Hydraulic systems are complex machines that execute various tasks, like lifting elevators or even objects that a human can not lift. Hydraulic systems, depending on their size, can generate up to 7,457,000 newtons of power. In that power generation a hydraulic system uses a variety of components that play specific roles to the smooth operation of the system. Let’s see those components.
What are the main components of a hydraulic system ?
The main components of an hydraulic system are :
- Pipes & Fittings
Lets learn a bit more about the role of each main component
The pump is the heart of a hydraulic system. It is responsible for creating the pressure that drives the system. There are many different types of hydraulic pumps, but the most common are gear pumps, vane pumps, and piston pumps.
The reservoir is where the hydraulic fluid is stored. Maintaining the proper levels of fluid in the reservoir is crucial, to prevent the pump from running dry. The reservoir also acts as a sump, allowing solid contaminants to settle to the bottom.
There are 3 kinds of hydraulic valves that both are needed for the normal operation of the system.The directional control valve, flow control valve & pressure relief valves. But what these valves are responsible for ?
- The directional control valve is responsible for controlling the direction of flow of the hydraulic fluid. This allows the operator to control the movement of the actuators in the hydraulic system, hence the movement of a clamp or elevator.
- The flow control valve, allows the control of the flow rate of the hydraulic fluid, so we can control the speed of the hydraulic movements.
- The most important, the pressure relief valve protects the system from damages due to overpressure. When the pressure in the system reach above the safety levels the valve opens and the excess fluid flows back to the reservoir.
Actuators convert hydraulic energy back into mechanical energy. The two main types of actuators are cylinders and motors. Cylinders produce linear motion, while motors produce rotary motion.
The hydraulic accumulators are the power storage of the hydraulic system. So, when the hydraulic fluid reaches unsafe levels of pressure the excess fluid can be stored back in the reservoir, but if there is an accumulator all this fluid goes there and is kept under pressure for future use. The accumulators can be spring type, bag type and piston type.
Hydraulic Pipes & Fittings
Last but not least components, pipes are pretty self explanatory as they transfer the fluid from the reservoir to the rest of components and fittings connect the various components like the pipes with the reservoir or the valves.
It’s important to know the components that make a hydraulic system whole. Knowing the components and their use, you can discover any potential problem that makes your system inefficient. But let’s leave the troubleshooting for an upcoming article.