirement to have a rigid structure in place. Interestingly, the system allows for modifications based on the application that it has to support. For instance, you can use multiple cylinders of variable sizes to create an arrangement that can push, pull, and raise heavy objects with ease.

Hydraulic cylinders that are used in modern times are not as simple and basic as what we have defined now. A hydraulic cylinder will typically have the following parts:

  • Piston
  • Piston rod
  • Barrel
  • Cylinder cap
  • Cylinder bottom connection
  • Cylinder head
  • Cushions
  • Seals
  • Rod glands

In industrial operations, mainly two types of cylinders are used and they are the welded body type models and the tie rod type of cylinders. The welded body models do not feature steel rods in them. These cylinders, which come in small sizes, are used in a wide variety of machines. Such cylinders have tops that are directly soldered with the object that needs to be moved. The tie rod type models are used for lifting extremely heavy objects in industrial and commercial settings.

During the last 50 years, the hydraulic technology has been witnessing steady evolution, facilitating diverse operations in a wide variety of industries. With time, they have earned cutting-edge makeovers and today, they are making positive differences in our lives in many areas.