One Simple Way to Improve Hydraulic Machine Performance

hydraulic oil drumIn the current trend of increasing energy costs, which appears to be underpinned by big-picture issues such as peak oil and carbon emission reduction, there is a growing awareness of the need to make hydraulic systems more efficient.

The three obvious ways of doing this are:

1. Use components with higher native efficiency: a piston pump instead of a gear pump, for example.
2. Minimize the use of energy-loss devices, such as flow controls, pressure reducing valves and even proportional valves.
3. Design the circuit so that energy is not consumed when work is not being done; unloading the pump between cycles or employing load-sensing control, for example.… continue reading »

Hydraulic Problems: Don’t Engineer Them In

hydraulic power unitA large part of being “smart” in any area of expertise comes from doing your homework. And this is especially true with hydraulics. Here’s a story from one of our members which illustrates this point pretty well:

“I’m fairly new to hydraulics and I thought coating the interior of a hydraulic tank I’d made with a zinc spray (cold galvanizing in a spray can, like paint) would be a good idea. The idea was fine but the reality was not so good. I had no way of predicting that the components of the oil would dissolve the zinc coating… I’m fortunate that there is little I can do at this point that would further endanger my soul.”

I’m not a fan of painting the inside of hydraulic tanks, period.… continue reading »

How To Make Sense Of Hydraulic Cylinder Drift

Leaking piston seal on hydraulic cylinderSome time ago I recorded a simulation video which explains what happens when the piston-seal on a double-acting cylinder leaks, and it becomes a displacement cylinder.

After watching the video, Larry from Canada sent me this in response:

“I enjoyed your video about cylinder drift not being caused by oil leaking past the seals. But I have to ask the same question as your previous skeptic: why do they have seals? If the seals are bad the oil is going to pass from the side under load to the other side. Doesn’t matter if the pressure is the same or not.continue reading »