Working of Hydraulic Cylinders

Hydraulic cylinders which are also called hydraulic motors are mechanical actuators, that is a type of motor which is operated by an energy source. And this actuator is used in giving a unidirectional force through a unidirectional stroke. A hydraulic cylinder has various applications, mainly in engineering vehicles, etc.

The way a hydraulic cylinders operates is by getting power from a pressurized hydraulic fluid which in most cases is oil. This cylinder consists of a barrel to which a piston is connected to a piston rod that helps move it back and forth. While the piston’s main function is to separate the pressure zones inside the barrel, the piston rod connects the hydraulic motor to the machine component doing the work.


On the basis of design, the hydraulic cylinders are divided into- Tie rod cylinder and Welded body cylinder. The Welded body cylinder is more widely used and has advantages over tie rod cylinders, as they fit better into any kind of machinery and can be customized. Hydraulic equipments like- bulldozers, forklift trucks, lift-gates, cranes, oil rigs, etc all use welded body hydraulic cylinders.

There are various special types of hydraulic cylinders like the Telescopic cylinder, Plunger cylinder, differential cylinder etc.

The Telescopic cylinder is the one in which the piston rod is dually used as a piston barrel while a second piston rod is used. This is done because at times the length of the hydraulic cylinder that comprises the total of the stroke, piston thickness, bottom thickness and the length and head of the connections does not fit in the machine. Such cylinders are more expensive than normal cylinders. While most telescopic cylinders are single acting and are easily available, the double acting telescopic cylinders have to be designed and manufactured specially.

A Plunger Cylinder is a type of hydraulic cylinders that is either without a piston or without the seals but with the piston. This sort of a cylinder can only be used as a pushing cylinder. Plunger cylinders generally have a thick piston rod.

Differential Cylinders act like ordinary cylinders when pulling. These cylinders can be manufactured like normal cylinders just a special control has to be added to them.


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