Understanding Hydraulic Cylinders and Their Appropriate Applications

Understanding Hydraulic Cylinders and Their Appropriate Applications

Knowing your hydraulic system inside and out is essential for making sure you are doing everything possible to keep it operating efficiently. It is important to understand how hose assemblies work and what your hoses are rated for in terms of maximum operating pressure, and you also need to understand how all of the components link together to operate seamlessly. Hydraulic cylinders are one of the most important parts of your system and it’s a good idea to understand the basis behind their operation, as well as the different types that exist. With 41 years of experience in the hydraulics industry, Bernell Hydraulics is in the perfect position to give you a refresher course on hydraulic cylinders.

Understanding the Basics

Hydraulic cylinders are essential components of a hydraulic system. The linear motion and immense force produced by cylinders are actually why hydraulic and pneumatic systems work as well as they do.

There are five basic parts of a hydraulic cylinder. These are the piston rod, rod-end port, barrel, piston, and cap-end port. These parts all have a unique job to do and in conjunction they made the cylinder operate flawlessly.

Because of their importance, numerous sizes, types, designs, and configurations of hydraulic cylinders has evolved over time. While it’s impossible to have a full grasp of every type and design of cylinder, it is important to have a basic understanding of the different types that exist.

Types of Hydraulic Cylinders Configurations

A double acting cylinder is the most common configuration. In this scenario, it routes pressurized fluid into the rod end to cause the piston to react. At the same time, fluid on the other end of the piston flows back into the hydraulic reservoir, creating greater extension force than retraction force.

In single-acting cylinders, they take pressurized fluid on just one side of the piston, while the fluid on the other side is vented into the atmosphere or returned to the tank. Force is generation by gravity or a spring returns the piston back to its resting state.

Alternatively, tie-rod cylinders are another option. These have end caps that are either square or rectangular that are secured to each end of the barrel by rods. Many variations of tie-rod cylinders exist, but the overall concept is the same.

Do you need to obtain a particular hydraulic cylinder or component? Bernell Hydraulics can help!

If you are looking to obtain certain hydraulic cylinders, Bernell Hydraulics can help. We currently offer full lines of hydraulic components, with a full set of Parker components. With four conveniently located retail stores throughout the Inland Empire area of southern California, we provide easy access to the hydraulic parts that you need. Stop into one of our stores today or call us at 800-326-7252 to see what we have in stock.

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