Fluid Power Fast Facts
- Fluid power is simply the transmission of energy using fluids / gas and liquid.
- Hydraulics is derived from a Greek word “Hydros” meaning water. Water was the first liquid to be used in hydraulic systems.
- Some of the names used in hydraulics are from the 17th and 18th century’s where two gentlemen; Pascal and Bernoulli,
discovered some of the most valuable principals and in late 17th century a man called Joseph Bramah put those ideas in to
use, creating the hydraulic press. This was commonly used to pump beer from the cellars to the taps in public bars.
- During the industrial revolution we saw the use of large steam engines that pumped high pressure water to factories that
powered machinery. From the start of the 20th century saw America use oil in their Hydraulic Military equipment.
- In the world today we use hydraulics in so many different applications and the uses and technology is expanding, from
basic bottle jacks to Hi tech equipment used by NASA in outer space.
- In fluid power there are two types of hydraulics;
1. Hydrodynamic systems
The motion of the fluid is used to do the work (Dynamic energy) For example: Hydraulic couplings, torque converters
and hydro electric power.
2. Hydro static systems
The fluid energy against the load is used to do the work (Static energy) For example: Hydraulic cylinders and jacks or
- The other ways to transmit energy used in industry are;
1. Mechanical: Crank mechanisms, shafts and linkages
2. Electrical: Electric motors, etc
3. Pneumatic: Basically the same as hydraulics but uses gas (Air) as its transmission substance.
- An improperly maintained hydraulic system can lead to premature component failure. Safe system performance requires
periodic inspections and maintenance.
- Probably the most common injury in the hydraulic industry is caused by pinhole leaks in hoses. The injection of the fluid is
similar to a hypodermic needle, in most cases it’s too late to treat and requires drastic medical measures. The leaks should be
found using a piece of cardboard or wood to lower risk.
- You should never mix high and low pressure components in a system, doing so can be damaging to your health, safety and
the operation of the hydraulic equipment.
- Before commencing any work on a hydraulic system, you must isolate all energy sources and secure any moving parts, you
must also bleed off any excess system pressure to ensure system is safe.
- Always wear the correct safety equipment, especially eye protection whist working with hydraulic systems and